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What To Do After Failing The NCLEX Exam 6 Times
They say that success is often born out of failure, and Derek’s journey in becoming a registered nurse is a testament to that belief. Failing the NCLEX exam not once, not twice, but six times was a humbling experience that tested his resilience and determination.
As he awaited the results of his seventh attempt, he couldn't help but feel a mix of wanting to cry and a little like Rocky Balboa (you know the movie 🙂), knowing that this was his chance to finally conquer THE NCLEX exam and achieve his dream of becoming a registered nurse.
You see, this attempt at passing the NCLEX exam was going to be a bit different, the “new” NCLEX exam was now in effect . . . you know what it is by now . . . NextGen NCLEX!
Okay, back to the Dereks NCLEX experience.
When he got the results on his 7th attempt at passing the NCLEX, he was so anxious he couldn’t open the envelope, so he went to the gym and then to dinner . . . finally at dinner it was time. He couldn’t wait any longer.
He took a deep breath. Shaking so much he could barely open the envelope . . .
In big letters (it looked like big letters) he read:
It took Derek 2 years and 7 attempts to pass the NCLEX exam - on “lucky number 7” he passed the NextGen NCLEX.
If you are like Derek and struggling to pass the NextGen NCLEX exam, or preparing to take the NCLEX exam or nursing exams, I want to invite you to my free test-taking webinar. Just click below to join!
Why is Derek so motivating to me?
I had the privilege to sit down with Derek and talk about his experience with the NCLEX and NextGen NCLEX.
He gave me a first-hand look at what the NextGen NCLEX looks like and his opinion about it, which I will share with you later in this post.
Derek’s approach to this trial is what truly makes him stand out and makes me feel confident that he will be a phenomenal nurse and do so much for our profession.
Failing the NCLEX is not an uncommon concern with nursing students. We hear so often “What do I do after failing the NCLEX”. The NCLEX is simply a beast and a complicated test . . . and shows very little about how you will do as a nurse.
Let me jump back into Derek’s story.
The Beginning of The Nursing Journey
Derek's nursing school journey began in May of 2018 after leaving the Air Force. It had been a decade since he had been in school, and adapting to the new environment and the use of computers for tests was a significant adjustment.
Despite the challenges, he successfully graduated from nursing school at the University of Massachusetts with a 3.4 GPA.
NCLEX Attempt Number 1
After graduating he started studying for his first NCLEX attempt using UWorld. In July of 2021, he sat for his first attempt . . .
As the NCLEX exam went on he started to feel more and more anxious - he had never experienced nursing school testing anxiety so these feelings were very new to him.
145 questions later.
He walked out feeling absolutely terrible . . . the NCLEX exam had taken so much out of him.
Weeks later, the envelope with his NCLEX score arrived . . .
When he found out that he had failed the NCLEX exam, he felt completely defeated. He knew he wasn’t the only one who had failed the NCLEX exam, but still felt completely devastated.
Despite the complete devastation, he knew he had to pull himself up and get back to studying for the next NCLEX exam attempt.
NCLEX Attempt Number 2
He continued to study using UWorld and took the test again, only to fail a second time after 81 questions.
His scores on UWorld weren’t horrible . . . but UWorld NCLEX prep wasn’t working for him.
He knew he had to change something.
NCLEX Attempt Number 3, 4, 5, 6
At this point, he switched to his school's program which was ATI . . .
He sat for his 3rd NCLEX exam . . . FAIL.
4th NCLEX exam . . . FAIL.
5th NCLEX exam . . . FAIL.
6th NCLEX exam . . . FAIL.
That brings us to August 2022.
6 times failing the NCLEX in 1 ½ years.
Again, his scores on ATI NCLEX prep weren't horrible.
The emotional toll of repeated NCLEX failures cannot be overstated. It affected his confidence and seeped into every aspect of his life. Despite being a competent critical care tech in the ER, the constant failures made him question his abilities.
The pressure to find alternative sources of income and the sense of having an unutilized nursing degree added to the overwhelming weight on his shoulders.
“The NCLEX exam was telling me that I sucked . . . but my schooling and work experience was telling me I didn’t”.
NCLEX Attempt Number 7
He waited some time to attempt his 7th repeat of the NCLEX.
He went with NURSING.com this time . . .
When he started to prep for NCLEX attempt number 7, he knew that he was going to have to take the new NextGen NCLEX.
Thankfully, NURSING.com had just come out with their NextGen NCLEX questions.
He took A LOT of those questions . . .
On April 5, 2023, Derek took his 7th attempt at the NCLEX exam.
2 years after his first NCLEX exam attempt.
What To Do After Failing The NCLEX 6 Times
What didn’t work for Derek
- Letting the NCLEX completely consume him
How to pass the NCLEX after failing multiple times (What worked for Derek)
- Switching to NURSING.com
- UWorld and ATI were just not working for Derek. “After my 5th attempt, I analyzed different NCLEX prep programs. I looked around at different programs and found NURSING.com - your program worked for me”
- Getting out of your head
- Derek emphasizes the significance of cultivating a clear and focused mindset. To tackle the demands of the NCLEX exam, he advises approaching each question with a blank mental slate—free from distractions or self-doubt.
- "The NCLEX is a monster under the bed that everyone knows is there - but you never get to see it until the day of . . . The NURSING.com SIMCLEX exam actually looked and felt like the actual NCLEX exam . . . it made that monster a little less scary."
- NURSING.com NextGen questions
- Initially relying on instructional videos, Derek transitioned to a practice-oriented approach. Thousands of practice questions and the SIMCLEX platform became his primary tools for success in the Next-Generation NCLEX.
- Trust yourself
- Read the NCLEX question. Answer the NCLEX question. Move on to the next NCLEX question. Do not let your brain overanalyze and read too much into the answer choices.
Benefits of NextGen NCLEX
Let me share with you what really clicked for Derek with the NextGen NCLEX.
He can't explain what happened, but it just worked. His brain seemed to register the content much better, even when he was using NURSING.com for NextGen questions. It was like everything fell into place.
He believes the reason behind this success is that NextGen NCLEX questions do not have the tricky wording or confusing phrasing that could lead to incorrect answers.
It's straightforward and conversational as if someone is simply talking to you. It allows you to trust your knowledge and navigate through the questions with confidence.
He went on to say that for him the beauty of NextGen NCLEX lies in the NCLEX case studies. They provide a cohesive experience, much like dealing with a patient's real-life nursing situation.
Once you finish one case study, it feels like transitioning to a new patient with the next set of questions. It's a practical approach that aligns closely with the realities of nursing.
In comparison, the old NCLEX would present vague one-line questions that left him puzzled at times. The NextGen NCLEX, on the other hand, presents information in a clear, organized manner, making it easier to comprehend and respond appropriately.
Key Takeaways - From Failing to Passing The NCLEX Exam
The NCLEX is NOT a Race
Derek's journey from multiple NCLEX failures to finally passing the NextGen NCLEX is a testament that success often arises from failure.
His resilience and determination were put to the test as he faced six unsuccessful NCLEX attempts, but he didn't let that deter him from pursuing his dream of becoming a registered nurse.
As he awaited the results of his seventh attempt, Derek felt a mix of emotions, reminiscent of Rocky Balboa, knowing that this was his chance to conquer the NCLEX exam and fulfill his aspirations of becoming a registered nurse.
The difference this time was the introduction of the NextGen NCLEX, and utilizing NURSING.com which brought new hope and possibilities.
The NCLEX Doesn’t Define You
Derek's experience with the NCLEX and NextGen NCLEX provided valuable insights. His story demonstrates that failing the NCLEX is not uncommon, and many nursing students face the same challenge. The NCLEX exam is a complex test that does not reflect one's abilities to be an amazing nurse.
Grieve and Regroup
Throughout his journey, Derek made various adjustments to his study approach. He transitioned from UWorld and ATI to NURSING.com, finding a program that worked better for him. He emphasized the importance of getting out of his head, maintaining a focused mindset, and not letting self-doubt cloud his judgment during the exam.
Get Motivated to Take the NCLEX Again
Shop around for the best NCLEX preparation course.
The SIMCLEX exam offered by NURSING.com played a crucial role in easing the anxiety associated with the NCLEX. It provided a realistic simulation of the actual exam, making the experience less daunting.
Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Derek's success can be attributed to his extensive practice with NextGen NCLEX questions and his ability to approach each question with confidence. The case studies in the NextGen NCLEX aligned with real-life nursing situations, enabling him to connect the dots and make informed decisions.
Find inspiration if need be.
Derek's remarkable journey serves as an inspiration to nursing students facing the challenge of the NCLEX. It is a reminder that perseverance, adaptability, and finding the right resources can make all the difference in overcoming obstacles and achieving one's goals.
Did Derek’s story help you?
I want you to know that YOU CAN DO THIS! I believe in you.
Remember, I am offering a free test-taking webinar to you and all your nursing school friends! Just click below to join!