NCLEX exam (Or: Watching students progress

One of the benefits to being an academic librarian is that even when one crop of students graduates, another group will inevitably arrive to replace them. One of my more memorable set of students was the ABSN (Accelerated Bachelor of Nursing) students who have called my department home for most of the last year.

The ABSN program is an intensive year long course that is guaranteed to make you pull your hair out. Of note, there frequently were two students who made my department home – it was common to see them arrive in the late morning after their class and stay until 8PM or later. (It almost made me feel guilty to leave at my normal time, but darnit, I had an IM or videochat with Marco waiting for me!)

Near the end of the ABSN program, the students’ focus shifted towards taking the NCLEX exam (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses). The test is adaptive (it might end after 75 questions or keep going, depending on your progress) and can take up to 6 hours. Their study sessions still lasted 6-8 hours daily, especially over the last few weeks.

Things I learned after overhearing various conversations:

1. If you don’t know the answer, pick the stupidest one. You’ll probably be correct.

2. While studying with friends can be helpful, it’s also distracting. And you won’t be able to raise your hand mid-test and ask your friend to come over and help you. 😉

3. Scheduling the test earlier in the summer (provided you have done enough studying) is better.

4. Some review texts are harder than others. They particularly enjoyed the library’s copy of Mosby’s NCLEX Review. This book has a CD with a 6 hour test you could take to simulate the real thing (including required and optional breaks).

I must say that it is going to be weird to not see them anymore. Happily, all of the students I know who have already taken the test have passed it. Yay! One of them called me this morning to let me know, and to say goodbye. How sweet. After seeing the students around so much, it is nice to have a formal goodbye!

But time marches on – the next group of ABSN students has already arrived at the library and met me. Of course, it’s still early on in their academic year, so I don’t expect to see them stopping by in a panic for at least a few more months…

Study, study, study.

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