On a sunny Wednesday in June three years ago I graduated from Midred Elley School for Nursing in Manhattan New York. As I sat very proudly in my black graduation cap and gown listening to the commencement speaker doing his best to inspire my fellow graduates, the thought came to me to start looking for a good review class to help me pass the difficult NCLEX exam. At the age of 48 years I did not need someone to tell me that I can make the world a better place, that the possibility for greatness exists within me, that I can yet achieve my dream of becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse.
It was by mere coincidence that on my way home from the graduation I picked up a Caribbean newspaper and saw the advertisement, Feuer Nursing Review with Live Lectures, that was to be held at the Holiday Inn in Manhattan starting Saturday and finishing on Tuesday. I immediately put all plans in place to be a part of the upcoming review.
First I called to reserved my seat, then I change my nursing assistant schedule from day shift to night to facilitate my attendance to the review class. I decided to research what students had to say about the Feuer Nursing Review, and their comments were more than positive. To remain alert with my nursing skills I started reviewing some class material in a very systematic way so that I could establish good study habits. My notes were taken in a very orderly manner so that I did not miss any important details. I used a highlighter to highlight important concepts.
I was one of the first one hundred students that arrived at the hotel conference room very early. The morning review started on time with the presenters giving all the nursing knowledge that they could impart. They emphasized the need to highlight important details as one of the most effective ways to understand the material that was being presented. The sections include vivid lectures of cultural diversity, pharmacology, nursing process, client needs, infection control, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, reduction of risk potential and physiological adaptation. A computer disk with 200 NCLEX questions with rationalizations was very helpful. I was so happy with the order in which the material was presented that I used it as the model to start my intensive preparation for the NCLEX exam. My daily routine would start with revising two hours of course contents from the Feuer Nursing Review books. At least one hundred questions should be completed in a timed manner and the answers and rational to the NCLEX type question should be scrutinized very intensely. The compact disk associated with each chapter would be played both in my car and at my home religiously As a result of this ritual my family was able to repeat most of the contents word for word. Unfortunately, they found the material on psychiatry very amusing and would name some of their friends, past and present, who displayed many of the recorded behaviors. The dosage calculation book content could be easily understood. The presenters started with some of the basic problems and gradually transition into more difficult ones. No one leaving the review could have asked for anything more. All the tools were given to the attendees to go home and do some intense preparation both RN and LPN alike.
The most common barrier to success encountered by NCLEX student is a lack of effective techniques for study and exam preparation. I have practiced most of these study skills and they have helped me tremendously. Firstly, try to take good notes. Your notes should contain as complete a record of what the presenters said as possible. Try not to write every word spoken, but do not leave out important details. When you study, your notes should call back to your mind the entire sequence and details presented. Take care to spell all the new words correctly. Most details that the presenters write on the board should appear in your notes bearing in mind that if they took the time to write it out, you should consider it important and do the same. Try your utmost best to review your notes every day. Unfortunately, most of us never really believe it until we actually try it. Spend two hours each evening and two hours each morning going over the material from the presenters. There are two tremendous benefits to be gained from this discipline. Studies have shown that reviewing new material within 24 hours of hearing it increases your retention of that material by about 60%. This means that you will be 60% ahead of the game the next time you are ready to study. If you want to significantly reduce the length of time necessary to prepare for the NCLEX exam this is the way to do it.
In addition to these solid tips a student sitting the NCLEX should not get overly anxious and worry excessively. This would become a major hindrance to test performance and cause memory lapses. Being well prepared for the NCLEX test is the best way to reduce test taking anxiety. Firstly, space out your studying over a few weeks, continuously reviewing the material that you were given at the review. It is of utmost importance that you maintain a very positive attitude while you are preparing for the test. It is incumbent that you have a good nights sleep before the day of the NCLEX exam. Doing so will help you recall and concentrate much better. If you begin to get nervous take a few deep breaths slowly to relax yourself and then get started on your examination remembering that the quicker you start the earlier you will finish. Read the questions quickly and carefully, you are working with time and you do not want to spend too much on one question. Focus on the question at hand and do not let your mind wander on other unnecessary things. Do not worry about other people leaving the room just concentrate on your own NCLEX examination.