Warning: I use language in this post. I apologize if that is offensive to you and would recommend not reading further.
For those of you who don’t know, NCLEX is the licensing exam for nurses. In Kentucky, all new grads get a six month provisional license, which is void the moment you take your boards… so passing is essential to keeping the dream job you just landed.
I took mine in Indianapolis, which is two-ish hours from where I live. Z. and I left Friday night after my nursing shift and stayed in a hotel the night before. That morning, I got up and had a crappy breakfast. We got to the testing center bright and early, where I found out I was the only NCLEX that morning. The other 15 testing candidates were all pharmacy board folks.
The exam was easier than I expected, which was terrifying to me. The NCLEX is adaptive, so as you do better, the questions should get harder. I started freaking out that I was missing all sorts of stuff since I felt ok about the questions. Approximately 100 questions in, shit got real.
One of the pharmacy students had a seizure. A full blown clonic-tonic seizure. Hadn’t seen a seizure before that moment, but good God, I have now.
I ran over and rolled him on his left side – the protocol for seizure pt’s FYI – and handled his care, along with the office manager and one of the pharmacy guys, until EMS could arrive. While I feel pleased with how I handled the situation ( I feel like I handled it 80% correctly), I was flustered afterwards. I had also lost about 45 minutes of testing time.
It was so bizarre.
Then, I went back to my test where I went for another 165 questions. Yep, I got all 265 questions – the max I could get on NCLEX. I felt like crap. Plus, the people at the center were being so nice and trying to create a scenario where I could petition for a free retest if I failed. You are suppose to have a quiet testing environment and needless to say that didn’t happen.
This is how I feel about the experience:
When I got in the car, I knew I was going to be late to work and all flustered, so I requested Z. skip brunch and we head straight home.
On the way back, he stopped at a McDonalds because he had to use the restroom and he would run in and grab food as well. When he returned, he told me an elderly lady was on the ground and people didn’t know if she need an ambulance. Here we go again.
I went over and did a quick assessment, gave some instructions, and because she was stable with a simple nose bleed, I let them handle it since it seemed to be handled adequately.
But it was the craziest day ever. I’ve been joking that I passed the application part of the test. But in reality…..
I PASSED. I AM AN RN!!
And that feels fucking great. No more Anna, ??. It’s all Anna, RN!!!
I am beyond elated and pleased. Getting to this point has been a struggle, even to the testing part, but I did it. And damn, it feels good to be a nurse.