The NCLEX exam is one that all nurses cannot avoid if they intend to be licensed and work in the USA.
As a foreign trained nurse, I wished the Board of Nursing would just look at my experience and tell me it’s OK to practice as an RN.
Unfortunately, it does not work that way. I had to prepare and take the NCLEX.
Thinking about the NCLEX exam made me feel very anxious and nervous.
However I visualized myself having passed the exam and working as a Registered Nurse.
I made positive friends who were willing to give me study tips so that I could succeed.
I started studying by doing test questions from the books. After a while, I felt that doing questions from the CD’s was faster and this helped increase my speed.
When English is a second language, it comes with its own challenges.
The phrasing of the questions was different. I thought I understood the questions but I didn’t.
I solved this problem by doing many NCLEX practice questions. I gave myself a goal of doing 300 questions every week. Sometimes I would not meet the goal, but would be close.
My study partner was from a Spanish-speaking background and really struggling with English. She enrolled in a community college that helped improve her English grammar and vocabulary.
Another advantage of doing several questions was that it increased my speed in answering them. There is no luxury of time when taking the NCLEX exam. You have to read the question quickly and answer accordingly.
Taking tutorials is a good way for foreign trained nurses to prepare for the NCLEX.
Tutorials boosted my confidence in knowing that all the material I had learned in my country was not much different from what nurses learn in the USA. My tutor identified my weaknesses and made me focus on those.
During the exam, one of the things that I cannot over emphasize to foreign trained nurses is to read the question twice and the options twice.
Do not be so slow that you run out of time and miss out on some questions.
However, do not be intimidated by the speed at which some students finish or do the 75 questions.
For more information about settling down into a new culture, get a copy of The Foreign Nurses Guide.
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