An image showing a nurse passing the Next Generation NCLEX
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Next Generation NCLEX Revealed: Insights from a Successful Test Taker

Prepping For The Next Gen NCLEX Exam Day

Passing the next generation NCLEX is a topic that’s very hot at the moment. The excitement over the changes in the format of NCLEX began even before NGN was implemented in April 2023.

More than the curiosity of where all those disappearing pens go, unfiltered information about this topic is something test takers value.

So, naturally, when I learned that a friend of mine successfully conquered the beast, I sat down with her for the juicy details. “Emma” (who’s likely better at keeping her pens) was generous enough to share her time and provided us with golden nuggets.

Curious about her insights and hoping she’d spill the beans (not the coffee) on her NCLEX experience, our chat began.

Building on our previous post, “The Next Generation NCLEX 2023: The Ultimate Guide To NCLEX Mastery“, this interview goes beyond the basics, looking into the real-life experiences and challenges faced by test-takers.

Offering a personal touch to the NCLEX journey, it provides relatable insights and actionable strategies.

When paired with our guide, you’re equipped with a comprehensive and holistic approach to NCLEX preparation, ensuring you’re not just informed, but truly ready

A Glimpse into Emma’s World

Nursing wasn’t just a career checkbox for Emma. Its legacy, with her nurse-mom’s footprints and her father’s health journey deeply intertwined in her motivation.

But Emma isn’t just white coats and ward rounds. She also juggled work with nursing school and never missed an opportunity to meet friends.

Oh, and if you need a stunning poster design, she’s your girl. It’s always handy to have a nurse with a flair for graphic design, don’t you think?

Taking the Leap

Registration Quickies: The What, When, and How of NGN

Speeding through the NCLEX application faster than a caffeinated squirrel, Emma wasted no time after graduation.

If there’s one thing she can’t stress enough, it’s this: don’t dilly-dally with the application.

She jumped right in, receiving her Authorization to Test (ATT), and guess what? She scheduled her test for a mere 2 weeks away.

Some might see it as bold, but Emma saw it as strategy: her fresh-from-school knowledge was her secret weapon.

The Rapid Preparation Timeline

Emma’s strategy wasn’t reminiscent of those last-minute cram sessions we’ve all (guiltily) had. She believed in the edge of recent learning.

With UWorld as her primary guide and Saunders dropping in occasionally, she tackled 100-150 questions every morning, took some break (went to the gym, hung out with friends, took a walk), and then went back to practice test. She answered less in the afternoon – around 50 or so questions.

But it wasn’t just about answering; she delved deep, understanding the ‘why’ behind every tick.

It’s a bit like trying to figure out why cats have the midnight zoomies – there’s always a reason.

NCLEX Test Day Experience

Remember those movies where the protagonist faces their biggest challenge? Well, this was Emma’s big-screen moment, only with fewer explosions and more multiple-choice questions.

Morning Rituals 

Rise and Shine! 

On the morning of the test, rather than turning into a bundle of nerves, Emma treated it just like any other day. Starting with the mantra, “Feed the mind, not the belly to bursting.”

A light breakfast was her ammo because, honestly, nobody needs a food coma as their plus one on such a crucial day.

Last Minute Panic? 

Nope, A Quick Skim! Even the best of us can’t help but feel the jitters sometimes.

Despite her thorough preparation, Emma did admit to a last-minute skim through her notes before being summoned to the examination hall. Can we blame her? 

Pro tip: Feeling those pre-test jitters is normal, but deep breaths and positive affirmations can help.

Dress Code (Comfort)

No, there isn’t a runway at the test center, but feeling comfortable can boost your confidence.

Emma wore relaxed attire but also had the foresight to pack a light jacket. Given unpredictable test room temperatures, being prepared for a cooler environment is a wise move.

Little tip: sometimes, the universe tests your preparedness in cold ways.

Inside The Testing Room

Test Dynamics: 

The actual test was where things got spicy. Sure, Emma was expecting the usual SATA (select all that apply) questions. But the NCLEX, being the cheeky monkey it is, tossed in a mix of drag-and-drops, hotspots, and the evergreen multiple-choice.

Yet, a word of caution from our star here: NCLEX is a chameleon. What Emma faced, you might not. Your test could be dotted with diagrams, math problems, or maybe a generous serving of SATA.

Read that again.

Decision Time:

At question number 70, NCLEX threw another curveball — a prompt asking if Emma wanted a break.

Remember, breaks can be tricky. A friend had told her that taking a break might reset the test and pile on more questions.

Whether that’s universally true, who knows? But it’s something to consider.

Drawing the curtain at 75 questions, the drama of “Is it over? Did I pass?” began. Classic NCLEX, keeping everyone on their toes!

The Relativity of Time: 

For Emma, while engrossed in the exam, time felt like it had slowed down. What was only 1 hour and 15 minutes felt like an eternity. Her laser focus on each question made every second count.

Next Generation NCLEX Pearls of Wisdom

Emma’s NGN journey was challenging but enlightening. Wrapping up our conversation, she emphasized a few salient takeaways:

  • Safety First: The core principle of nursing is patient safety. If an answer choice ensures the safety of the patient, it’s likely a good route to consider.
  • Manage Those Nerves: While it may sound cliché, keeping your cool is paramount. Remember, the NGN can “sense” when you’re stressed. To combat nerves, Emma relied on deep breathing, positive affirmations, and even visualization techniques.
  • Seek Support: Don’t underestimate the power of a support system, whether it’s friends, family, or fellow test-takers. They offer not only study tips but also emotional backing.
  • In her busy review schedule, Emma took moments to reconnect with friends she had less time for and indulge in hobbies she had set aside.
  • Remember, It’s Tailored: The NGN adapts to individual performance. So, as you progress, the difficulty of your next question hinges on your prior answers.

For a deeper dive into the personal experiences of nurses navigating the NGN, check out this enlightening YouTube video: .

The Waiting Game: Post-Test Reflections

Ah, the sweet relief of finishing the NCLEX, followed immediately by the anxious nail-biting phase of waiting for results.

Here’s what unfolded in Emma’s mind and life during that excruciating wait.

Did I Just Dream the Whole Thing Up?

Post-test, Emma described her NCLEX experience as akin to walking out of a surreal dream.

Did she just take the test or was she playing a high-stakes version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” 

Pro-tip: After your NCLEX, try to jot down a few things you remember from the test. It helps make it feel real. Or just binge on some ice cream. Both work.

A Balancing Act 

After the exam, rather than obsessing over every question she remembered (or misremembered), Emma chose to focus on other passions. Yes, she’s a nurse, but she’s also an artist with a flair for graphic design.

So, rather than spiral into a black hole of post-NCLEX forums and question databases, she caught up with friends and doodled a bit. 

Word of advice: don’t let the NCLEX consume every waking moment, pre or post-test.

Tips and Takeaways:

Relax and Unwind

On the day before the test, do anything but study. Your brain has done its heavy lifting; now it’s time to relax.

Watch a movie, take a walk, read something light. Or just take a leaf out of Emma’s book: she packed away her study material and let herself breathe.

Stay Focused on the Big Picture

 The NCLEX is a monumental step, but it’s just one step in your nursing journey. Whether you pass or need to retake it, remember your ‘why’.

For Emma, her ‘why’ was her father’s condition and her mother’s dedicated service as a nurse. It gave her the motivation to keep going, no matter the obstacles.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

After the test, avoid the company of NCLEX horror stories. Stick to positive vibes, motivational quotes, and maybe a few cat videos.

As you reflect on the insights and experiences shared in this interview, we encourage you to revisit our “The Next Generation NCLEX 2023: The Ultimate Guide To NCLEX Mastery”’ post. 

Marrying the structured guidance of that guide with the candid revelations from this interview creates a powerful combination.

Together, they serve as a formidable toolkit, offering both the knowledge and personal perspectives essential for a thorough NCLEX preparation.


Emma’s journey serves as a testament to the dedication, hard work, and sheer determination it takes to conquer the NCLEX.

From breaking down study materials to maintaining a work-life balance, she managed to juggle it all with grace (capital G!).

But her story isn’t unique in its challenges. Every nurse will have their own trials, mistakes, and moments of self-doubt.

Remember, approaching the NGN is a lot like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. Sometimes, you’ll encounter a tricky question that feels like that mysterious jelly-filled piece.

But, just like in nursing, you trust your training, rely on your instincts, and move forward.

So, embrace the unknown chocolates, enjoy the journey, and always believe that the sweetest victories come from the most unexpected challenges.

The road to becoming a nurse is never easy, but with the right mindset and strategies, it’s absolutely achievable.

Whether you’re gearing up for your first attempt or coming back for a rematch, remember Emma’s mantra: “Focus, plan, and believe.

To all aspiring nurses out there: lace up those shoes, keep a box of chocolates handy, and get ready to take on the world – one question at a time!

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