NCLEX Oh the ever loving JOY

I want to stab someone chuckle in a NOT so funny way at the journey that became my NCLEX and licensure experience. To give you an idea let me start with the timeline of events.

End August 2012- Last theory exam done

Dec 1 2012- Applied CPNE

Mar 1 2013- CPNE first avail date and pass weekend

April 7- Sent app paperwork to Missouri BON*

April 19- Official graduation date, sent official transcript to BON

May 2- Got ATT from BON

May 4- Took NCLEX

May 13- Finally found out that I passed NCLEX

May 31- Started RN job under title of LPN until license # was conferred. Then found out I had to start over square 1 and reapply for RN licensure through Colorado BON arraghghhg.

This is when more of the fun began…

June 3- Applied for RN with Colorado BON*


waiting some more on my inept licensing “specialist”

waiting and not so nice messages to the supervisor of the licensing “specialist”

June 24- RESUBMIT yet another transcript to Colorado BON

July 1- Phone call saying my license should be ready in 10 days

July 16- Nursys confirmation system shows an ACTIVE CO RN LICENSE woooooooooooopp!!!

It was a bit of a process folks…  lord! So when you break it down, I finished the theory exams (which is essentially the “school” part of the RN degree minus the joke of the FCCA which is it’s own story) in August of 2012… My RN license was finally conferred and official at the Board of Nursing in July of 2013. Yah. Almost a year ::::palm face:::::

In the meantime of waiting for the dang license to be official I’ve been bumped again and again for enrollment into my BSN program and so finally I can say it is done. Put to bed. Over and out.

Let me explain a few of the crazies here: My Nclex experience was an absolute nightmare and a half. When I took the LPN nclex I got 79 questions before my computer shut off, I didn’t feel confident at all and walked out in tears thinking I failed only to find out 2 days later that I actually was a rockstar and nailed it. I won’t lie, I kind of expected the same thing this time around. I figured after going through ALLLLLL of this the damn nclex should be a piece of cake. Anyone who knows the NCLEX knows about the smart test system, the 75 questions versus 265 questions, and the Pearson Vue Trick “pop ups”…

I didn’t study all that much for the nclex due to the aforementioned and the fact that I was only concerned with hammering through quickly because I actually had an interview for a job offer as an RN for 2 days after I was taking the nclex….. hah, so typical…. I thought well shit I better get this figured out stat. I used the free ATI tutor thing that Excelsior gives you and I thought it was worthless to be honest. My ‘mentor’ would never respond to me until it was too late (granted I was on a rocket freight train trying to hurry… she clearly was not). I took a handful of practice tests, not sure if I even ever accessed a real assessment? I ran through the free 3500 question review that I used for my LPN nclex. I read through some Hurst notes for a night in between promo jobs and went for it the next day.

I woke up at 5 am and drove an hour and a half to the only testing location that had a date available on a Saturday immediately. I made sure to follow all the applicable rules for identification, just one tiny detail… my drivers license was recently expired thanks to my birthday. Oops. It was Saturday, no DMV was open, had I gone the day prior it still wouldn’t matter because they’d void my current license and give me the white paper to carry around until my new one came in the mail. So my license would be ‘expired’ which is a no-no. I thought that maybe it would be ok since you’d still have the white paper saying it was renewed and I had called a couple days prior to confirm with the Pearson Vue people that this would be acceptable and they said yes, after asking 3 people over 45 minutes….. so I didn’t trust them… and didn’t go void my license and chance it.

Not a problem though because I brought my passport!! Oh yea but my passport was still in my maiden name (even though we’ve been married for 5 years now, I know I know stupid).

BUT fear not. I also brought my marriage license. The original. And both maiden and married social security cards and a dozen other random pieces of info that I could also throw at them incase they asked.

I told you I followed ALL of the fine print to a “T”. Shouldn’t have been an issue. Except the check in people at Pearson Vue looked at me like I had 3 heads when I whipped it all out at them and they acted like I was violating a matter of national security or something. With about 3 hours of sleep the night prior I just wanted to whap them one and say READ your OWN fine print people ugh.

Alas, I got into the room, did the hokey pokey and sat down to test. Questions were just like the PN nclex although I noticed it was a lot less content based and much more delegation based, almost “easier” if I should dare say that?? I watched the numbers tick away, question 60, 65, 70, I squinted after 75 to see if it was going to shut off and nope. Ok maybe at 80. Nope. Hmm ok maybe 90 or worst case 100, I could handle 100.


Ok 120.




Are you EFFING kidding me.


I almost walked out at this point.



I’m not joking….



265 questions folks. EVERY SINGLE ONE. I was in disbelief. What in the hell??!!?!?! I wanted to punch myself, you moron why didn’t you study more. Obviously you don’t know your stuff but dang I really felt like I knew my stuff. How could I have gotten this far without knowing this. I mean 265 means you are a complete moron and missed…. well everything!

I tried to log in to check the infamous “pop up” situation, do I get the good one or the bad one?? OH that’s right, I got neither, I got a mysterious THIRD pop up that I’d never even heard about!! How is it possible that this stuff happens to ME :::::shakes head::::::

This third pop, based on the interweb consensus, is either great or awful haah. No indication of which. It basically means that the BON and Pearson Vue are ‘reviewing’ your results, whatever that means. It also means that you can’t pay the nice little quick results and find out in 48 hours either, you have to wait (generally a WEEK) to find out in writing from the BON!! I kid you not.

Apparently this is common if you had to take an unusual amount of bathroom breaks or you do anything weird during your test or your computer konks out or anything else unusual (NONE of which happened during my test) and that’s all they could say. No answers from anyone. So I waited in misery for a full week before I got my letter from the BON saying I passed.

It wasn’t until after that and some more bothering the board about getting my license done that I FINALLY found out what had happened during my test and it all made perfect sense in the end. Pearson Vue tells you that they don’t randomly select students to “mess” with so to speak, the test is 100% smart adapted so they don’t plug in the system that student A gets 100 questions and student B gets 75, it’s all based on the algorithms from the cat test. They say they don’t profile or screen student’s to test harder basically it’s all completely random and out of their control.

Well they lie. And the BON confirmed this for me point blank. She told me that because my identification was expired and I had to use a secondary ID, even though I followed all the “rules” above and beyond,  I was “flagged” and therefore put through the ringer on my exam.

This is why I got ALL 265 questions.

This is why I got the weird pop up.

This is why it took a week of review (they actually review video of your exam!)

Are you kidding ME?!! No. For realz. Which meant two things- A: those bastards lie and I plan to tell everyone I know about it (even though I’m probably not supposed to… meh too bad). And B: I’m not a moron. I wasn’t failing the questions, I was just doomed to get every single one from the start. Yay for me. 3 1/2 hours later!!! ughhghgh.

*Next part of the crazies: The switcheroo of nursing boards. Started with MO, ended up with CO, both multi state. This is a very long complex explanation. Those of you who know me personally understand why and the details of all of this. I’ll leave it at that. It’s done people, finally done. Which is all that matters.

And now I’m working. As an RN. I really did it.

2 thoughts on “NCLEX Oh the ever loving JOY

  1. Pingback: CPNE Resource Zone

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