7 THINGS INTERNATIONAL NURSES SHOULD REMEMBER WHILE PREPARING FOR THE NCLEX – RN
September 25, 2020
Completing your education as a nurse is one of the best accomplishments. Nursing students work hard to prove their competency in the classroom and the clinical settings. They stand on the verge of beginning their career in nursing in Canada, but there is just one step left to cross before officially becoming a registered nurse and that step is called the NCLEX-RN exam.
Successfully passing the NCLEX – RN exam is a significant part of nursing requirements in Canada and the last milestone that stands between you and a registered nurse license. To earn licensure as a Registered Nurse, the nursing school graduates are supposed to pass the NCLEX-RN exam. It is basically a standardized, computer-based test that is offered all year round in the US and Canada. The state in which the nursing candidate chooses to sit for the test determines which nursing board issues the first active RN license on passing.
The preparation for the NCLEX- RN exam brings with it a need to research extensively, taking advice from mentors and students, and preparing to put your best foot forward. Many nurses are stressed about passing the NCLEX – RN exam. The nervousness that nursing students feel can be overwhelming, but at the same time, it is important to remember that you have been preparing for this exam for a long time, and now is the time to go out there and shine.
With the right preparation, passing the NCLEX – RN exam is possible. However, there is no doubt in the fact that the test should be taken seriously. Passing the NCLEX exam depends on a planned and comprehensive preparation of two to three months. It is advisable for all nursing graduates to put in the effort for making their time and money worthwhile by successfully passing their exams in the first attempt
To make things easier for nursing courses graduates who want to gain an RN license, here we will mention 7 things international nurses should remember while preparing for NCLEX.
1. BE AWARE OF THE FORMAT:
The NCLEX exam comes in a computerized adaptive testing format. This means that at the time when the exam is going on, the computer produces algorithms of new questions based on the performance of previously attempted questions. The test bank is rather comprehensive and includes many different questions and topics.
There is a minimum of 75 questions in all, and a maximum of 265 questions. A candidate passes the test when enough number of questions have been answered correctly to stay above the pass line. However, the candidate fails the test when they do not arise above the pass line.
Essentially, everything above the pass line counts as passing the exam and anything below that line counts as not passing the exam. You start exactly on the line with question zero, and with every correct answer, you get closer to the pass line and vice versa. As the candidate keeps giving correct answers, the difficulty level keeps increasing in order to test the maximum level of knowledge that you have.
In order to pass the test, the candidate must rise to a point above the pass line so that the aptitude and intelligence can be proven with no doubt. The test can end at any point when this determination is made. This means that the test can end anywhere from 75th to 265th question with a maximum time allowance of as much as 6 hours.
Additionally, it is not useful to self-evaluate when you give the test. The key is to focus on going forward with one question at a time. What might seem easy to one person can be challenging for someone else. Passing NCLEX is an important nursing requirement in Canada. So, all questions must be given a fair amount of attention.
2. BEING CLEAR ABOUT STUDYING STYLE:
All of us have different studying styles and when it comes to passing the NCLEX exam, all nursing candidates must be clear about their style. In case you understand the concepts well with a visual representation of information it makes sense for you to learn by drawing out things.
However, in case you are an auditory learner, there can be plenty of lectures on the internet that teach the nursing candidates the right ways to prepare for NCLEX. On the other hand, if you learn best through discussions then create a study group where you can talk about concepts and memorize them.
As one of the general rules, using videos and discussion portals helps many students to understand the difficult concepts better. In addition to making notes of concepts, try and connect the concepts. Think about what you are learning from a holistic approach and connect it to a clinical experience for the best results.
3. STRESS MANAGEMENT:
For all the nervous test-takers out there who have just completed their nursing courses, there is nothing to worry about. In fact, there are many ways to manage your stress. Although anxiety is a real thing, it is important to remember that you have made it through nursing school successfully, so you must continue to prepare in all ways that work out best for you.
Additionally, there might be a chance that you end up being nervous just from the pressure of such an important test even if you aren’t anxious about the test. To deal with that anxiety, there are some ways of keeping the stress at bay. Most importantly, prepare for the exam seriously but don’t make studying your life. It is necessary to maintain a balance during the weeks and months that lead up to the exam.
Remember to exercise, sleep, and do everything that keeps your head lighter. When you will keep a balance, your mind won’t build up tension for making the exam anything more than it actually is.
4. MAKE A DETAILED STUDY PLAN:
You must commit to the preparation that the test deserves. Start studying with a plan and you shall succeed. Make a timetable that sets a schedule of the days during which you will study, take the day off, and when you will take practice exams.NCLEX is an important part of becoming a registered nurse and studying without a specific plan is only going to waste your time.
It is not about the number of hours you put in, but it is about using those hours in the most productive manner. NCLEX is not an exam that you can pass by cramming things. It is rather a holistic test that is taken to test the knowledge of candidates who have recently completed the nursing courses or the ones who have been practicing for some time.
5. PRACTICE QUESTIONS:
The practice questions are entirely the best and one of the most significant parts to prepare for the NCLEX exam. However, just simply taking the practice questions will not be enough.
Along with practicing them, it is also necessary to look up these questions and see if you have answered any of them incorrectly. The practice questions offer explanations on why the answers are right or wrong along with outlining the particular content topic under which the questions fall.
Make a note of all the concepts you want to revisit so that you can focus on all the important problem areas with the next study sessions. Besides this, the key is to practice as much as possible so you can get used to the computer testing experience. Revise as much of the question bank as possible before the exam so that you can go miles ahead.
6. TEST-TAKING SKILLS:
The NCLEX exam tests the nursing knowledge extensively. The candidates should implement the test-taking strategies to eliminate the wrong answers and avoid any extremes such as ALL or NONE answers while putting patient safety first.
With increasing practice, the candidate will begin to notice a pattern in the answers. It is important to notice a pattern in the answers so that the test can be completed efficiently. Additionally, using deductive reasoning even if you have no idea about the concepts is highly advisable.
Once you adapt to the recommended test-taking skills, you will have no doubt encountering and answering the difficult questions as well. Use a similar systematic approach to eliminate all answers based on knowledge and words of answers.
7. RELAX THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR EXAM:
You must use the morning before the exam to relax your mind and avoid studying. Instead, you can focus on meditating, exercising, running, etc. Focus on maintaining a positive thought flow and do not allow your mind to wander into any kind of fear.
All these things must be remembered while preparing for the NCLEX exam. These tips can enable nursing candidates to do very well in their exams. When the nursing students have made it far in their journey that they feel ready to gain a license, NCLEX is just another step to complete.
It is important to take your mind off the stress every now and then by giving some thought to your life after NCLEX. It is good to keep your goals in mind while working towards them. Imagine the kind of nursing job you would want to work for, picture nice scrubs, and the colleagues that you will be working with.
Try to think about how good your life of nursing in Canada will be and go ahead with confidence so you can make the best out of the NCLEX exam and come out with shining colors.