Preparing For The LPN & RN NCLEX Exam
The NCSBN-PN and NCSBN-RN exams (PDF) vary in subtle ways. The most notable differences include categorical questions, such as client care responsibility, blood administration and central line care. Registered Nurses have furthered their training to dictate responsibilities concerning coordination and management, initiating IVs and medication, blood transfusions, and central line care, while an LPN has limited freedom to perform those duties. The RN exam ranges between 75 and 265 questions, while the LPN exam ranges between 85 and 205.
Taking the Exam
The test-taker must answer the questions as they appear on the screen, giving no room to skip ahead or return to a previously unanswered question. Test-takers (PDF) should read each question carefully before selecting the appropriate response. RN program candidates are allowed 6 hours to take the exam, whereas LPN program candidates are limited to a maximum of 5 hours. The NCLEX consists of test questions covering cognitive recall, comprehension, application and analysis. The majority of the questions test each candidate's application and analysis capabilities. In fact, the NCLEX exam incorporates the five fundamental stages of the nursing process, including assessing, analyzing, planning, implementing, and evaluating patient situations.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing determines the percentage of categorical questions and largely depends on the results of a graduate survey conducted by the council every three years. The categorical percentages change in accordance with 130 activity statements. The NCSBN's test format (computerized adaptive testing) generates questions based on the test-takers previous answers to pose less of a challenge for struggling test-takers. The computer analyzes the candidate's knowledge of the subject to determine the next question. In fact, a passing grade is determined by the amount of difficult questions the candidate answered correctly. Moreover, the computer will stop asking questions when the test-taker answers a certain amount of difficult questions correctly. The candidate must remain above the passing standard on the last 60 questions answered. Test-takers can schedule the NCSBN exam at the time most convenient for them. Candidates usually receive test results within 7 days and can then begin their nursing career.
Preparing for the NCSBN-PN and NCSBN-RN Exams
The NCLEX is a manageable exam for candidates who thoroughly prepare for test day. Candidates should study until fully comprehending each topic, instead of memorizing and regurgitating questions and patterns. Since the computer engine presents the candidate with a series of questions based on the level of performance, candidates should carefully read and answer each question based on their nursing education. Try to practice patient-based clinical situations and condense the information into a question format. Timing is everything with the NCSBN exams. Do not spend a lot of time on only one question. The faster a candidate answers the questions correctly, the more stress it will relieve while sitting through the process. Try to answer each question in less than one minute while taking NCSBN practice tests. Use NSCBN flash cards for patient situations and terminology recall. Most of all remain calm and breathe while answering each question. It's important to use critical thinking skills while answering questions in each topic, instead of a straight question and answer pattern. The candidates that expose themselves to this kind of exercise will improve their answering speed. NCLEX combines analytical and application-related questions to test the candidate clinical knowledge of each patient situation. For this reason, it is recommended that each candidate volunteers in a clinical environment to thoroughly comprehend the subject matter.
Candidates should immerse themselves in the textbook material, despite the simulated structure of the NCLEX. The textbook prepares students for the NCLEX exam. Likewise, each instructor covers the same patient situations presented on the exam. It's a good idea to review previous coursework and lecture notes for any potential information that may be on the exam. Try to get an older copy of the NCLEX exam with all the necessary materials to fully comprehend it. Make sure it's an authentic test and resembles information applicable to the current version. Form study groups geared towards understanding the course material. Avoid getting sidetracked in social activities. Envision working in a patient-based scenario and work at a steady pace. Motivate yourself based on the future personal and financial rewards that will come as a result of obtaining a nursing license.
Preparing for Test Day
Candidates may encounter test anxiety during the day of the exam; however, there are ways to minimize this effect if you have taken the necessary steps to really understand the course material before sitting down at the computer. For instance, simply knowing the exact location of the testing site will help curtail any unnecessary stress before arriving at the testing center. Traffic unpredictability or unawareness to where the testing site is located will force the candidate to forfeit the exam and money. Candidates will need to reschedule and pay again. Don't forget important information, such as a form of identification before leaving the house. Without the proper identification, candidates automatically forfeit the exam and all applicable fees. Candidates will need to present a form of identification in order to get photographed and fingerprinted prior to entering the testing center.
Eat a high-protein meal before taking the exam. Statistically, test-takers who have eaten a meal high in b-vitamins have commented on the clarity of thought during stressful peaks. Breathe in slowly to stimulate oxygen to the brain. Remember to pace yourself through the exam, making sure not to rush or spend too much time on any one question. Stand up and walk around if permitted to stimulate blood flow to the brain and throughout the body. Stretch to relieve cramping and muscle tension. Lastly, dress in layers to predict against the testing sites cold or warm temperature. Nobody wants to shiver while taking one of the most important exams of their nursing career. Remain calm and don't overstress yourself if the test questions catch you off-guard. Keep in mind that even if you don't pass the first time, there's always the chance to re-take the exam and then start one of many nurse jobs.
Online Nursing School Study Guide
Nursing school can provide valuable tools for entering into the nursing and health care industry. There are many topics that are covered during these courses that prepare a person to take the licensing exams required to become a nurse. The ultimate purpose in nursing school, besides providing training, is to prepare the student for the license and certification exams for entry into a nursing career. This will help students ultimately apply for nurse jobs. The following topics and study guide will help prepare a nursing student with additional resources for taking a nursing license exam that will provide entrance into the nursing field.