What to do if you fail NCLEX? How many pass the NCLEX first try? Did you know that according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, only 84.48% of students that took the NCLEX in 2015 passed on the first try? Of this number, 86.77% were US educated passed, and 30.91% internationally educated passed on the first try.
NCLEX is the big exam nursing students must pass in order to work as a nurse. There is the NCLEX-RN & NCLEX-PN. The NCLEX-RN is for registered nurses and NCLEX-PN is for LPNs.
So if you are reading this article, chances are you are a person who just failed the NCLEX, or perhaps you’re just worried that you might fail it.
In this article, I’m going to try to encourage those who have just failed, and I’m also going to give you some tips on what to do to ensure that you’ll pass it next time.
Here is a video on me talking about what to do if you fail the NCLEX exam
People Fail the NCLEX
First, you need to understand that people fail the NCLEX all the time.
- Failing doesn’t mean you’re stupid or that you won’t make a great nurse. Many wonderful nurses working right now have failed the NCLEX once or twice. Some people aren’t good test takers, or maybe you didn’t prepare as much as you should the first time around. Either way, it’s okay that you failed.
- Example of a real nurse who didn’t pass NCLEX first try: I have a friend who I met when I was a new nurse graduate. She actually precepted me and I found her to be one of the smartest, brightest, nurses I have ever worked with. Our patients loved her, and our doctors valued and trusted her opinions. One day she confided in me that she failed the NCLEX first try. I was absolutely shocked because she knew her stuff and I couldn’t believe of all the people in the nursing world she would fail this exam the first try. Right then and there I determined that passing NCLEX was not a representation of smartness, it was how you deal with test taking. My friend went on to attend Vanderbilt NP program (a prestigious school in the health world I might add) and excelled. She now has a flourishing career as a Nurse Practitioner.
- So don’t beat yourself up, and don’t let negative thoughts dominate your mind. You will pass the NCLEX, and you have the potential to make an amazing nurse.
What to Do if You Fail NCLEX
- It’s normal to feel down, but vent and get sad (CRY it out if you have to), but then pick yourself back up again. You’re going to pass this test!!! Go ahead and schedule a new test date and start studying.
- Get the latest study guide you can, such as Saunders or Kaplan’s Study guide. Try to get one with the CD Disk that allows you to practice questions on your computer over and over again.
- Focus on using only one study guide, because many are the same
- Take our FREE NCLEX Quizzes
- Read the rationales on questions you miss
- Keep practicing on those weak areas
- Block out time every day to practice questions and study, study, study!!
- Finally, consider taking a prep course such as those offered by Kaplan and other organizations. These can cost around $200-300, but many offer a money back guarantee. This is best if you are struggling with staying focused or motivated, and you need a little help to keep you on track.
Conclusion: Don’t lose hope if you failed the NCLEX. Hang in there, because one day you’re going to be working as a nurse, and all of this will be behind you. I hope this helps.