As you undergo schooling and engulf yourself in the intense training required to become a Registered Nurse, you may think the hard part is over upon graduation. While your training program lays the foundation of your future career, the real work has yet to begin. In order to become a licensed Registered Nurse, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
This intense exam tests your working theoretical and practical knowledge. While designed to dive into your actual understanding of this essential nursing position, even the most talented and adept RNs found this exam to be among the most challenging steps in realizing their dream of becoming a working nurse.
If you’re searching for a few no-nonsense tips designed to boost your overall efficiency and test taking skills, then continue reading. While these are only a handful of tips and advice, use them to build your confidence. With determination, and a whole lot of hard work, you can experience the thrill of passing the NCLEX-RN exam in one try.
NCLEX-RN Exam Strategies for Success
The NCLEX-RN exam is designed to test your entire scope of knowledge. This is done through a series of multiple-choice, written and practical exam questions. While there are a multitude of questions you’ll come across, the following response strategy tips are applicable for most:
- Imagine the most ideal situation. This is one of the most difficult requirements for many test takers, as we all know that life isn’t ideal. However, the world in which the exam takes place is, essentially, an ideal environment. Therefore, when answering a question, think about how you would respond in an ideal environment. This will likely be the correct answer.
- Least invasive route always comes first. As a general rule, even if a more invasive procedure seems as if it’s the best option, always opt to go for the most appropriate least invasive procedure before moving into an invasive option.
- Always prioritize your questions. This means, if you aren’t sure about a question, or you know you’ll require more time than other questions, skip the more difficult questions. After you’ve completed the “easier” questions, you can then return to the ones that require far more time and in-depth thinking. This is a form of time management, which will also come in handy when you’re working in a hospital or clinical unit.
- Understand whether the question is asking you to provide an intervention or an assessment. As you may be familiar, assessments are used to observe a patient while interventions are specific procedural actions.k Always determine whether your appropriate response would be to perform an assessment or immediately jump into an intervention. These questions are tricky and many new test takers find them the most difficult.
- Understand how you should never answer a question. For example, your responses should never be leaving a patient, passing responsibilities to other coworkers, using restraints as a first measure or delaying necessary treatment. As always, your responses must be patient-first and follow standard protocol you learned in school.