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The NCLEX: How To Prepare

The NCLEX: How To Prepare

Hollis Forester, RNC-NP

You have just completed years of nursing school, you have requested licensure from your state and you have registered to take “the exam.” What do you do now? How can you be sure you will pass the test that will allow you to practice? How do you stop feeling so anxious about the test and your future?

The NCLEX is an exam used by the State Boards of Nursing to evaluate nurses as they enter the work force, their competency for licensure and for functioning as a nurse. It is used for both RN and LPN candidates and is a computerized adaptive test. You have probably heard a lot about it as you progressed through your classes, but now it is time to face it.

I, of course, took this exam with a number two pencil and paper, and this current method of testing is fascinating to me. In the tutorial they offer, you will learn:

1. The “adaptive” nature of the test. You only have to take as many questions as will prove that you have the knowledge to “pass.”

2. The logistics of the test. It may be disconcerting to find out on the day of the exam that you will be video-taped and audio-taped while taking the test. The tutorial reviews that kind of information.

3. The computerized nature of the questions and how to answer them using the mouse and keyboard (pretty cool, really!)

4. The look and feel of the test.

It seems to me that this tutorial has the capacity to significantly reduce anxiety about the test, just by familiarizing you with what you will see in front of you when you sit for the exam.

There are many different ways to prepare for this important exam. It would be unwise to enter this test without any preparation, but this prep can take many different forms. Some students take extensive and expensive review courses, some count on review with friends or fellow students, and some merely hope for the best. Whatever path you choose, aim to do that which reduces your anxiety and mentally prepares you to pass this test with flying colors. Good luck to you…you can do it.

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