As with any other licensed medical career, to become a LPN you must not only complete an accredited training program, but take and pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing examination. Known as the NCLEX-PN Exam, this timed multiple-choice examination is a requirement throughout the United States to begin working as an LPN.
Working as a Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN, is a rewarding experience for those who enjoy diving into the varied tasks and unpredictable nature of medical clinics. In essence, an LPN is a step above a Certified Nursing Assistant and a step below being a Registered Nurse. This dynamic career works directly underneath physicians and Registered Nurses to provide a complete patient care.
While a portion of your schooling will prepare you for this exam, there are several tips you can follow to help boost your chances of successfully passing this essential step toward becoming an LPN.
NCLEX-PN Tip #1 | Prepare
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is signing up to take the exam before you’re ready. Just because you’ve completed schooling doesn’t mean you’re ready to tackle the intense subjects covered in this exam. The most common reason why aspiring LPNs are unsuccessful on their first try is because they are inadequately prepared. To ensure you are among the few who pass the test on their first try, spend at least six months actively preparing.
Some tips for this include performing practice examinations, speaking with LPNs who passed the exam, and utilizing the study schedule provided by the NCSBN LPN Test Plan, which is available online as well as from your state’s nursing board.
NCLEX-PN Tip #2 | Join a Study Group
Whether it’s a group of friends from school, or a meeting provided by your state licensing board, study groups are an excellent way to learn necessary materials, and also receive objective viewpoints regarding the theoretical aspect of this examination. Make sure that the group you join attended the same level of schooling as you and is guided by an official NCSBN study guide.
NCLEX-PN Tip #3 | Focus on Refining Exam Skills
While you may fully understand the concepts covered in the NCLEX-PN Exam, if you aren’t capable of successfully taking an exam then you may find yourself with a failing grade. An unfortunate truth for many test takers is they aren’t skilled at taking a multiple-choice and written examination. This is a major issue that plagues multiple individuals, including students across the United States. Therefore, you should spend adequate time studying how to appropriately prepare and take an examination.
NCLEX-PN Tip #4 | During the Exam
When you’re actually taking the NCLEX-PN Exam, call upon the tricks and skills learned throughout the previous six months. Since the examination is timed, you can’t spend a huge amount of time on a single question. Therefore, read through each question and if you aren’t able to quickly recall the information, skip the question. However, make sure that you make note of which questions you skipped so you can go back after you’ve successfully answered the easier portions of the exam.