Any career in healthcare can be both financially and morally rewarding. Most entry level positions also have a great deal of advancement opportunities built into them. No matter what direction you choose to go, healthcare careers require a great deal of classroom, lab and practical application education before a student will be eligible to sit for a credentialing examination.
For nursing students, the culmination of years of study comes down to passing the NCLEX, National Council Licensure Examination, administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. In order to properly study for the NCLEX examination, most nursing students use study groups they have established throughout their years of education while others may find internet study groups helpful.
No matter which direction students take, NCLEX test prep is not complete without sample tests and sample test questions. Most questions for the examination are multiple choices, and will challenge nursing students on practical application, knowledge, and ability to adapt knowledge to situations and analysis. In recent years, questions have been added that require students to arrange procedures into step order, mathematical equations, identifying anatomy as well as choosing multiple correct solutions to questions.
For nursing students on the cusp of being ready to sit for the examination, procrastination can be a huge detriment. NCLEX test prep is a process that begins as early at three months prior to the examination date. The process involves:
•Preparing study materials based on the Registered Nurse Predictor test that will highlight weak points, which need work.
•Prepare practice tests that will simulate questions that will be on the NCLEX.
•Find a study group to help you through the hours of study.
Working in a study group may not be for everyone, but NCLEX test prep can be more thorough when working with others. Nursing students will not be relying just on their own search and material for sample questions. When others are contributing, more time can be spent taking sample tests that individuals have researched for the group. Group studying will also offer the opportunity to discuss and compare reasoning for answering questions a certain way to promote better understanding of the material.
Optimizing your study group will assure that all areas of the NCLEX examination are covered. Begin by assigning sections to each member with instructions to collect sample questions on the assigned sections. Assign one member to research complete sample tests for mock testing situations as well.
There are resources available from schools to state and national governing bodies to numerous independent internet sites that offer sample questions and study material to help study for the NCLEX. The NCLEX is delivered through a computer at official sites across the country. Most sample questions are set up as tests on the internet or can be placed in the form of a complete test that can be administered by your study group to simulate actual examination conditions.
As the NCLEX examination date approaches, study for the NCLEX switches gears from reviewing material to retesting with earlier tests to evaluate progress and highlight areas of study that still need additional work. Not only does retesting with earlier practice tests indicate areas that need improvement, but results will show areas where improvement has been made. This adds confidence and assurance that your style of preparation is paying dividends.
While putting in additional time from an already taxed and busy schedule, nursing students can become overwhelmed. It is important for students to remember to take care of themselves as the test date approaches. Proper activity, diet, and sleep will allow the body to function well and keep additional stress in check. Following some simple study guidelines and working in study groups to give and receive feedback during NCLEX test prep may give nursing students the advantage they need to pass the examination and start a rewarding career in healthcare.