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Pass the NCLEX

Pass the NCLEX

What are your NCLEX study tips?

Beth Anderson, RN

NCLEX stands for National Council Licensure Examination and The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) develops it. It is the exam you will need to pass in order to become a registered nurse. You will hear much talk of it during nursing school. Instructors often refer to exam questions as “NCLEX style questions.” Does this mean that they are designed to confuse you as much as possible? Not exactly. All NCLEX style questions are multiple-choice. Refer to the above tips in “Surviving Nursing School” for multiple-choice strategies.

Study Tactics

There are many study guides to help you pass the NCLEX, and you can find some good ones here. It helps to take as many practice questions as you possibly can. Use tips on answering multiple-choice questions correctly. Have questions? You can always post a question on the NursingLink Student Lounge where you have access to thousands of seasoned nurses who may just share their expertise with you.

Remember Your ABCs

A common theme for NCLEX questions is prioritization. The question will give you a list of scenarios and ask which one you would attend to first. Don’t sweat these questions. They very often come down to this simple mnemonic: ABC, which stands for Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. The airway is always your first priority in any emergency situation. If an airway is blocked, oxygen cannot reach the lungs. The second priority is to assess whether the patient is actually breathing. Then the patient’s circulation is assessed by determining if they have a pulse. You will often find that NCLEX questions are testing your knowledge of this concept.

Have Confidence, Will Pass

Finally, a little bit of confidence will get you far. Many nursing students get themselves completely worked up over the NCLEX. It is helpful to remember that statistics are on your side. Total pass rate for first time test takers in 2005 was 83%. This means that you only have a 17% chance of not passing. If you are consistently getting above average grades and have not been struggling too much, there’s a very good chance that you will pass this exam. It also helps to get plenty of rest between the time that you graduate and the time that you actually take the test.

Learn more about passing the NCLEX and becoming an RN.

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