I slept until 11:00
today. I know for my younger brothers this is considered "waking up
early" but when you are used to getting up at 5:20 every morning, sleeping
past 9 is really exciting (and a little guilt-producing). But you know what?
I’m allowed to sleep in this late because I have nothing to study for!!! It
is the weirdest feeling to sit here and not have anything hanging over my head.
I absolutely love it!
The last week has been very intense. Going into the NCLEX without the two weeks
of solid cramming I was planning on was intimidating. I got lost on the way to Fort
Worth for my exam, but I left two hours early and
still made it there with plenty of time. Once there, I felt like a criminal. I
had my profile picture taken and I was repeatedly fingerprinted. While I
understand that these things are necessary, they do not help with test-taking
anxiety! I’m sure some of you already know this, but how well you are doing on
the NCLEX determines how many questions you get. There is a complicated formula
that explains all of this, but I’ll give you a basic explanation. You can get
anywhere from 75-265 questions on the exam. If you are acing the exam or
failing miserably, the computer will shut the exam off at 75 questions because
you have already proven your competence or lack thereof. If at 75 questions the
computer hasn’t determined where you stand, it keeps asking questions until it
can decide whether you have passed or failed. (If you want to read about this,
click here). While taking the
exam, I quickly realized that I did not know anything. There were only two
questions that allowed me to think, "I know this!" All of the others
were guesses (although many were narrowed down to two options). Around question
40, I determined that I had failed the test. I kept on going, trying my
best to focus on the questions and to stop thinking about how I was going to
break the news to everyone that I had failed. When I got to question 74, I
started shaking. I hit "next" and it brought up question 75. Now I
was really shaking. I could barely concentrate on the question – all I wanted to do was hit "next" and have the test shut
off. I’ve heard that the screen just goes black when the test is done, so I was
praying for a black screen. Suddenly, my vision started going fuzzy black
around the edges. This is not what I had in mind when I was praying to see
black!! Maybe I shouldn’t have taken all those meds before coming to the
testing center!! Thankfully, I didn’t faint, but when I hit "next", I
didn’t see a black screen. Nothing happened. The background was blue and a
little box came up that said, "Loading next item." NOOO!!!! It’s
bringing me to the next portion of the test. I had not proven myself and I was close to
failing, I just knew it. But then a survey popped up on the screen. I was done.
For about two seconds I was relieved and I allowed myself to start breathing
again. But then it hit me. I only knew two answers! It shut off at 75 questions
because I FAILED MISERABLY!!! I began debating whether or not I should tell
people I had the full 265 questions so that when I tell them that I failed, it
would at least look like I gave it a good fight. I answered the stupid survey
questions (which is an evil thing to make someone do after they have failed an
exam), stood up on my wobbly legs, and left. The next two days of my life were
miserable. I have been told by several people that the TX Board of Nursing
updates their website every Wednesday night, so if I passed the boards on
Tuesday, my license number should appear on the website by late Wednesday
night. I obsessively searched for my name every fifteen minutes on Wednesday. I
did not get much sleep- I’d wake up and run out to the computer, only to see “no
results” when I would enter my name. When my name was still not up by Thursday
morning, I knew for sure that I had failed. I went to work heartbroken, hoping
that no one would ask me about the exam. Unfortunately, that did not happen. Everyone
wanted to know how many questions I was given. I decided to tell the truth and
just resign when I got the official results back. I went to one of my
internship classes and checked my cell phone around 8am, and I had a message from my dad. “Congratulations, on
passing!” was the first and only thing I heard before I almost dropped the
phone. I ran to a computer lab and looked at the website- there was a license
number next to my name. I actually passed. After all I have been through, I was
finally done. I suddenly had confidence, which I have been lacking for way too
long. Now all I have to do is learn some clinical skills, and I’ll truly feel like
a Registered Nurse! But don’t worry, I have a great teacher and I know I’ll be
there in no time.

If you found this posting while searching for:  failed the NCLEX with ___ # of questions, please click here: NCLEX Survey


25 thoughts on “The NCLEX

  1. Oh, God!! I remember that MISERY!!!! The torture of going to work and home certain you had failed and let everyone down!! I had plans to go to truck driving school!!!! lol  I\’m glad you didn\’t pass out!! I know two days can feel like an eternity, but it\’s better than it used to be!!! I\’m still soooo proud of you!! I knew you\’d be ok…

  2. Congratulations Katie!  That is so exciting and wonderful.  I\’ll bet you feel like you\’ve had a ton of bricks lifted off your shoulder!  I love reading your blog.  I recognize a lot of the feelings and emotions that you felt during your schooling because I have been experiencing them myself.  You give me a lot of inspiration to keep on going no matter what and not to give up.  Thanks Katie!

  3. Congratulations Katie!!! I\’m so proud of you.  Your blog is the reason why I decided to take the leap and go to nursing school.  You would be surprised at how many former psych students want to be nurses now.  I just wanted to say congrats and a job well done.

  4. Katie,
     Congratulations!! I am planning to take my NCLEX end of January or beginning of February. Every thin I think about taking NCLEX, I am about to have a panic attack…. but it is a great encouragement to hear a wonderful news!
     Enjoy non-studying days, and be proud to be an RN!  

  5. I remember how awful I felt leaving my NCLEX exam too.  My girlfriend and I took it in the morning and we had planned to spend the rest of the day shopping to celebrate.  When the test was over, I was sick, sick, sick.  I just wanted to go home and sob.  We didn\’t shop, eat, or do anything fun.  We drove home in complete silence.
    It was torture and I sympathize with all of the feelings you had after you took yours. 
    Thank God we will never have to take it again!!!!

  6. congrats katie!!! i remember that surreal feeling of really being done!  my state doesn\’t have rapid results so it was more like a week before i knew for sure, i went to work and could barely get out the words to tell my clinical manager. " i passed"  then a nurse who still drives me crazy to this day said she couldn\’t wait to hear me say why did i want to be a which i said, i\’m sure i\’ll have days like that but can i have my moment? so she apologized! it can be tough, but it really matters and when you  go to bed you know you made a difference, even on the bad nights!

  7. That is INCREDIBLY SCARY!!  Now instead of waking up in the middle of the night obsessing about your score, you\’ll be waking up obsessing about "that one" patient who needs you.  🙂  Or… if this hasn\’t happened already, dreaming about treating a patient in your sleep… 

  8. I will not say anything..I will however..SCREAM, DANCE, JUMP FOR JOY, CRY HAPPILY or anything else you can think of except for run naked through the streets!!

  9. I\’m sooo happy again that you passed Katie…. omg that sounds like a horrifying experience. The way you tell it though I swear it happened to me. So if you happen to hear one day a story being told about lee and her test and it sounds exactly like yours, it is yours and it was told in such detail that it became mine. I\’m not a certified nut job but I should start my own school. yes I\’m losing it but it seems faster than usual lately.
    Okay I\’m kidding… hahahaha I am silly like that. enjoy the humour! :o)

  10. Accomplishment is such a reward when it happens.  Like I\’ve said before, you are a true inspiration to the many of us who are going for the same thing.  Congrats!!!  Thank you also for the tip on Typer Shark.  I\’m going there next to check it out. 

  11. Congrats Katie!  My name is Eric, and I am a student nurse in the Northwest.  Our class is about to graduate in Dec, and my NCLEX looms on the horizon.  I look forward to that moment…  but until then, I\’m enjoying what little precious time I have left with my classmates.  Keep up the great work!  Sincerely, Eric (

  12. what a major roller coaster ride that was for you!  You must feel beyond over joyed that its all over with.  Piece of cake, right? Ha!

  13. Woohoo!!! I am so happy for you!  I know all about test anxiety and praying that you passed or got the mark you wanted.   I look forward to hearing about your nursing tales!

  14. I am a programmer and had to take a computer test for one company – I also thought I was an idiot when I was done, and found I had done very well.  It was nothiing like what you describe, but it does kind of get your adrenalin going nonetheless.  My first thought is Congratulations.  then my second thought was maybe you DID only get 2 right and the next nurse that comes at me with something sharp might not have had to get more than two questions out of 75, and how to do this particular procedure might not have been one of the two…

  15. Congratulations! I’m a psychologist and empathized with my son as he prepared to pass both the HESI and the NCLEX exams with what seemed to be very little preparation time in between. As a psychologist I clearly saw that the test preparation phase (TestPrep) was clearly different from the “sitting for the test” phase (TestReady). I became concerned for all of those students who really didn’t know how strong their test preparation and their test readiness comptencies really were. Therefore I created a free TestPrep profile survey with my son that actually helps to map these comptetencies. If you would like to complete this free research survey and get your own profile, then simply participate in our ongoing research project and complete the survey that can be accessed at the link below. Good luck to all high-stakes test takers. They deserve it!

  16. I just took my PN NCLEX yesterday with the maximum number 205 questions. Have you passed with the maximum number? How long did it take for you to receive your results. I am a nervous wreck right now waiting on my results.

  17. OMG! I took the RN NCLEX yesterday! I AM A NERVOUS WRECKKKKKK! I failed the first time..ANXIETY! I Could not remember anything about the test only that I has 100 questions and the word toxoplasmosis..LOL! Well yesterday I had 265 questions and I felt really good this time! Cross your fingers everyone ❤

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