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Study Tips from a Nursing Student Graduate

I graduated from nursing school and passed the NCLEX RN exam about 2 years ago! Studying and preparing for the NCLEX can be scary. I felt lost on where to start when studying because there was so much to cover. 

During my time studying for the NCLEX exam, my go-to resource was the Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX RN Examination book. This book is divided into various body systems and important topics that are covered on the NCLEX. At the beginning of each body system chapter, there is a thorough review that goes over a general overview of the system which includes the anatomy, physiology, and pathology. Following this section, there are practice questions to test your knowledge of the information previously explained. This was a great way for you to review the important topics while practicing NCLEX-like questions. After you have completed all the practice sections associated with the section, there are answers with rationales. This was my absolute favorite part! The rationales were explained in simple terms for both the correct and incorrect answers, helping you understand the reasoning behind correct answers. Even if I got the question right, I would still read through the rationales to provide myself with a better understanding. Though I only started using this book primarily in my last year of nursing school, I wish I had utilized it since the beginning of my nursing journey as Elsevier simplified concepts that were difficult for me to grasp during nursing school. For anyone studying for the NCLEX, I highly recommend this textbook as a resource!

I studied for the NCLEX over a span of 2 months and creating a study plan was the first step in my studying journey. Creating a structured study plan that outlines what topics you’ll cover and when is so important! Be sure to allocate time for both content review and practice questions. I broke my study sessions into manageable chunks which included dividing up the body systems. I found that dividing my study sections into body systems was the easiest approach to avoid confusion when mixing different topics. On a whiteboard calendar in my room, I dedicated approximately one week to each body system. I went through all the categories in the Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX RN Examination book and allocated a week for each topic. By doing so, I was able to hold myself accountable for finishing my review in a timely manner. My biggest study tip is to make sure you read to understand instead of reading to memorize. Once you begin to thoroughly understand how concepts are linked to one another, the easier it is to study!  

Feeling lost, scared, and nervous is completely normal and you are not alone! This feeling shall pass once you read through the chapter review and rationales provided in the Comprehensive Review book. Once you have completed all sections in the book, the very end of the book has extra practice questions, questions that are very similar to the NCLEX. I can assure you that once you start understanding the concepts instead of memorizing the content, you will begin to feel confident and answer all the practice questions correctly!

Cheers to studying hard and passing the NCLEX! Best of luck on your nursing journey! Reach out on my nursing Instagram should you have any questions @itsnursemo