The lived experience of new graduate nurses successfully completing NCLEX-RN

Shravan Devkota, Collette Loftin, Holly Jeffreys


Background and objective: The NCLEX pass rate is considered the primary indicator of program quality. Much literature exists regarding pre-graduation efforts aimed at aiding students to prepare for the NCLEX-RN exam, while there is little available on post-graduation efforts. This project was conducted to identify the post-graduation experiences of successful NCLEX-RN test takers as they prepared to complete the exam.

Methods: This was a qualitative descriptive study utilizing a phenomenological framework to determine the lived experience of new graduates preparing to complete the NCLEX-RN exam.

Results: Four main themes were identified as relevant to post graduation experiences including: (a) Finding Motivation, (b) Study Tactics, (c) Taking a Break, and (d) The Testing Experience. Additionally, few of the participants took it for granted that they were going to pass the exam, they reported wishing they had spent more time preparing, and with regard to studying, several described wishing they had started earlier.

Conclusions: It will be beneficial for faculty to discuss potential strategies for success to utilize after graduation, including expectations of testing day, setting a realistic timetable to test, overcoming lack of motivation to preparation for the exam, and careful scheduling of coaching and study sessions.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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