All you need to know: NCLEX edition

Friends, Hi!

So I decided to write on my experience with my nursing board examination.. also known as NCLEX-RN. This exam is what essentially registers you as a professional nurse! So… as I write to you I am now Rachael Gooch BSN,RfreakingN!AHH… I am so lucky to have those letters behind my name… really, its such an honor.

The days leading up to my NCLEX were a roller coaster of emotions! Lots of hard work went into my prep for NCLEX, hours of studying, my 2 1/2 years of nursing school, and countless pep talks from friends, family, and myself!

I would be lying if I told you I was cool, calm, and collectedon the day. I was a ball of nerves! EXPECT to feel this way. It’s natural to feel nervous and good too! It helps you to be more focused! Use anxiety and nervousness in a positive way to propel you, and push you. Don’t succumb to it.

I left feeling like I TOTALLY FAILED… literally had a break down in my car sitting outside the building( can you see it haha…. hyperventilating, tears, questioning how my life was going to turn out( OVER DRAMATIC LOL i knoww)…).

Looking back, because of my nerves, I felt like during the test I was getting everything wrong… when in reality I was probably doing okay! SO… if you leave feeling utterly crushed, don’t panic, So many before you felt the exact same way. Don’t lose hope!

PS: these are my notes… excuse my spelling errors and what not haha… but thought I would leave some examples of how to take fun colored notes! If you like that style of studying… I find that it keeps me more engaged!

Things that helped me,

1. Reminding myself that it is not I that is control but God.  I did everything I possibly could to prepare, the rest was in God’s hands. Very comforting.

2. I ate a good hardy breakfast, drank some coffee, and woke up early. I gave myself time to wake up and carried out my normal morning routine!

3. I dressed well. Guys, dress to impress! This sounds weird, but I promise you’ll feel more awake and ready to conquer the world( or in this case, NCLEX). When I dress nice verses like slouchy pajama wear, I always do better. [ I wore jeans, converse, and a cute sweater.. so not like over the top dressy but nonetheless, nicer than PJs!]

4. I did a test run. The week before I drove to the test center in the morning to see what the traffic would be like. I actually found the building and the suite I would be going to. MENTAL PREP– SO important.

A little 411 about the test itself:1.It has a minimum of 75 questions and a max of 265

2.Types of questions: Multiple choice, select all that apply, hot spot questions, audio/graphics, exhibit/chart, dosage calculation

3.You get a dry erase board to take any notes on

4.The test is computerized!– calculator and time are available on the exam

5.There is a research section at the end of NCLEX that doesn’t count towards your score! (takes about 30 min)


So I found Uworld TO BE AMAZING. It looks just like NCLEX and the questions were challenging. The program prepares you well for select all that apply questions ! I only used Uworld! … but lots of my friends did Hurst as well! I felt like with my scores on ATI predictor tests I took in my final semester that Uworld would be a good fit for me!

When it comes down to it, you do you! If you feel like you NEED multiple prep programs, GO FOR IT! Do what you’re most comfortable with. At the end of the day you want to feel like you did everything possible to succeed!

I studied almost everyday for 2 hours. It doesn’t seem like a lot but it was PERFECT for me. I ended up taking the exam a little farther out than I wanted…. but it ended up working out!I had a schedule so I studied certain material each day and the last 3 days leading up I did all practice questions! The day before I did some light prep but honestly got my nails done and tried to relax!

I am going to link the Uworld website below for you guys that are interested! Also with some other resources I’ve used over my time in nursing school or that my friends have used and reported positive things about!

Over all, my experience was a good one. I attribute so much of my success to the amazing staff at TCU! Harris College really prepped me and set me up for success! With that said, I did a lot on my own to make sure I had the best chance of passing!

Final thoughts/advice:

  • Study a little everyday
  • Use your stress and anxiety to propel you forward!
  • THINK “PASS”.. and you will.
  • Trust your first instinct when it comes to answering questions!

Best of luck to my fellow nursing buddies! I have all the faith in the world in you! If you need advice or have any questions feel free to email me! Or message me via instagram!




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