Nurses are very important in health care delivery and their duties continue to evolve. It is, for this reason, we bring you this full guide on how to pass nursing school.
This read will be of immense help to those who are looking to take their first step towards becoming certified nurses. We will be looking at the requirements you need to meet, the various exams you might have to take, and more.
We would also, examine ways to prepare for the nursing school exam, common mistakes made, and how to avoid them.
Stick with us and feel free to navigate through our table of contents.
- About Nursing School
- How long Does Nursing School take?
- How Hard is Nursing School?
- What Are The Classes To Take Before Nursing School?
- The Nursing School Exam
- Nursing-Specific Exams
- NLN PAX
- The Nursing Entrance Test(NET)
- Kaplan Admissions Test
- PSB Aptitude for Practical Nursing Exam
- PSB Registered Nursing School Aptitude Exam
- Healthcare Exams
- General Exams
- How Can You Prepare For Nursing School?
- Network with nurses:
- Volunteer in the healthcare field:
- Think like a nurse:
- Check out online nurse forums:
- Put your finances in order:
- Build up a support network:
- What Are The Common Mistakes In Nursing School Exam?
- #1. Assuming the NCLEX is like nursing school
- #2. Reading quickly like you already know the answer
- #3. Cramming right before the test
- #4. Avoiding thoughts about test day
- #5. Believing failure means you’ll fail again
- #6. Thinking your notes are good enough
- How To Pass Nursing School Test
- Follow the nursing exam study guide
- Study a little every day
- Focus on the material covered in class
- Think in terms of action, not facts
- Form a study group
- Skim-read first
- Use outside sources
- Know your learning style
- Use downtime as study time
- Take breaks
The nursing profession is as important as any other profession in the health care sector and hence, indispensable. And to become a nurse one must attend a nursing school.
A nursing school is a type of educational institution, or part thereof, providing education and training to become a fully qualified nurse.
This article was therefore written to guide you through the various steps you would need to take to help you pass your nursing school exams.
About Nursing School
Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. Nurses may be differentiated from other health care providers by their approach to patient care, training, and scope of practice.
A nursing school is a type of educational institution, or part thereof, providing education and training to enable people to become fully qualified nurses. The nature of nursing education and nursing qualifications varies considerably across the world. Since the mid-20th-century nursing education in many countries has undergone many enhancements.
Entry-level courses, sought by most universities, are often five Standard Grades/GCSEs, including English, maths and a science (preferably biology), and two Highers/A-Levels.
Also, mature students, over the age of twenty-one, have the option of entering upon completion of a college Access course, and experience in jobs related to health/nursing assistance is also worthy for consideration into the course.
The years of studying differs by country(different countries have different years of study) for instance, in the UK it takes three years and in the US it is five years.
How long Does Nursing School take?
Nursing Schools helps you advance your career and improve your life through education. Well, depending on your level of dedication, a nursing degree can take the following time to complete:
- Associate’s degree programs, which provide entry-level opportunities, usually take two years
- A bachelor’s degree program takes four years. While A bachelor’s degree with direct entry typically takes three years
- Master’s degree programs generally require two years
- Attending part-time is usually an option at most schools, but the program will take longer to complete.
How Hard is Nursing School?
The career is rewarding, challenging, and always exciting. But nursing schools has its challenges. Most nursing programs require high GPAs and impressive scores in math, chemistry, biology, psychology, and other demanding subjects. It’s also extremely fulfilling.
Things you will Expect
- You’ll study a lot: This should not be a surprise, but it is necessary. The nursing school needs a lot of memorization and work.
- You’ll gain a new perspective
- It will strengthen your critical thinking skills
- You will need a lot of support from friends and family because it’s not easy
- You’ll be challenged because nursing school is challenging. One must not be too comfortable.
- You’ll find a new balance, half the balance battle is won through creating the best schedule for you and adapting to a new rhythm.
- It’s worth it because all the time, energy and, sweat and tears are going to make you a better nurse,
What Are The Classes To Take Before Nursing School?
Preparing for your future career starts from your high school. Actually, what you learn in high school will build a solid foundation for your future career. If you’re determined to be a nurse, you should take classes that will prepare you for your nursing education and career.
List of Course(Classes)
MATHEMATICS: Nursing programs need students to take basic and advanced mathematics such as algebra and statistics. Algebra is necessary for a bachelor or associate nursing degree. For example, nurses use algebra to calculate medication dosage. So, You can prepare by taking algebra classes that will cover subjects such as inequalities, quadratic equations, logarithmic and exponential functions, graphing, and systems of equations.
However, these subjects will equip you for nursing classes where research and analysis are an essential part of the coursework.
If you plan to enroll in a nursing degree program immediately after high school, then some programs will need you to take a laboratory science course for two years before you can get started with your degree. However, biology is one of the main curricular areas of a typical nursing class and it’s a requirement for most nursing degree programs.
In addition, high school biology classes should introduce you to cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry, evolution and genetics, and animal physiology. Also, you will familiarize yourself with the laboratory apparatus, which will provide you with essential skills and knowledge on how to handle lab samples.
Chemistry: This is another essential nursing course requirement that you can take in high school. A standard nursing curriculum has a number of courses in both pharmacology and biochemistry. So, you can prepare while still in high school by taking chemistry classes that will offer you the balancing of equations, organic and inorganic chemistry, and the general principles of chemical reactions.
Additionally, the high school chemistry course will introduce you to laboratory components and how to handle chemicals safely.
The Nursing School Exam
Many nursing schools need an entrance exam to prove that you have the aptitude to successfully complete the program. However, there are different types of tests you might take, its requirements depend on your program and the level of your degree.
Also, You may need to take a test exclusively for nurses, a general exam like the SAT, or maybe even one of both. list of the exams are:
potential students are often required to take a test specially designed for nurses. Though little of the content is related to the exact duties of a nurse. Also, the tests are meant to measure your abilities in areas like comprehension, communication, critical thinking, as well as your knowledge of the core subjects involved in the healthcare field.
This is offered by the National League for Nursing (NLN), the NLN Pre-Admission Exam (PAX) which is one of the most frequent entrance exams for nurses. It measures your verbal ability and understanding of math and science.
However, the test is for Aspiring registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) who are looking to enter certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree programs. It’s 3 sections of multiple-choice questions which comprise 80 verbal, 54 math and 80 science, and the cost Differs by the school, but typically between $45 and $100.
The Nursing Entrance Test(NET)
The Nursing Entrance Test (NET). This is another commonly used exam that covers basic high school-level knowledge in the topics of reading and math, which is Offered through specific schools, it also aims to assess your decision-making skills, learning style, and how you handle stressful situations.
It is primarily used to test those entering LPN or RN program, are 6 sections of multiple-choice questions and a 1-minute reading speed test format which makes up 60 math, 33 reading, 44 learning style, 17 social decisions, 49 stressful situations, and 30 exam-taking skills question. Also, the cost is varied by school.
Kaplan Admissions Test
Using the Kaplan Nursing School Admissions Test, colleges around the country evaluate the potential for a student to succeed in nursing school. It includes performance and gaps in the areas of reading, writing, math, science, and critical thinking.
The test is for LPNs and RNs and has four sections of a multiple-choice question format of 22 reading, 28 math, 21 writing, and 20 science. Also, the cost Varies by the school, but a common rate falls between $25 and $45 dollars. Many schools offer students the test for free.
PSB Aptitude for Practical Nursing Exam
The Psychological Services Bureau (PSB) gives a variety of tests that are used for different healthcare educational programs. The Aptitude for Practical Nursing Exam includes academic subtests and a personality section to know what kind of working environment is right for you.
However, the test is for LPNs that have a format of 5 sections of multiple-choice questions of 225 questions broken into the categories of vocabulary, math, analytical reasoning, spelling, natural science (chemistry, biology, and physics), judgment on practical nursing situations, and the Vocational Adjustment Index.
In addition, it cost Typically $25.
PSB Registered Nursing School Aptitude Exam
The PSB also administers a separate test for registered nurses. Though the questions are slightly different, the general content is the same as the practical nursing exam.
However, the test is for RNs and the formant of the test is 5 sections of multiple-choice questions with 30 vocabularies, 30 math, 30 analytical reasoning, 50 spelling, 40 reading, 90 natural science, and 90 in the Vocational Adjustment Index questions also the cost varies by the school.
Many nursing programs use exams that are designed for healthcare professionals of all kinds. While not specifically centered on nursing,
However, these tests assess similar comprehension and critical thinking abilities that are necessary for anyone in the medical field.
The Test of Academic Skills (TEAS) exam is one of the most frequent tests required of aspiring nurses. It includes reading, science, English, and math, and has shown it to be a good predictor of students’ preparedness for entering the field of healthcare.
However, the test is for LPNs or RNs. Though far less common, medical assistants may also be asked to take the exam. It has 4 sections of multiple-choice questions and 53 reading, 36 math, 53 science, and 28 English/vocabulary and its cost Changes, but typically around $50. Additional fees apply to have your scores sent to your school.
The Health Education Systems, Inc. Admission Assessment (HESI A2) is most generally used by nurses but is sometimes required for students seeking degrees in other areas of healthcare.
So, It measures high school-level math and English, along with an extra emphasis on science. It also includes a personality profile and a learning style inventory.
However, the test is for LPNs or RNs that have the format of 9 sections of multiple-choice questions with these number of questions 50 math, 50 grammar, 50 vocabularies, 47 reading, 25 biology, 25 chemistry, 25 physics, and 25 anatomy/physiology.
Additionally, the cost depends on the school, but often somewhere between $35 and $75.
PSB Health Occupations Aptitude Exam
The PSB offers tests depending on the type of healthcare professionals. The Health Occupations Aptitude Exam is much similar to the other tests in structure and content.
However, the test is for RNs heading into associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs and the format is 5 sections of multiple-choice questions containing 30 vocabularies, 30 math, 30 analytical reasoning, 50 spelling, 40 reading, 90 natural science, and 90 in the Vocational Adjustment Index.
Additionally, the cost is varied by school.
While various nursing programs need a healthcare-specific exam, others want scores on various standardization tests, sometimes in place of a nursing exam and sometimes in addition.
However, in these general exams, there are tests that can be taken which include SAT, ACT, and GRE. SAT and ACT are the same but the difference is that ACT features questions related to science, and could possibly make it the better option for those interested in nursing.
The format for SAT test is 2 multiple-choice sections, 1 section with a mix of questions, and 1 optional essay (though some schools require it) while the ACT is 4 sections of multiple-choice questions and 1 optional essay
Also, their cost is Roughly $50 with an additional fee to write the optional essay for both SAT and ACT.
While the GRE test is for Current RNs looking to earn their master’s degrees and has the format 2 sections, mixing multiple-choice, select-in-passage, and numeric entry questions, along with 1 writing section.
The number of questions depends on how you take the test. Computerized tests have 40 verbal and 40 quantitative reasoning questions, with 2 analytical writing tasks. The written test has 50 questions each for verbal and quantitative reasoning, with 2 analytical writing tasks. Also, the General GRE costs $205. If you wish to take a subject test, you’ll need to pay a fee of $150.
How Can You Prepare For Nursing School?
You should focus on preparing yourself to take advantage of the learning opportunity and it will go a long way toward your success in nursing school. Here are some effective tips to help you get ready to enter nursing school.
Network with nurses:
You can contact your local hospital about setting up informational interviews with nurses. Let them know you are a prospective nursing student seeking information from those in the field, and they will likely be happy to speak with you in person, over the phone or through an email interview.
Volunteer in the healthcare field:
Working in a hospital, nursing home, clinic or other healthcare environment is a sure way to decide whether nursing appeals to you – and if you are a good fit for nursing. However, most hospitals have volunteer programs, and VA hospitals often need volunteers.
Think like a nurse:
Pay attention to what you hear on the news. Search for medical-related and healthcare news sites that interest you and subscribe to their feeds, or just browse through them regularly.
Check out online nurse forums:
Participate in discussions and ask questions of the other nurses. Be sure to identify yourself as a prospective nursing student, and you’ll get plenty of great advice.
Put your finances in order:
Nursing school is an investment, whether you’re joining in an online school, an RN to BSN program, or a four-year baccalaureate program. It’s a good idea to prepare yourself financially, by setting a budget, giving your credit cards a rest, and avoiding big expenditures.
Build up a support network:
Nursing school is going to be tough, and you will need the support of friends and loved ones. Ask for their help and patience in advance. Find a study friend who also attends the same school so you can keep each other motivated during the long years ahead.
What Are The Common Mistakes In Nursing School Exam?
Your instructors will test your resolve, critical thinking skills and your commitment to your chosen profession in nursing as well.
So. It’s for good reason that the NCLEX might be the hardest test you’ll ever take. Nurses are so good at saving lives that’s why nursing has been considered the most trusted profession in the world.
The good news is that many people have taken the NCLEX and become nurses, and so can you. Study hard, avoid these common mistakes.
#1. Assuming the NCLEX is like nursing school
Just because you did well on tests in nursing school doesn’t mean you’ll ace this one. Unlike nursing school exams, which test for knowledge, the NCLEX tests your ability to apply and interpret situations using the nursing knowledge you gained in school. In this test, Logic and critical thinking, rather than rote memorization, feature.
#2. Reading quickly like you already know the answer
If you’ve ever been told to “slow down,” then keep up that mantra when taking the NCLEX. However, When it comes to taking the most important test of our lives against the clock … well, we all have a tendency to fly through the questions that look familiar. For those who instinctively move quickly, the NCLEX is a killer.
That’s because it doesn’t just test for knowledge and competency; the NCLEX tests critical thinking, judgment, reasoning, and thoughtful reflection. There are no shortcuts for these skills.
So, pls read through the questions twice. Assume you do not know the answer.
#3. Cramming right before the test
The NCLEX is hard. You might have gotten through nursing school with marathon all-nighters, but last-minute cramming is not enough to pass the NCLEX. In fact, cramming before a test often has the opposite effect, leading to:
- Mixing up the facts you’ve already learned.
- Preventing the connection between old and new information, which is necessary to input ideas into memory.
- Reading fatigue during study time, causing low energy during testing.
- Anxiety and frustration.
#4. Avoiding thoughts about test day
Sometimes we avoid thoughts about things that worry us in order to put it off or escape anxiety. But big events like taking the NCLEX require some consideration, and you’ll probably feel more prepared if you think about it more.
#5. Believing failure means you’ll fail again
Many great nurses take the NCLEX more than once. If you’ve failed before, you know what to expect. You know what to focus on, how much time you’ll need, and what areas are particularly hard for you.
#6. Thinking your notes are good enough
Your notes are not good enough. A study app is not good enough. Even your notes plus a study app are probably not good enough.
It is because the NCLEX doesn’t test you on the same questions you saw in nursing school; rather, it will test you on your critical thinking skills, so look for new material.
How To Pass Nursing School Test
Nursing school just takes a little bit of planning, some time management and a few study tips and strategies to help separate the “need to know” from the “nice to know” and improve your information retention. So, base on research here are tips that will help you pass the nursing school test.
Follow the nursing exam study guide
One of the best ways to focus your nursing studies is to base your learning around the NCLEX test. Reviewing a study guide not only reveals which subject areas the nursing exam focuses on, but also how the test presents questions.
Clearly, not everything you need to know as a nurse is contained in the licensing exam, but if you study towards the nursing exam all along, you’ll feel more confident on testing day.
Study a little every day
You cannot cram a week’s worth of study into a few hours on the weekend. Commit to spending a little time on your nursing studies every day, even if you have to break it into several smaller increments in order to get it in. So, you will feel less overwhelmed and retain more information.
Focus on the material covered in class
Your instructor will give you many chapters to read, plus outside resources to review. Instead of carefully reading and outlining every single word, take a cue from your class time. What topics did the instructor spends time reviewing? What are the key points covered in a nursing class? Focus your attention on these areas.
Think in terms of action, not facts
It’s important for nurses to understand why certain conditions occur and what is happening physiologically in a patient. However, the patient is not interested in hearing those facts – he or she just wants to feel better.
Form a study group
Research shows that students who study with peers retain approximately 90% of what they learn, as opposed to just 60% of what they hear in class alone and just 10% of what they read.
Therefore, studying with others helps provide encouragement and moral support. So, you have to collaborate with a few of your fellow nursing students and put your heads together to share study tips and improve your performance.
Nursing school requires a lot of reading, but if you try to hold everything on your first pass, you are just going to be frustrated. Before you read a chapter, skim the material first. Look at headings, subheadings, and highlighted terms and review the summaries and questions at the end of the chapter, to determine which information is most important.
Use outside sources
It’s not written anywhere that you only learn from text or your instructor. However, you can research with others or other researchers to learn more. Remember, though, that your textbook and instructor are to be considered the final, correct authority.
Know your learning style
Everyone learns differently: some need to see information, some need to hear it, while others learn kinetically. So in effect, everyone needs to discover which study tips work best for them. So, know your own style and use it to your advantage.
Use downtime as study time
Nursing studies need a certain level of memorization. Create flashcards or notes that will help you review those facts when you are doing other things. For example, tape cards or any other means.
If you spend all of your time studying, you are just going to get confused and probably not retain as much information as you think. So, be sure to take regular breaks so you do not lose interest or enthusiasm.
What do you learn in nursing school?
Those things you’ll learn in nursing school run the gamut from organizational skills that will help you take care of multiple patients at the same time to physical skills like administering medication, maintaining sterile fields, and dealing with catheters, IVs, and suctioning.
Is nursing school difficult?
You’re headed for a great career, one that’s rewarding, challenging, and always exciting. So nursing school is especially difficult. Most nursing programs require high GPAs and impressive scores in math, chemistry, biology, psychology, and other demanding subjects. It’s also extremely fulfilling.Jan 5, 2018
How do I prepare for nursing school?
Preparing for Nursing School
Set your goal for attaining the best, but be prepared for the worst. …
Take a critical thinking course prior to starting your nursing classes. …
Get organized. …
Make time to relax. …
Get a nursing mentor and network. …
Learn to not take everything personally. …
Get great nursing supplies. …
Have a great team to cheer you on.
What are the 6 C’s of nursing?
Therefore, it’s no surprise that there are more of them working in the field than any other healthcare professional. Nurses operate on six core values which are commonly known as the 6 C’s. These are Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment.
How do I pass the Nclex on the first try?
Passing the NCLEX on the First Try
– Familiarize yourself with the NCSBN website.
– Start preparing early.
– Discover your knowledge early on.
– Take practice exams every day.
– Lastly, set yourself up for success on the test day.
The sensitive nature of the nursing profession has made the prerequisite for becoming a nurse more challenging. To this effect, aspiring nurses must be ready to satisfy the requirements and embrace themselves for what is to come.
We hope this article was able to ameliorate your fears and anxieties towards taking the necessary exams for aspiring nurses. And also, exposed the best practices for intending nurses.
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