First don’t be hard on yourself if you do not pass the NCLEX the first time (or even the second time). Don’t think of yourself as a failure; you simply did not pass. The good news is that you are able to take the NCLEX many times to pass. The bad news is that it means you will have to wait a little longer until you can work as a nurse.
Don’t give up
Yes, it can be very disappointing when you do not pass your exam, especially if everyone knew you were taking it. You made it through nursing school and you will be able to pass the NCLEX. Maybe you were too anxious, distracted or even too cold on the day of the exam. These are all factors that can affect your ability to take a test. Don’t let yourself wallow in your disappointment too much. You are definitely allowed a day or two because it is a disappointment but then get back into your study routine. Register for the test again and try to evaluate how you can improve.
Study the questions
In nursing school, exam questions often focus on the content area. Your instructors want to make sure that you understand the material to take care of a patient. You really are learning a whole new nursing language and the exams want to make sure you are mastering this new language and new concepts. When you take the NCLEX, the questions test your critical thinking abilities: are you able to analyze the information and make an educated nursing decision. Make sure you spend your study time learning how to answer questions that are in the NCLEX style. Learn how to eliminate answers to give you better odds of answering correctly. The NCLEX wants to know that you will be able to answer the questions thinking like a nurse.
Remember you are not alone. It might seem like you are the only one in your nursing class that did not pass the NCLEX but remember how many students are taking the exam nationwide. Not everyone passes. Use your first attempt as a learning experience and have confidence in your abilities to pass the exam. If you put in the time to study and prepare yourself mentally you will be able to pass and conquer the NCLEX. Remember that you made it through nursing school which has been preparing you for the NCLEX and life as a nurse. You would not be preparing to take the NCLEX if you could not hack nursing school. If you can’t give yourself the pep talk that you need to pass, find someone who will encourage you give you the confidence you need.