Who knew two days could feel like an eternity? From Monday to Wednesday, I sat in suspense wondering my fate after taking my NCLEX. I wouldn’t have cared if I had to pay $100 to know my results immediately; I would have done anything to not have to wait those days. I was walking on eggshells. My mother asked me afterwards how it went and I didn’t have any words for her. I couldn’t explain what I had just gone through. It was almost like it hadn’t happened.
I think Sunday was the toughest day. Just knowing that I was taking THE NCLEX the next day made me a little weary. I did my best to take my mind off it: I hung out with friends and went shopping with my mother. I think that was the way to go. Even though I was stressed out and a little panicked, I knew I was prepared and that helped me the most. I had studied the recommended amount and really felt confident that my college had given me the right tools to succeed in this test.
On Monday morning, I woke up pretty early and went to breakfast with my mom. She could tell I was nervous, but did everything in her power to not bring the test up during the meal. That really helped. The test center was about 45 minutes from my house, so I left at 11 a.m. for my test at 1 p.m. On the drive there, I was surprisingly confident and not so nervous. Once I pulled into the parking lot and turned my car off, I realized I was actually doing this.
There was no one in the waiting room when I arrived. The receptionist took my information and my ID, then I smiled for my picture and I was brought into the test room. Everyone was so helpful and nice during the whole process.
Once I sat down at computer No. 2, I felt surprisingly calm. I got comfortable and went through the tutorial. I had already looked at this at home before taking the test so I didn’t have to waste any time on it. I recommend doing that before you take the test just so you know what to expect. (It’s on the PearsonVue Web site).
The test started and I just took a deep breath. I gave every question the amount of attention I thought it needed. I tried so hard to not look at the numbers or the time, but that didn’t work so well. Once question No. 75 went by, I got a little nervous. But I realized that didn’t matter, that I could still pass. My computer shut off at question No. 96. I couldn’t believe I was done. I was completely done with this! I didn’t feel like I had failed, but it was so hard to know if I had passed.
I was told to look up my scores 48 hours after I had finished. My test time was at 1 p.m. Monday, so my results were supposed to be up at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday. They were. I passed! I am officially Chelsea Bancroft, RN.
Relief isn’t even the word. I am still in awe that I am completely done. Every day I wake up, I still think I need to study. It is kind of amazing how much this test can consume your life. Now that I am done, I am still focusing on finding a job. I have an interview this week and hopefully it’s a starting point.
What a journey! Thanks for coming along for the ride!
Editor’s note: Chelsea, our “Last Semester” columnist, recently graduated from a small, liberal arts college 20 miles outside of Boston. Her column appears weekly, exclusively on StressedOutNurses.com. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.