8 Important Things to Remember on the NCLEX

Staff Writer
May 3, 2022

The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN® exam) is the final mountain you must summit in order to begin practice as a entry-level registered nurse. It’s certainly a stressful time in a nursing student’s life. We get it; we’ve been there. As the instructors for Joyce’s NCLEX review course, we’ve helped thousands of future nurses prepare for and pass the NCLEX-RN exam with flying colors. In this, the first of our weekly NCLEX Wednesday series, we’ll share some of the NCLEX study tips that have made our students successful.

This week’s NCLEX study tips:

1. Never choose an answer that shifts work off onto anyone else.  Evaluate the question carefully to decide which nursing action could be performed before calling someone else (including the doctor).

2. Never ignore a patient or patient family complaint. If the question makes note of a patient or family question/complaint, find the answer that best addresses that specific issue.

3. Remember that restraints are always the LAST option (meaning almost always the wrong answer—try other things first like one-to-one observation).

4. Choose the least invasive answer first:  If the question does not deal with an airway, breathing or circulation (ABC’s) issue that must be addressed, then choose the least invasive (e.g., change position, one to one nurse to patient ratio, conversation with patient).

5. If you see an option you have never heard of, do not choose it.

6. When choosing which patient to see first, choose the patient who is the most unstable (most likely to die, most critical, or who will suffer further injury without immediate action).

7. If the question includes the words “severe” or “acute” when referring to something such as pain or urinary retention, choose the answer that fixes that specific problem.

8. If you encounter a question about something with which you are unfamiliar (perhaps a specific medication question) try to find a commonality between the answers. If two or more answers are alike, choose the option that is different.

Happy studying, and see you next week!

– Cheryl Armstrong, MS, RN
– Britt Baer, RN, MSN-HCSM, SANE

For more NCLEX study strategies and advice, you can download our full NCLEX ebook here, for free!


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