We want to introduce you to a newly minted nurse, Sara RN. Sara just found out today she passed the NCLEX (yay!) with just 75 questions and in under an hour. . . using NURSING.com.
We asked Sara if she would share her tips on how to study for NCLEX and what advice she would give to other aspiring nurses.
Here’s her story
Why did you become a nurse?
When I was 3, my Dad (who was only 38 and healthy other than chronic a fib) had a massive MI and lived the next 27 years fighting tooth and nail to survive before dying from end stage heart failure and cardiac cirrhosis last year at home with hospice support. I will always remember the nurses saving him time and time again and in the end even saving us mentally and emotionally when we saw him fading. I spent so much time in hospitals as a child that I saw the nurses as superhuman and after debating early on whether I could fill those shoes I knew there was nothing else I would rather do…
Sara joined the NURSING.com on February 4, 2017 and hit the ground running, using as many study materials as she could get her hands on.
Some of the NURSING.com resources she used were:
I absolutely love your cheat sheets! I have your handouts plastered everywhere! I’m surprised my printer hasn’t burned out! 🙂 Thanks for everything you do!
How did Sara study?
She used a technique referred to as the Pomodoro technique where you focus intently for 20-30 minutes on one complex topic with no interruptions then you take a break. You repeat this cycle over and over.
Here’s what she says:
I think the advice from the test taking course to only study in short intervals with breaks in between is key! I always took short 5-10 minute breaks after being focused for 30-40 minutes.
One strategy she employed is something that many students struggle with, that’s focusing on areas of weakness. By nature, we like to study those things that we know will result in a higher score . . . but forcing yourself to study where you are weak makes you a better test taker and nurse overall.
Here’s what Sara says:
When I was really struggling with a particular topic I would write an outline with patho, s/s, dx, tx, meds, nursing implications, etc and then teach it to someone else until I understood it well enough to feel confident explaining it. Then I would take a quiz on the topic in one of my NCLEX Q&A books. If I scored well I would move on and if not, I would go back and delve deeper into the areas where I was still struggling.
Sara also prioritized her study time. Rather than wasting time while driving, standing in line, or otherwise, she used various study methods to increase her productivity and study throughout the day.
Here’s what she says:
Been listening to them everyday on the way into work! Much better than the crap on the radio!!
The NRSNG Academy includes a massive audio database with downloadable MP3 files on nearly every topic you need to know. You can download these files, put them on your phone and study wherever you go!
What about SIMCLEX®?
One feature we are very proud of inside the NURSING.com is SIMCLEX®. SIMCLEX® simulates the computer adaptive algorithms used by the actual NCLEX. Unlike “other” NCLEX question banks that just throw random questions at you, SIMCLEX® actually adapts to YOU.
Sara used SIMCLEX® extensively in her preparation.
I had originally started with uworld before I found out about the NURSING.com and had taken the entire bank of their practice questions along with their 2 NCLEX practice exams and was given a 98% chance of passing the NCLEX. I also completed the entire 6000 question saunders Q&A book and did well on those questions as well.
The second time I took the Simclex I passed but I did find the questions to be much more challenging than the questions in any of the other practice guides or even on the NCLEX itself in retrospect. I was able to complete the NCLEX in about 54 minutes and the test shut off at 75 questions. The Simclex took me about twice as long and I think I did around 90 something questions if I remember correctly.
SIMCLEX isn’t easy. The goal is to provide the user with the most realistic testing environment possible. Here’s whats cool about it . . . it’s totally computer adaptive, timed, and unique to each and every user.
Try out SIMCLEX for 3 days for just $1 . . .
Aaaaaand 3 days later . . . Sara RN!
Any parting words?
The NRSNG Academy has given me that extra boost of confidence to test and transition into the hospital environment. You really provide a fantastic resource and I’ve been passing the word around!! Thank you for all you do!
How do you really feel?
Honestly – that it cuts out all the wordy bullsh**.