UR Opinion

The struggles of NCLEX preparation.

Amanda Slik

By Amanda Slik

Since the introduction of the NCLEX testing in 2015 the Canadian pass rate has decreased; as a fourth year Bachelor of Science in Nursing student this really worries me; as I am getting ready to take the NCLEX this coming summer. I can’t speak for all of the schools within Canada but in my program we are tested in each class with multiple choice questions, over the last two years our professors have added in five to ten NCLEX type questions to each midterm and final to ease us into the idea of the NCLEX type testing. Unfortunately having only these few questions along with many multiple choice questions we aren’t really being prepared for this new formatted exam we are still being prepared for the older version of our RN-exam; multiple choice with pen and paper. My school has offered the last two years a mock NCLEX exam to help prepare us for the test; we have one in January and the second in April. This test shows us where we excelled in and where we lack some knowledge. This is helpful as it gives you an idea of what needs to be reviewed more in depth; it also gives you the rationales of why an answer is more correct then another; unfortunately not all students were able to take this due to the extra cost.
In order to prepare for the NCLEX we need to use extra resources to expose us to these specially formatted questions. These extra resources cost extra money; these include review books such as Kaplan or Saunders, online courses such as Kaplan and Nurse logic, as well as the fee to actually take the exam. So far I have spent around $600 dollars in prep material and will be spending another $300 on one of the online courses mentioned above. Not all students can afford to get these extra resources and have to rely on being able to adapt quickly to the formatting of the NCLEX questions.
Unfortunately the resources available use the American drug names and transitions between metric and imperial units of measure; this isn’t the greatest as throughout our four years in school and clinical we have been exposed to Canadian names and values, so now we need to learn the American values in order to find the prep material useful. This is an easy task to do it just seems unnecessary as we are taking this test in Canada and not the States, it would be helpful to have Canadian prep material to avoid this.
I think my school has done a good job in providing us with material to familiarize ourselves with NCLEX material as well as providing us with testing options such as the mock NCLEX to show us what we will be facing this summer, my school is also bringing in a speaker who will be giving us tips and information on the NCLEX before we go off and write it. I think that if all schools got more involved with bringing NCLEX material into the curriculum Canada’s pass rate would increase.

Amanda Slik
Pembroke, Ontario

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