Some Misconceptions About NCLEX Exam Preparation: By Joy Seymour, MSN, RN, PHN

 

Preparing for the NCLEX examination is essential to becoming a licensed nurse. There is no easy way to passing the NCLEX examination. One must prepare for the NCLEX examination: A student must know nursing content and NCLEX strategies to be successful in the NCLEX examination. There is no getting away from studying nursing content and concepts, practicing NCLEX type questions, applying critical thinking and nursing judgment, and using NCLEX strategies to help select the correct answers.  Despite the many literatures that are available about NCLEX preparation, there are still some misconceptions about NCLEX preparation. The misconceptions include studying for NCLEX after graduating nursing school and believing that the core courses in the nursing program are sufficient to help students pass the NCLEX examination.

Some students will wait until they graduate from nursing schools before they spend any quality time preparing for the NCLEX examination. These students believe that they should focus only on the core courses in nursing school so that they can graduate from nursing school. When these students graduate and decide to start studying for the NCLEX examination, they are likely to feel overwhelm with the large content areas that they need to focus on, even though they had studied some of the content areas in nursing school.

Studying only the core courses in the nursing program is not usually sufficient to help prepare students to pass the NCLEX examination. Studying for the NCLEX examination should include commitment to following the study plan that was formulated and utilizing the NCLEX resources that are available: Nursing schools usually have students use an NCLEX product to help them prepare for the NCLEX examination. Students should maximize the use of the NCLEX product. Based on research studies some of these NCLEX products are found to be very helpful in preparing students to successfully pass the NCLEX examination on the first attempt.

Some students will use less than 25 percent of an NCLEX product and report that the product is not helping them to be successful on the NCLEX examination. These students will then purchase another product that is new on the market and use it up to 100 percent and then report that the previous product that they used is not as good as the new product.  I believe that if students will use the NCLEX products, that are offered by their nursing schools, to the best of their abilities, they would be more likely to be successful in passing the NCLEX examination on the first attempt.

The best time to prepare for the NCLEX examination is from the first semester of nursing school. Setting aside time in the study plan to practice NCLEX type questions and strategies will help students to perform better on course examinations during nursing school and on the NCLEX examination after graduation. If students formulate a plan to complete at least one NCLEX assessment or module each week in the first semester of nursing school, they would be more likely to be successful in nursing school and on the NCLEX examination. It is also, imperative to plan remediation to improve identified weak areas.

Preparation for the NCLEX examination should be done throughout each semester of nursing school, so that students are prepared to sit the examination after graduation. Research studies have shown that students who take the NCLEX examination early after graduation are more likely to pass the exam on their first attempt.

The NCLEX examination is not easy; however, with adequate and appropriate preparation students can pass this examination on the first attempt.

 

 

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