Originally, I thought to myself, “I am going to take the NCLEX as soon as possible!” I had the temptations of summer on my mind and imagined that if I completed the NCLEX-PN exam that I would be free to the explorations of summer. However, as it would turn out I took the exam in the beginning of August –a little over two months from my graduation from Saint Paul Community College.
I decided to continue my studies with leisure time. After, spending a dedicated and determined amount of time in college for nursing I choose to allow myself time to indulge in the arts. I signed up for dance classes. I spent time loving myself by doing something else I was passionate about. I actively participated in a dancing program for a month and had a performance showcasing what I had learned.
Soon after my dance performance I choose to select a date to take the NCLEX. I gave myself a month to study knowing that I’d be working full time and at least one weekend taken over for travel. I primarily used ATI online for studying. However, I did purchase or was given a Sanders and Kaplan book to study from. I found Kaplan readily introduced me to how to read questions and how to choose potential answers. However, I believe it is true that regardless of what you choose to study from you must choose what works for you. I did not scramble between book and book. I enjoyed ATI alongside referencing my Med Surg book from school to look up topics I had answered wrong.
As for studying, the length and time I gave myself varied. Weekends were prime. Weekdays I attempted at least 20 minutes for review or answering questions. There were days that I just couldn’t study and others I was able to spend the whole day studying. Regardless, of how many hours you are able to dedicate to studying, at the end of the day it is about your effort and being kind to yourself. Take breaks, breathe, and remember that regardless of your results from NCLEX, life goes on and you can always try again.