Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How Can I Properly Prep for the NCLEX-RN?

Your NCLEX exam is just around the corner. You have only a few short weeks to prepare for the exam that will qualify you to practice nursing in Canada. Time is tight and the stress is starting to build. What is your next step?

Step One:
You didn't make it this far on your ability to guess multiple-choice questions. Don't let your nerves get the better of you. If you need reassurance of your skills, pull out your old quizzes and review your correct answers. Then pour yourself a cup of tea, take a deep breath and prepare your study station for exploring your incorrect answers.

Step Two:
Clear a space in your home or office that is free of clutter. Prepare your notes and reference material into content packages of similar subject matter. Use a large binder to organize your work or create individual study paks.

Step Three:
Eliminate Distractions
Take a break from your social media world and commit to your NCLEX preparation. If you are having trouble letting go of platforms like Facebook and Twitter, download a blocking app to your computer. The StayFocused app works well to limit or deny access to any site that you deem counterproductive. You might also want to turn your phone to the 'do not disturb' setting, for at least portions of the day.

Step Four:
Study, Create, Assess
Review your content packages and make notes on the areas you are least comfortable with. Take these notes and create quizzes or flashcards. Use these assessment tools to quiz yourself.

Step Five:
Seek Guidance
Apply for a NCLEX prep course to ensure your knowledge is of the high standard needed to pass the NCLEX exam. Programs, like the one offered by PRIMED Educational Associates, will help you put the final touches on your NCLEX preparation. PRIMED offers two-day courses that review the many different nursing topics that will be covered on the NCLEX. The review is based on the most recent NCSBN Test Plan for the NCLEX. Along with this review, students will receive helpful tips for studying, computer adapted testing, clinical calculations and demonstrating proper nursing policy, law and ethics. The course provides students with 16 hours of classroom time, a 200-page study guide and ongoing support from the PRIMED team.

Step Six:

Enter the exam with the confidence you have earned and walk away a registered nurse.

The Nursing Blogosphere

Nursing is an incredibly challenging profession that requires huge amounts of personal fortitude. Surviving your first 21-hour day will be a test. Arriving home, most of you will collapse on your bed or couch, with only a few short moments before sleep takes you away. But, some of you, maybe only a handful, will retire to your laptops, for something far more rewarding then a Facebook check-in.

Blog writing has become a serious instrument for nursing discourse. It gives health practitioners a medium to share their work-related stories with a wide audience. It gives them a forum to ask questions, receive feedback and discuss proper care methods. And it also allows them to vent.

Some writers use their humour to share their thoughts on the profession, while others are much more dry. Some blogs writers publish once every four months, while other sit down four times a week. Whatever the design or frequency of the writing, the important point to understand is that this tool is available.

If you are looking for a new forum to discuss nursing topics, outside of your inner-circle of nursing professionals, try paging through a number of the nursing blogs available online. To get you started, PRIMED has created a list of our top ten healthcare blogs:

10. Digital Doorway
-Nurse Keith is the author of this blog that coaches nurses through the difficult times. Keith's expertise lies in career management, burnout prevention and networking for career security and advancement. http://digitaldoorway.blogspot.ca/

9. The Gypsy Nurse
-A must read if you plan to travel and work as a healthcare professional. http://thegypsynurse.com

8. Scrubs Magazine
-More of an online periodical, this site has tons of resources for nurses and nursing students. http://scrubsmag.com

7. The Nerdy Nurse
-One of the more popular tech blogs for nurses is "The Nerdy Nurse." Written by Brittney Wilson, a self-described 'patient, nurse and technology advocate', Nerdy Nurse offers a plethora of resources for nurses looking to combine their nursing passion with informatics. Example of a recent blog: "Stress and Technology for Nurses: How to Take Your Computer Less Seriously." http://thenerdynurse.com

6. ThirtyEightFive
The title of this blog comes from the Celsius measurement for a brewing fever. The author of this blog concentrates the majority of her writing on maintaining a healthy living, something that many nurses struggle with due to their unique working schedules. A great light read for all those nurse foodies out there. http://thenerdynurse.com

5. Not Nurse Ratched
-This is more of a 'dear diary' blog that has garnered a lot of attention. The author includes many details about her personal life, while offering useful advice for nurses in the field. A recent article, written in November, focuses on the ability to write a good patient report. http://notratched.net/

4. The Nursing Ethics Blog
-Pretty self-explanatory. This no nonsense blog tackles the issues of ethics in the healthcare field. This blog is written by two Canadians working at Ryerson University. http://nursingethicsblog.com/

3. Nurse Eye Roll
-An excellent blog for nurses just entering the field. This blog concentrates on all those little things they don't teach you in nursing school. And as the title suggests, the posts are punctuated with a unique offering of humour that will keep you smiling through the hardest days. http://www.nurseeyeroll.com

2. At Your Cervix
-One of the longest running nursing blogs is "At Your Cervix." This blog is written by a nurse midwife. Like the 'eye roll' blog, the posts on this blog are incredibly entertaining, with lots of laughs and personal stories. http://atyourcervix.blogspot.ca/

1. NCLEX Prep
-The number one blog for information regarding Canada's NCLEX testing for prospective RNs. This blog gives you all the facts and issues surrounding the new testing format for nursing students in Canada. Written by PRIMED Educational Associates, this blog provides nurses with the information they need to properly prepare for the NCLEX exam. http://nclexprepcanada.blogspot.ca/ 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

NCLEX-RN Starting January 2015

Starting in January of 2015, all graduate nurses in Canada, outside of Quebec, will need to pass the NCLEX-RN entry exam to practice nursing in Canada. The NCLEX-RN replaces the CRNE that was used by the 10-provincial/territorial RN regulatory boards up until October 1, 2014. The new examination is a computer-based adaptive test owned by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Since this is the first time the exam will be used in Canada, many nurses have questions regarding the exam format, the questions being asked and the application process. The following information provides answers to many of these questions:

Exam Length:
Each writer has a maximum of six hours to write the exam.

Number of Questions:
The exam is adaptive and changes depending on the answers given. The number of questions ranges from 75 to 265. The exam begins with 15 pretest questions that are not scored. These establish a base for the questions that follow.

Exam Results:
Results from the exam are issued by the provincial licensing college/association. Each writer receives either a pass or a fail. Notifications will arrive within approximately four weeks of writing.

NCLEX Applications:
Nursing graduates must apply with Pearson Vue, the NCSBN's testing facilitator. Applicants cannot book an exam time without the confirmed eligibility of their provincial/territorial nursing board. Once confirmed, applicants will receive an Authorization to Test. This will be accompanied by a 90-day validity period. The applicant must write the exam during this period or their NCLEX application will be cancelled and their fee forfeited.

Examination Fee:
The exam cost is $360. The Pearson Vue testing site collects this amount at the time of application. Refunds are not offered for duplicate registrations, failure to cancel within 24 business hours of exam time and failure to appear.

Year Round Test Centres in Canada:
Pearson Professional Centres - Calgary, Alberta
Pearson Professional Centres - Edmonton, Alberta
Pearson Professional Centres - Surrey, British Columbia
Pearson Professional Centres - Vancouver (Burnaby), British Columbia
Pearson Professional Centres - Winnipeg, Manitoba
Pearson Professional Centres - Halifax, Nova Scotia
Pearson Professional Centres - Hamilton, Ontario
Pearson Professional Centres - London, Ontario
Pearson Professional Centres - Ottawa, Ontario
Pearson Professional Centres - Toronto, Ontario
Pearson Professional Centres - Montreal, Quebec
Pearson Professional Centres - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Special Test Accommodations:
Applicants need to contact their provincial/territorial board before applying for a special accommodation through the Pearson Vue testing facilitators.

Nursing graduates who are looking for additional NCLEX prep to help them prepare for the NCLEX in Canada, can apply for the PRIMED 2-Day NCLEX-RN Review course. This course is being offered in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver in the month of January. It is also being offered in a live online classroom setting for nursing students who are unable to attend one of the locations listed above.

The NCLEX-RN review session handles a wide breadth of nursing topics that are covered on the exam. The prep material is based on the most recent NCSBN Test Plan. The course also includes topics on computer adapted testing and important study skills for success on the NCLEX-RN.

Graduates looking for a leg up on the exam can register for a review course at http://www.primededucation.ca/courses-and-registration/.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reducing Test Anxiety for the NCLEX-RN

Part One: Preparation

All Canadian nursing graduates will now need to pass the NCLEX-RN to practice nursing in Canada. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing administers this test.

Proper preparation for this exam is the number one way nursing students can reduce their anxiety on test day. PRIMED Educational Associates offers a full classroom review session for nursing graduates. This 2-day course helps NCLEX-RN applicants improve their overall knowledge, skills and abilities, while creating confidence in their ability to achieve exam success.

Besides our course, there are a number of other ways graduates can reduce their test anxiety. Here are a few suggestions:

Beyond Studying
Your body and mind are connected. Remember this. If you ignore your body, your mental potential will dip. Make time to get out of the house and exercise. Break up your day with short walks or runs. This will also give your mind a chance to rest. Activities like yoga are perfect for decompressing.

Eat Properly
Three set meals is optimal. Avoid the need for sugar or caffeine. If it's 11:00 and your mind is beginning to lag, do not reach for the coffee pot; Reach for your pillow. If you must stay up, fuel yourself with fruits and vegetables.

Sleep is Your Friend
Don't ignore your mattress. Your mind works best when you are rested. Create a sleep sanctuary and keep all your study materials out of your bedroom. Try to blackout your windows and keep the temperature cool for optimal rest.

Learn From Your Mistakes
Quiz Review
Pull out your old tests and quizzes from your nursing program and review your mistakes. What questions did you get wrong? Were you missing details or did you misunderstand a core concept? Establish the areas where you are successful. This will help you prioritize your study time so you can focus the majority of your review on your weakest areas.

Time Management
Create a Study Schedule
Plan out your study time and your anxiety will take an immediate dip. It will also make a seemingly difficult task manageable.

Plan for Self-Assessment
Include time to quiz yourself on the material you cover. Once you build your confidence in your knowledge, you can move on to the next subject.

Organize Your Source Materials
Make sure you have all of your prep material ready before you begin each study session. This will help you maximize your time. It will also keep you on task.

Build a Support Team
Schedule Meet-Ups
Plan to meet with a group of your classmates at least once a week in the month or so before your exam. You can discuss areas that you are struggling with and share resources. Meeting with other NCLEX takers will also help you reduce your overall stress.

Stay in Contact With Your Professors
Your professors want to see you succeed. They are an invaluable resource. They started you on this path towards becoming a nurse and they want to see you finish it.

Use the PRIMED Team
All PRIMED graduates are able to contact their instructors through phone or email once they have finished their two-day NCLEX prep course. PRIMED is dedicated to supporting our students right up to the exam date. We are here to guide and motivate you to exam success.