Winston-Salem, North Carolina- My nursing program is coming to a swift close. It seems like everything is due and every test taken. I still have half of my preceptorship to go, but that is quite an enjoyable experience versus sitting in the classroom for hours on end learning about the “NCLEX hospital.” For background purposes, the “NCLEX hospital” is a magical place in which everything is perfect and there are few variables. The NCLEX stands for the National Counsel Licensure Examination, or simply the state boards. This test is what keeps a nursing school graduate from becoming a registered nurse. By taking this test, you are recorded on the State Board of Nursing Registry as a safe and competent nurse who is able to practice in the state, respectively. Thus, a large portion, if not all of nursing school is spent preparing for this test.
In class, we answer questions based on working in the “NCLEX hospital” which refers to the correct answer on the the state boards. This is opposed to working a scenario in real hospitals that require more critical thinking and a variety of techniques based on a tremendous amount of patient information. In nursing school we go by the “NCLEX hospital” to make things more black and white. We also go by this because the state test we are taking may not be based on the most current evidence based practice of the year. Not that the “NCLEX hospital” is not a great example of what to do while practicing nursing, it is just that once a clinical experience starts, a student may see somethings done differently or the classic exceptions to the rule. We are taught which decision to make under certain circumstances, meanwhile in a real hospital setting we may choose one intervention over another based on different factors such as hospital policy, psychosocial assessments, family history or data to long to place in a four sentence multiple choice question.
So with that, today I took an NCLEX predictor test. This test predicts, yes ladies and gentlemen, how you will perform on the state boards. I am happy to say that I received the highest possible percentage of 98% pass prediction. This gives me confidence and lowers my anxiety about taking the big test. I will still take a moment to study, but at least it gives me some peace of mind that I am not blindly navigating this new career, but that I actually have a pretty good handle on situations…in the “NCLEX hospital!”
With this I celebrate.