NCLEX Review Books: Find the best one for yourself!

 You might have read or came across many books during your study at the Nursing school, but the need for that one guide which helps you revise and retain all that you need for NCLEX, as well helps you practice questions can not be eliminated even in the presence of hefty course books!

Of course review guides are many and choosing the right one can be tough! If you’re one of those who need a full fledged review course, to re build confidence in yourself, revive your knowledge and enhance your skills you may check this one.

Be it any review course or book, first of all you need to understand this before buying anyone of them. They are centred around three main areas and you need to decide what is it that you need?

NCLEX Books/Reviews upon a closer look reveal that they fall into three main categories:

  1. NCLEX review that focuses on good CONTENT: Such books provide you with concrete NCLEX oriented content, not cutting it short in any way, instead they aim to make it  easier for you to understand it as well as memorise it. They help to build your foundation for taking the NCLEX exam.
  2. Strategy oriented Reviews: The NCLEX questions are indirect, twisted and tricky. So many books like Prioritisation, Delegation and assignment by LaCharity do not focus on providing you extensive content but they take care to provide you strategies and tips to develop analytical and clinical judgement skills to help you handle the questions. 
  3. Reviews providing extensive practice of Q/A: Many assume that practice is the key to success, they aim at providing you zillions of NCLEX style questions such that you practice them and hence revise your concepts and build a good understanding. such question banks are also available.

Students needs differ and so do their choices. Some NCLEX takers are working people short of time, some are still students, some have good knowledge of content, and some need to brush everything up since it has been long since they passed out from the nursing school, while others a stuck with poor understanding and unfolding of the NCLEX questions. So, it is only you who can make the right choice and we can only guide you.

Any amount of guidance cannot be fruitful if you fail to identify your needs, so take care of this aspect too. Before making a decision consider the following:

  • Do you need a quick recap to the nursing concepts or an in depth and detailed study is needed
  • Are you still a student or have passed long back from the nursing school?
  • Do you retain enough of what you had learnt?
  • Decide on how much time you can spend on studying.

‘We will review for you the best available NCLEX books in the market that are really worth considering and have helped many students. Any one of them can help you too…’

1. Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN® Examination

The 7th edition of this book, which has been known as the BEST NCLEX Review book ever, is out. Your trust in it may be fostered by it being called as the best, and that too by one and all. This book has been made keeping in mind that it should be covering the entire content and also providing the students with lots of NCLEX style questions with answers and rationales behind them.

Knowing your content well, is of course the first step and is very important. The whole foundation of your success depends on your knowledge and understanding of your content. Then arises the need for practising questions to build analysis and reasoning power. CONTENT is heavy and a nursing student knows it well. This book claims to lessen your cramming and making it a little easier for you to remember things via some tricks that they provide.

Features:

  • Concrete NCLEX targeted content.
  • Important nursing concepts are included, by providing tips and short cuts to remember them.
  • The text includes separately highlighted lists of actions for clinical emergent situations which require immediate decision making and action, including a detailed rationale and textbook reference.
  • They offer over 5000 questions for practice. 
  • Questions are categorised and so segregated from each other, to help you solve each and every one of them with a different approach. 
  • Include multiple response, prioritizing [ordered response], fill-in-the-blank, figure/illustration [hot spot], chart/exhibit, video, and audio questions to amke students acquainted with the variety that they will face during the real exam.
  • They also provide test taking strategies and tips for handling the CAT format.
  • The companion site (evolve) provides useful resources for students who are using the Saunder’s guide, helps you to give around 85 comprehensive exams which cover all the content provided in the book. The number of questions reach upto 5,100.  You will have to register on the evolve site and make a payment to gain access so to more resources that will complement your study with Saunders. They provide access to questions given in the book, many more than that, client scenarios, and simulated tests. 

What’s NEW in the Latest edition?

  • It has been revised and updated keeping in view the latest requirements of the NCLEX-RN exam.
  • New Mnemonics have been included.
  • Illustrations provide good presentation of information.
  • Revised and updated Glossary.

Bottomline: Highly recommended for students for starting their preparation for the NCLEX and are in search for a robust guide that provides that will make them well grounded with content as well as practice questions!

2. Lippincott Q and A Review

It is a well acclaimed book for NCLEX RN preparation which has been authored by renowned nursing educators. This has been consistently the best selling NCLEX book. A balanced blend of good content and and NCLEX style questions is what they have to offer. Those who have used the book report that Lippincott’s review book is more closer to the NCLEX with respect to the questions and content that it offers.

Features:

  • Content focuses on four major areas in pre-licensure programs: obstetrics, pediatrics, medical-surgical, and mental health nursing.  
  • Contains 6000 NCLEX style questions
  • Detailed rationales for correct a well as incorrect answers
  • Gives a good practice of application level questions and other types of questions that pertain to the NCLEX test format
  • Updated according the latest NCLEX requirements
  • CD ROM available with the book fro additional study, review and an even more practice of questions
  • Lippincott’s NCLEX-RN 10,000 in association with PrepU, which is a computerised adaptive learning system is also an option for students who need to practice for the real exam, in the best manner.
  • Provides lots of study tips and a ‘self analysis grid’ to track your progress.

Bottomline: A good review guide which can be your real aid to push you through in your NCLEX exam.

3. Prioritisation delegation and Assignment

This one is also an NCLEX review guide, but isn’t content heavy. Well, it is unique in its own way and does the job quite well. La Charity’s book ‘Prioritisation, Delegation and Assignment’ provides the concise yet complete content but focuses more on the most important skills of Prioritisation, Delegation and Assignment that you need to answer critical questions in the NCLEX exam.

The book has been authored with the aim of making you revise the essential facts and make your base stronger in your nursing content, as well as train you to apply the learnt knowledge. A nurse’s task revolves around prioritising, delegating and assigning tasks that are crucial to a patient’s health and well being and thus the NCLEX tests this skill too. This book is loved by most students its unique method of training the mind for the practical application of what you learn in a nursing school.

Features:

  • Provides concise and consolidated knowledge of nursing content.
  • Neither too extensive or lengthy with the syllabus, that it might not bore you off.
  • The practice exercises are placed in ascending order of difficulty.
  • The new edition contains addtional 60 pages of questions.
  • LGBTQ related scenarios included.
  • Answer keys with detailed rationales are given.
  • Most of the questions in this book are more difficult than those asked in the NCLEX, they are useful enough to train a mind for the real exam and align your thinking like it should be to get the answer right.

Bottomline: It is an indispensible resource for those who need to build the clinical thinking and decision making skills along with revising their content well.

4. HESI Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX RN examination

The HESI book is a content book that coves all the nursing topics in a manner that is easy to read and memorise. Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) is a United States company that provides exams and other study material to help prepare student nurses for their professional licensure exam. Schools often use HESI to help predict the students likelihood of success in tests such as the NCLEX-RN. So, this one can provide you exactly what you must be studying. 

The book’s special feature is that, it’s content is to the point. They do not elongate any topic of study and focus on gain of relevant and apt knowledge. It is targeted for HESI and NCLEX both. Not many tips, tactics or test taking strategy is focussed on, in this book. This book’s companion website Evolve, offers practice questions too.This book is content oriented but it is neither too comprehensive nor concise, it provides very manageable text that is easy to understand and revise, while covering the entire syllabus.

Features:

  • Easy to understand content.
  • Covers the entire nursing syllabus keeping in view the latest changes.
  • Synchronised chapter organisation makes it easy for students to revise the syllabus.
  • It is content oriented so does not focus much on strategy.
  • Also provides some fill in the blanks and prioritising questions fro practice. 
  • The companion website evolve offers around 600 questions for practice.

Bottomline: This book is well known for its concrete and to the point content. It is recommended for students who are weak in content and need to revise well to build a strong foundation.

5. Mosby’s Comprehensive Review 

Mosby’s Comprehensive Review is known for concise content and simple language, which leads to easy understanding. The book comes in two versions; one for the NCLEX RN and the other for NCLEX PN. The nursing content is well updated, put forward systematically with highlighted facts that are crucial to learn and remember. Each chapter is followed by a practice test, that focuses on building the ability to apply the learnt knowledge and decision making.

The NCLEX RN review book focuses on medical-surgical, pediatric, maternity/women’s health, and mental health nursing areas. While the NCLEX PN review book takes care of cognitive level, phase of the nursing process, client need, with increasing level of difficulty. The questions serve as a medium to identify strong and weak areas to further help the students to re strategise their studies.

Features:

  • Updated, concise and relevant content.
  • The content is arranged and put forward in a lucid as well as an impressive manner.
  • Each chapter has a practice exercise of NCLEX style questions.
  • In depth explanations are provided for correct as well as in correct answers.
  • The book comes along with a companion CD allows students to create customized quizzes and exams.
  • The questions provided in the book as well as the CD together are over 4200 for the NCLEX RN and around 3500 for the NCLEX PN.
  • Nursing management section has especially been included in the new edition. Delegation and leadership areas have also been dealt with separately.

This review guide has long been serving the students with updated knowledge to cross the NCLEX exam. This book is really simple in its approach and does not provide many tactics or strategy. You will have to build your own strategy while this can be an aid in helping you to brush up your knowledge.

Bottomline: It is a well trusted book and has been there since long. It can be used to supplement your study in the nursing school or revise essential elements before you appear for the NCLEX exam. But for any special strategy or tactics related to handling crucial NCLEX questions it may not be the best one. 

“What we would suggest to any NCLEX test taker is, to approach the exam in a very balanced way. None of the three aspects of the exam, be it content , strategy or practice of questions can or should  be overlooked. Exhausting your efforts too much on one aspect and losing out on the other would eventually cause you to regert later.”

Editor’s Note:-  To have an all round and fortified preparation we recommend BrilliantNurse’s 6 months All access test prep tracks with daily assignments courses for preparation of NCLEX-PN® and NCLEX-RN®. Check out the given links. Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-RN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments and Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-PN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments

Nursing Responsibilities

Nurses are an important part of the health care team as they play a major role in the rehabilitation of patients. In most cases they are the ones providing most of the direct care that is given to patients. The duties that are conducted by a nurse heavily depend on the position that they hold.If we look at the broad categories, we have two types of nurses Registered Nurses (RN) and Practical Nurses (PN) in the USA. Apart from this, we also categorise nurses based on their area of work or where their duties are assigned.

Educational requirements:  

Whether you undertake an accredited nursing program at a nursing school or online, you will also be required to complete clinical internships that provide you with the practical skills to become a good nurse. As a fully qualified RN, you will be able to work in a hospital or health clinic while completing your more advanced nursing education.

For being an LPN Licensed Practical Nurse, you should have passed high school and then obtain a one-year certificate program in nursing. LPNs often work under RN’s supervision while in some states they may be supervised by more experienced LPNs.

BUT for both, after you complete your educational requirements you need Licensure and the completion of the NCLEX exam is mandatory for that. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re looking for an NCLEX review program that is well updated and provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to pass the NCLEX in your first attempt, we recommend Brilliant Nurse, which offer a variety of courses for RN as well as PN aspirants. Check out the given links: Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-PNÆ Test Prep Track and Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-RNÆ Test Prep Track

 

The responsibilities of a nurse at core are the same, but have slight limitations fro an LPN. hence there are little differences in their roles.

Registered Nurse: ROLES!

An RN has to know the requirements of the patients under their care. In most hospitals the nurses are also expected to accompany the doctors in the ward rounds. If there are changes with the patient, then the doctor is updated, these include discussing developments that have taken place since the patient was put under their care.

Let’s take a closer look on their major duties. The daily activities of these qualified practitioners include:

1) Directly involved in patient care, they assisting the patients to take blood pressure, pulse and temperature and record the physical findings

2) Monitor the conditions of the patients

3) Carry out examinations and preventive health measures

4) Prepare patients for surgeries and wound treatments

5) Perform minor operations independently

6) Assist doctors or physicians in major surgeries or complicated medical procedures

7) Prepare care plans for patients under the supervision of doctors

8) Interpret and evaluate individuals’ health care requirements

9) Write prescriptions (allowable in certain states in US)

10)Prepare patients’ progress reports to the physicians on a consistent basis

11)Communicate with patients closely and emphasizing on disease prevention

12) Detailed communication with other nurses on staff

To sum up their role we can say that apart from what has been mentioned above, patient care also includes supervision of rehabilitation procedures and therapies. Nurses must at all times ensure that patients are in the best comfort possible within the confines of the hospital and also to assist patients access specialized health care like counselling should the patient request such help. When it comes to patients, due diligence must observed to avoid lawsuits that can arise from negligent actions of the service providers.

In the disbursement of their duties, the nurses also ensure that drug therapy is administered to the patients. This may include patiently explaining to the patient what they are doing and why they are doing it. Related to these duties is the collection of accurate data from patients and in the event that a nurse has just been allocated a new patient, such a nurse should take time to study the file presented to them. This allows for optimal delivery of services.

They also coordinate the running of most hospitals by forwarding and receiving laboratory results that had been ordered. They also coordinate tasks of the various doctors in the health facilities and enforce some of their decisions or recommendations. They also delegate tasks to their assistants and orderlies.

The nurses thereby take part in the administration of the facility. Administrative services taking care of the inventory, ensuring machines like the MRIs under their department are working, ensuring that high standards of cleanliness are maintained as well as to keep records of drugs that are used in the hospital with the help of the pharmacists.

Being a qualified practitioner, one is required to be competent in delivering excellent health care to patients of all ages. In order to perform the daily tasks successfully, learning new knowledge and techniques is essential in today’s fast changing world.

Practical Nurse: ROLES!

What exactly do licensed practical nurses do and where can they work? As a nurse, those are usually the questions that you may be asked by some people. Because the LPN’s roles are unique, answering such questions can be a bit tough. So here are some of the answers you might be looking for.

A licensed practical nurse is also called a license vocational nurse and a registered practical nurse. The names may vary depending on the state or country you are in. Generally, license practical nurses are those who have undergone training and have obtained a license that allows them to provide routine care to the sick.LPNs report to a registered nurse or a physician. They work under their supervision. LPNs are also tasked to oversee and supervise nursing assistants in some medical facilities. They also help in extending help and perform comforting functions like bathing the patient, helping to reposition them in bed. Often the LPN will help the patient to dress or eat, even helping the patient to stand or walk.

RNs have a longer educational curriculum and program. So, have a much wider knowledge on pharmacology, pathophysiology, management, legal issues, ethical practices and leadership. An LPN’s role in the medical facility depends on the state or country where he or she is working in. In some states, such as Texas, licensed practical nurses have a wide range of roles, making their tasks almost the same as the registered nurses’. They can initiate IV starts, administer medications with an IV push, as well as maintain central lines. There are other states though, like New York, that gives more limits to the LPNs’ roles.

Generally, an LPN performs the following:

1. Checking vital signs

2. Wound care

3. Wound dressing changes

4. Answer patient calls

5. Finger stick blood sugar testing.

6. Ostomy site care and maintenance.

7. Urinary catheter insertion and care

8. Specimen collection

9. Data collection

10. Monitoring for changes in condition

11. Date collection

12. Medication administration

13. Caring of patients with ventilators and tracheostomies

14. Charting

15. Documentation

While there may be differences between licensed practical nurses and registered nurses, they also have their own similarities. Whether you are an LPN or an RN, it is essential to remember that despite the different labels, both nurses have to work together for the benefit of the patients and the facilities you are working in.

EDITOR’s NOTE: Opt for the best review course for NCLEX that will bring together both theoretical and practical aspects of nursing so that you not only pass the NCLEX but also excel in your professional life!

Pharmacology for Nurses

Pharmacology is the study of action of drugs. This study involves knowledge from various subjects on pharmacology to make a nurse understand how drugs work, their intended effects, and also help them to anticipate and recognise potential side effects. So, of course you know that this is a vital part of your Nursing content and crucial for your unerring profession!

A nurse is the person who is closest to the patient, and can easily monitor his/her condition before and after the administration of drugs. Thus, having an in depth and sound knowledge about medications and their expected responses is indispensable for you. The licensure examination ‘NCLEX’ very well understands this and devotes at least 13 to 19% of the ‘physical integrity’ section to this subject.

Who can understand better than nursing student himself that pharmacology can be really tough if you do not learn it with the right approach. Only cramming does not help, coz you are bound to mix the information as well as sometimes forget what you had learnt. Go through essential things that you must know in this course.

1. KNOWING DRUG CLASSIFICATION IS IMPORTANT

You might be knowing that drugs are classified on the basis of how they affect the body like bronchodilators , laxatives, or by their therapeutic use like antihypertensives, diuretics, antipyretics or by some chemical characteristics like beta blockers.

Classification for adult clients in a clinical setting!

  • Anti-infectives: Used for the treatment of infections. Common side effects include GI upset.
  • Antihypertensives: Lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to the myocardium. Common side effects include orthostatic hypotension. Other side effects are specific to types of antihypertensive prescribed.
  • Antidiarrheals: Decrease gastric motility and reduce water content in the intestinal tract. Side effects include bloating and gas.
  • Diuretics: Decrease water and sodium absorption from the loop of Henle (loop diuretics) or inhibit antidiuretic hormone (potassium-sparing diuretics). Side effects of non–potassium-sparing diuretics include hypokalemia.
  • Antacids: Reduce hydrochloric acid in the stomach. A common side effect of calcium-and aluminum-based antacids is constipation. Magnesium-based antacids frequently cause diarrhea.
  • Antipyretics: Reduce fever.
  • Antihistamines: Block the release of histamine in allergic reactions. Common side effects of antihistamines are dry mouth, drowsiness, and sedation.
  • Bronchodilators: Dilate large air passages and are commonly prescribed for clients with asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease. A common side effect of these is tachycardia.
  • Laxatives: Promote the passage of stool. Types of laxatives include stool softeners, cathartics, fiber, lubricants, and stimulants.
  • Anticoagulants: Prevent clot formation by decreasing vitamin K levels and blocking the clotting chain or by preventing platelet aggregation.
  • Antianemics: Increase factors necessary for red blood cell production. Examples of antianemics include B12, iron, and Epogen (erythropoetin).
  • Narcotics/analgesics: Relieve moderate to severe pain. Medications in this cate- gory include opioids (morphine and codeine), synthetic opioids (meperidine), and NSAIDs (ketorolac).
  • Anticonvulsants: Used for the management of seizure disorder and the treatment of bipolar disorder. Medications used as anticonvulsants include phenobarbital, phenytoin (Dilantin), and lorazepam (Ativan).
  • Anticholinergics: Cause the mucous membranes to become dry; therefore, oral secretions are decreased. Anticholinergics such as atropine are often administered preoperatively.
  • Mydriatics: Dilate the pupils. Mydriatics are used in the treatment of clients with cataracts.
  • Miotics: Constrict the pupil. Miotics such as pilocarpine HCl are used in the treatment of clients with glaucoma.

2. ADMINISTRATION

The nurse is expected to use the seven rights when administering medications to the client. These include five rights of drug administration, plus two from the Patient’s Bill of Rights.

The seven rights of medication administration are

  • Right client: Identification of the client must be done by asking the client to state his name and checking the identification band.
  • Right route: The physician orders the prescribed route of administration.
  • Right drug: Checking both the generic and trade names with the physician’s order ensures that the right drug is administered. If the client’s diagnosis does not match the drug category, the nurse should further investigate the ordered medication.
  • Right amount: The nurse is expected to know common dosages for both adults and children.
  • Right time: The nurse can administer the medication either 30 minutes before the assigned time or 30 minutes after.
  • Right documentation (from the Patient’s Bill of Rights and legality issues in nursing): This right is different from the others in that it must be done to prevent duplicating drug administration.
  • Right to refuse treatment (from the Patient’s Bill of Rights): The client has the right to refuse medication or treatment.

3. ASSESMENT

This involves collection of data of patients that include laboratory and diagnostic tests to analyse teh patient’s health and recovery rate. Nurses are responsible for administering as well monitoring the theraputitic and unknown effects. Knowing the complete medical history and regular assesment helps in proper medical care.

NOTE: Find more knowledge about Pharmacology for NCLEX and the relevant study material to crack the licensure exam and kick start your career!

TIPS FOR STUDYING PHARMACOLOGY:

The course is intense. It is a comprehensive subject and so it may intimidate you in the first instance. So, you must devise some strategy to handle it!

  • Segregate the important from the less important stuff: It is not necessary to learn all the stuff even you do try to cram it all you are bound to forget some portion of it or get confused in your mind while recalling. It is better that you learn the more important portions and be at ease. How to identify what’s essential? Go through the NCLEX exam apttern and make choices.
  • Devise your own learning style: Everyone learns in a differnt style, let yourself understand the syllabus and read it thouroughly and find out what is the best method for you to learn this content. Drug names can be really confusing. It is better that you learn the classification first and then learn prefixes as well as suffixes to remember the drugs with similar mode of action and effect.
  • Take help of Mnemonics: You can creatively make your own mnemonics to learn extensive drug categories, names etc. It will ease memorisation.
  • Learn with friends: The best way to learn something that’s difficult is to teach others or collective learning. Make a study circle where you can learn along with others.  Concentrate well, call out aloud with friends to cram things better.
  • Take help: You can take help from teachers in your school or from guides too. But what we recommend is to be really NCLEX specific while learning, so that it gives you maximum benefit. Nurses do not prescribe drugs, they are involved in monitoring and analysis of the patient’s condition so too much knowldeg is not required like a medical student may need. It is better for you to go in for a good NCLEX review course that may ease this portion as well as others pertaining to the nursing content and help you cross the NCLEX!

Final Word:

It is the duty of the nurses to keep track of the administered drugs. The tasks need to be done with expertise because a small mistake can be detrimental to victims. Therefore nurses must have solid understanding on drugs so that the nurse can perform the job proficiently.Pharmacology classes teach how drugs act in a human system and on how medication is classified. Many subjects are touched in these training including different physiological systems and the effect of drugs on them. In addition, there is an emphasis on terminology and vocabulary of medications.

Pharmacology for nurses entails a lot of information being absorbed. A nurse with this course is able to understand the internal and external effect of medications and can recognize symptoms of adverse effects or an overdose.

Since, this is an important as well as tough portion of the nursing content, if you can’t handle it yourself find the right support and guidance to help you through.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We recommend BrilliantNurse’s 6 months All access test prep tracks with daily assignments courses for preparation of NCLEX-PN® and NCLEX-RN®. Click the below given for further information. Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-RN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments and Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-PN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: How does it find relevance in nursing?

The nusring profession is a challenging one! Nurses often face complicated situations where they have to take decisions and sometimes address multiple issues at a time. Their job is not limited to providing help that heals a patient physically but sometimes they also have to pacify the perturbed minds of the patients as well as their families. When you have lots of jobs at hand, how should you be handling them? The answer in in setting priorities and accomplishing the most important first and so on and so forth.

Now, the question arises as to how a nurse should be setting priorities? Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, lays down the human needs in manner where it becomes easy to understand what should come first and what last! 

EDITOR’s NOTE: Opt for the best review course for NCLEX that will bring together both theoretical and practical aspects of nursing so that you not only pass the NCLEX but also excel in your professional life!

MASLOW’S THEORY

Psychologist Abraham Maslow defined basic human needs as a hierarchy showing how human needs progress from the most basic needs to complex ones!

The Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is depicted in the form of a pyramid as given below where he has shown the base of the pyramid holds the most important and crucial needs of physiological well being which require food, air, water, sleep etc. Progressing upwards in the pyramid, the degree of importance of the needs keeps decreasing. After the physiological need we have needs for safety and security which include shelter. Henceforth are social needs, esteem needs and self actualisation needs.

A need is defined as that which, in its absence breeds illness, when present prevents illness and if restored, cures illness. Maslow also felt that the need is inactive, at a low ebb, or functionally absent in a healthy person. But, needs exist in a hierarchy and so when one need is satisfied the person becomes aware of another need. For example, the basic physiological needs have a greater priority over those higher on the pyramid. They must be met before the person can move on to higher level needs. In other words, a person who is starving will not be concentrating on building his self-esteem. A patient in severe pain will not be concerned with improving his interpersonal relationships.

Maslows hierarchy of needs jpgWhy is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs important in nursing?

With the perspective of the nursing profession nurses and clinical care that is extended to patients, Maslow’s theory holds great importance. It helps nurses to prioritise client’s needs. Whenever they will face a situation that demands them to prioritise they will easily be able to decide that physiological needs hold the most importance and need to be fulfilled first, then the others may be taken care of.

A research paper published by NCBI: Improving Patient Care Through the Prism of Psychology: application of Maslow’s Hierarchy to Sedation, Delirium and Early Mobility in the ICU establishes the importance of this theory in the Nursing Profession. 

With respect to client care let’s see what the needs are and what any efficient nurse can to render the right kind of help!

1. PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS: They include basic concerns by family members if sometimes patients are unaware of their condition. This is mostly extended and  well taken care of by hospitals. It may include providing support for failing organs, pain and symptom management, taking care of nutrition etc.

2. SAFETY NEEDS: Concerns about emotional well-being in the context of frequent nightmares and delusions as well as with whether the ICU team can prevent their conditions from worsening. This can be taken care of by preventing errors, delirium management and monitoring, taking care of hospital acquired infections etc.

3. SOCIAL NEEDS (LOVE/BELONGING): Concerns about how much support they will receive if their critical illness persists (e.g. will people continue to visit or will they forget about me) and well as whether they will “fit in” to old communities now that they have “newly acquired” disabilities that may limit them.Hospitals should allow open visitation of family and friends and post ICU support should be given by nurses.

4. ESTEEM NEEDS: Concerns about whether they can reach recovery-related goals – e.g. return to vigorous activities or to work as soon as they had hope.Can be fulfilled by recognition of dignity/value in each patient, optimising pre illness cognition and physical function through rehabilitation.

5. SELF ACTUALISATION: Concerns about ability to reconcile pre-morbid identity with “new normal” and to embrace a potentially new identity.For re establishing this need, incorporation of spiritual values into patient acre, acceptance of new limitations, reconciliation of new identity etc can be of some help.

How it actually helps!

  • It has been affirmed that especially for patients who have long been in the ICU, ‘aftercare’ is very important. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, provides the framework and spark that are needed to enhance translation of care with a patient-centered emphasis on the physical and psychological complaints experienced by survivors. The poor quality of survivorship and dismantled lives of many patients emerging from ICU care remain an under-recognized public health problem that is not being addressed rapidly. 
  • For nurses working in ICUs this theory lays down relevant guidelines which help them to work efficiently while even understanding their patient’s need well! Since the prime duty of any nurse is ‘Client Care’!
  • Nurses will also be able to adjust their behaviour towards patients when they understand their needs well. They can develop a good bond with them leading to an amicable environment and speedy recovery.
  • Apart from the practical aspect, when it comes to the Licensure examination, the NCLEX this will also be of great help. Having correct knowledge about this will help you understand needs and answer tricky NCLEX questions that require you to prioritise and take decisions!

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re looking for an NCLEX review program that not only provides you with updated and sound content, but helps you build the ability to think confidently, train you to analyse questions by making you acquainted with case studies, practical scenarios and simulation tests; we recommend Brilliant Nurse, which offer a variety of courses for RN as well as PN aspirants. Check out the links below:

Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-PNÆ Test Prep Track and Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-RNÆ Test Prep Track

NCLEX Quick Results

‘It is strategy, that lies at the core of winning any battle!’.………..By mastering how to take the test, you’ll improve your chances of getting high marks, minimize test taking errors and have a lifeline once the questions start to sound like gibberish. Find out what it needs to obtain flawless quick results in NCLEX!

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing deliberately made the NCLEX more adept at selecting test takers who are not only knowledgeable but are skillful as well. In simple terms, the NCLEX exam is difficult. Even when you’ve studied enough during your NCLEX exam review, you could still end-up lost and confused during the exam. Here, comes in the need for a Well Grounded Strategy.NCLEX-RN and PN exams can be passed only with the right orientation and preparation. Of course it is a tough battle, for which you will need support and guidance. Cramming the whole nursing syllabus is of course a hefty task, but still it won’t be enough for you to crack this exam since it has been designed to test a lot more than your retaining power!

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re looking for a review course that provides all; a good study plan, robust strategy, NCLEX targeted content, and rigorous practice of questions. You may choose Brilliant Nurse and relieve your pressure while getting unparalleled support as well as guidance from expert faculty. Check out the given links. Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-RNÆ Test Prep Track and Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-PNÆ Test Prep Track.

To get through in your first attempt, plan well. Go, through the key elements that are intrinsic to a good TEST TAKING STRATEGY!

1. Understand test format and the demand of the exam: Familiarising yourself with the test format in question is the first step to exam preparation.

  • The National Council of State Boards of Nursing review the nursing requirements every three to four years, by conducting a job analysis. The NCLEX exam is then upgraded and redesigned to incorporate new topics, including new developments and upcoming requirements for better nursing staff. 
  • The questions are designed in a manner that they filter out adept and skilful, nurses and not only knowledgeable ones.
  • The questions of course are tricky and difficult. Moreover the level of of difficulty increases as you keep answering them correctly, with every next upcoming question.
  • The NCLEX uses Computerised Adaptive Testing (CAT) where you get around 30 seconds to answer a question, which can build pressure on the test taker.
  • One of the most imp thing is that this exam focuses on testing your critical thinking ability, your analysing and decision making power. So, it often happens that a bright student of the nursing school may fail the exam.  To get through this one, you need sound theoretical knowledge but alongside be skilled at how it will be applied in real situations!

2. Get mentally prepared: How do you get mentally prepared? Even before that, as a pre requisite to making up your mind for the NCLEX, you need to know well about the test itself! What is the pattern of the test? The syllabus? The style of questions? The hurdles that people face? Why have people failed? What is it that you dread or your weak area? A good analysis of all the stuff will help you prepare yourself mentally to beginning your preparation with the right approach, convince yourself for the much needed hard work and get through in your first attempt!

3. Know your content: Nursing content is lengthy and tough. It is of course an uphill task to remember it all! First of all you need content based on the updated syllabus keeping view of the present requirements. The content should be organised and NCLEX oriented. A good review provider will cut down the irrelevant part of your nursing syllabus and focus more on the important areas. Moreover it should be studied in new and innovative ways, covering  a wide array of topics, to keep you adept and updated with the most needed information on various facets of nursing that you have no chance to regret later.

Certain tricks and short cuts should be used to remember the stuff so that you do not keep on lingering with content and focus on other aspects of the exam too.

4. Master the NCLEX questions: NCLEX, comprises of a wide array of questions. It tests your all round abilities. There is no single approach to answering such a variety of questions. You should try to analyse all types of questions and practice them enough develop the clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills that you need. Each new question will help you revise some important fact and will help to develop your thinking in a way that you can apply your learnt knowledge!

5. CAT (Computer Adaptive Testing): The “adaptive” in CAT implies that the exam is not simply a static one. It’s not that you sit down and answer a set of predetermined questions but instead the exam will constantly be adapting to your answering style.As you’re taking the exam, you will be given a question that is of medium difficulty. If you get the question correct, the following question will be more difficult. If you get this question correct, the following question will be even more difficult.As you are going through the exam, every answer you get correct will cause you to receive a more difficult question afterwards. However, if you get a question incorrect, then the following question will be slightly easier.

And so this assumes that as you go through the exam getting some questions correct, some questions incorrect, the test will constantly adapt to your testing style so that you are given questions that are fair to you and that you have the relative ability to answer.

Get a good practice of NCLEX styles tests, that simulate the real test. Many trusted NCLEX review courses provide this facility.

6. Devise a study schedule: A good study plan comprises of a balanced distribution of your entire syllabus according to the number of days you have dedicated for your preparation.

  • Systematically target yourself to revising your content alongside practising the NCLEX style questions.
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Be regular in following your scheduel and do not forget to alott some time for revision.

6. Minimise Errors To Maximize Your Scores: As was published in the Journal of the National Medical Association, students who have received instructions on test taking strategies had significantly higher test scores than those who didn’t. This means that test taking strategies can indeed improve your test accuracy and get higher scores. Strategise and train yourself before you enter the examination hall. What to do during the test? 

  • Read the instructions carefully. This is often overlooked by many NCLEX test takers, especially by those who are either excited or anxious to take the exam.
  • Read the question and look for the stem. The stem is the core of the question and will serve as the basis for your answer.
  • Decide what type of information the question requires. Check if you should prioritize, delegate, assess or intervene.
  • Read through the choices and see which ones fits the stem correctly or grammatically. Grammatically correct choices are usually the correct answers.
  • Check each choice for the presence of general words like always, all, complete or total. These choices are 98% wrong. So if you have doubts, eliminate choices with these words immediately.
  • Cross-out wrong choices. This increases the probability of choosing the right answer.
  • Answer the question. Based on what you’ve learned during your NCLEX review, answer the question.
  • Finally, if you don’t remember anything about the questions or the choices. Judiciously choose from the choices that you haven’t eliminated.

“You need to be disciplined and really good at implementing all of this to reap the real benefits. If you feel that you need support check out for the best Review Course that will help you in all aspects!” We recommend BRILLIANT NURSE NCLEX REVIEW.

Why should you opt for this review program?

Apart from all that has been mentioned, you must not forget that : Memorising information is not the key to passing the NCLEX test. The best NCLEX study program will give you the opportunity to exercise your critical thinking. ‘It should offer NCLEX study questions simulating real scenarios in a medical institution. Consequently, this will help you to answer questions as if you were facing a real medical situation.’

Check out an example:

UNFOLDING CASE STUDY :- Ruth Marie is a 68-year-old White female. While shopping at the mall with her daughter, she saw a health fair being advertised; it had healthy snacks available and free blood pressure (BP) screening. The nurse took her BP and told her that it was 164/96 mmHg. This was the first time Ruth Marie was told that her BP was elevated.

1. Ruth Marie asks the nurse, “What causes high blood pressure?” The nurse explains that risk factors for primary hypertension (HTN) are:
Select All That Apply

A
-Obesity 



B
-Narrowing of the aorta 



C
-Alcohol consumption 



D
-Sodium retention 



E
-Sleep apnea 



F
-Cigarette smoking

Correct Answer: A, C, D
Obesity—YES; this increases the risk of primary HTN.

Alcohol consumption—YES; this increases the risk of primary HTN.

Sodium retention—YES; this increases the risk of primary HTN.

2. A few weeks later, Ruth Marie went to her primary care provider (PCP) and had her BP taken again. She was diagnosed with HTN and prescribed an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and a thiazide diuretic. She was also placed on the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.

Which statement made by Ruth Marie indicates an understanding of the low-sodium diet?

A
-“I can still drink two glasses of tomato juice every morning.” 



B
-“I will eat a few slices of cheese every day because it has protein.” 



C
-“When I am too tired to cook, I will eat prepared frozen meals.” 




D
-“I will begin eating cooked cereal for breakfast.” 



Correct Answer: D
“I will begin eating cooked cereal for breakfast.”—YES; cooked cereal is low in sodium.

Case studies that mimic real scenarios, help students to develop better decision making abilities and learn how to answer them by correctly interpreting them.

Before, deciding on which course to take, you need to remember that knowing your nursing content and learning the clinical skills in a nursing school is not enough to pass the NCLEX exam. What you need more, is to be good at critical thinking! Knowledge at both ends, practical as well as theoretical, and its sound application will lead you to cracking the NCLEX in the fisrt attempt. Have a look at how they have categorised the variety of questions asked in the NCLEX exam and how you need to handle them: Their Strategy!

Bottomline: Briliant Nurse is one such program that will guide you with the right study material, assitance, needed practice and APPROACH to handle questions to crack the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN exams.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We recommend BrilliantNurse’s 6 months All access test prep tracks with daily assignments courses for preparation of NCLEX-PN® and NCLEX-RN®. Click the given links for further information. Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-RN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments and Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-PN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments

NCLEX Lab Values!

Knowing the normal range of ‘lab values’ is intrinsic to a nurse’s career. Health of the human body can be determined by knowing the lab values which measure certain variables of the body that help to asses and determine a variety of abnormalities and diseases. Maintaining the health records of patients is an important part of the duties of an LPN as well as RN, and this cannot be possible without knowing the normal range of and analysis of lab values. 

Why is it important to know them?

NCLEX does ask qusetions regarding lab values whcich focus on distinguishing the correct or standard value from the non standard ones. You need to know them well, but not only sit and cram them like parrot. The underlying motive of such questions is more than just asking you the correct values, sometimes the questions are twisted in order to ask you the implications or moed of action henceforth after knowing a patient’s report.

Moreover you need to know that there is no ‘one’ main standard of values that you need to know since tey can differ from hospital to hospital. So, you just need to know the range and be able to deduce and analyse the information if the values fallout from the normal range. Remember, that it is the patient’s nurse who is the first person to see a patient’s reports and has to immediately bring it to the notice of the doctor, so of course this part cannot be overlooked.

The trick to remembering them?

It is not a cake walk to remember ALL the lab values that you have been taught in a nursing school! While preparing for the NCLEX liek all other parts of your content you need to make choices here too. Eliminate the non essential ones. Now the question arises that which are the essential ones?

Often repeated questions will let you know this. the basic ones everyone needs to know, make a choice for what more? Some lab values are often indirectly asked in case studies wher you are not requirsed to tell teh correct valu or its range but you need to assess and take a decision. One more trick is that you can do a practice of lots of good case studies nad you’ll leran tehma as you practice.

Otehr values that just need to be known and are’nt even often used in case studies, they need to be simply learnt and for that you can revise them again an again to remember them or mnemonics can be of help.

Also, know about the implications of any lab value that falls out of range. In either of the case it being too low or too high, knowing what condition it would trigger in a patient will also help you remember better.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A good NCLEX review course will make this easy for you. It should be providing yo with tricks and tactics to remember them, relevant case studies and interpretation skills. We recommend Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-RNÆ Test Prep Track and Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-PNÆ Test Prep Track.

A short list of ‘Lab Values ‘ that are important for you to know. Target NCLEX!

Arterial Blood gases

pH 7.35 – 7.45
PaCO2 35 – 45
HCO3 22 – 26BUN 5 – 20

Hematology

Hemoglobin: 12–16 g/dL Women; 14–18 g/dL Men
Hematocrit: 37 – 48% Women; 45 – 52% Men

Cholesterol <200
Glucose 70 – 100

Electrolytes
• Ammonia: 15-50 µmol/L
• Chloride: 95-105 mmol/L
• Creatinine: 0.8-1.3 mg/dL
• Blood urea nitrogen: 8-21 mg/dL
• Ferritin: 12-300 ng/mL (men), 12-150 ng/mL (women)
• Glucose: 65-110 mg/dL
• Inorganic phosphorous: 1-1.5 mmol/L
Ionized calcium: 1.03-1.23 mmol/L
Magnesium: 1.5-2 mEq/L
• Phosphate: 0.8-1.5 mmol/L
Potassium: 3.5-5 mmol/L
• Pyruvate: 300-900 µg/dL
Sodium: 135-145 mmol/L
• Total calcium: 2-2.6 mmol/L
• Total iron-binding capacity: 45-85 µmol/L
• Total serum iron: 65-180 µg/dL (men), 30-170 µg/dL (women)
• Transferrin: 200-350 mg/dL
• Urea: 1.2-3 mmol/L
• Uric acid: 0.18-0.48 mmol/L
• Zinc: 70-100 µmol/L

Interpretation from ‘Lab values’!

We have cited two examples to let you know how these are used for diagnosis.

1. Potassium levels aid in diagnosing disorders such as acidosis, renal failure, and dehydration. They are used to monitor the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions implemented.

Indications: 

Increased potassium K+ :acute renal disease, burns, crushing injuries, adrenal insufficiency, dehydration, anorexia nervosa, excessive intake caused by specific drugs (potassium penicillin), salt substitute, or, the most common, too rapid infusion of intravenous (IV) solution containing potassium.
Decreased K+ :renal loss (due to diuretics), loss from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract via nasogastric (NG) tube, vomiting or diarrhea, reduced potassium intake, hypomagnesemia, endocrine causes.
D. Treatment implications.

Critical values may lead to fatal cardiac arrhythmias.

Hyperkalemia.

Removal of excess potassium per physician’s orders.
a. Administer diuretics if kidney function is adequate.
b. Administer exchange resins through NG tube or via sodium Kayexalate (polystyrene sulfonate) enema.
c. Administer hypertonic IV glucose with insulin as ordered—moves potassium back into cells.
d. Administer sodium bicarbonate—shifts potassium back into cells.
e. Hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.

Nursing considerations.
a. Restrict potassium intake.
b. Calcium will counteract negative effects of potassium on the heart.
c. Frequently check cardiac monitor placed on client with hyperkalemia.
d. Penicillin in form of potassium should not be administered to clients with hyperkalemia.

Hypokalemia.

Replacement of lost potassium.
a. Administer oral potassium, monitor IV infusion of potassium.
b. Replace no more than 20 mEq of KCl (potassium chloride) in 1 hour.

Nursing considerations.
a. Observe electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor if possible to observe for cardiac effect of KCl.
b. Give foods rich in potassium—bananas, molasses, oranges, raisins, seafood.
c. Assess for hypokalemia in clients who require frequent NG suctioning.

2. Sodium: Test for deficiency or excess of electrolyte seen in some endocrine disorders and monitor fluid balance in IV electrolyte therapy.

Indications.

Increased level is a very high concentration of sodium in the extracellular fluid dehydration,severe vomiting or diarrhea, decreased water intake, fever, renal failure, and ingestion of sodium chloride (NaCl).
Decreased level is a very low concentration of sodium in the extracellular fluid diuretics, excessive perspiration, GI loss (vomiting, diarrhea), lack of sodium in diet, Addison’s disease or adrenal insufficiency, burns, and excessive IV solutions without NaCl replacement.

Hypernatremia.

Removal of excess sodium.
a. Administer salt-free IV solutions (dextrose), monitor for hyponatremia, and administer 0.45% NaCl to prevent hyponatremia.
b. Restrict sodium in diet.
c. Discontinue drugs that cause sodium retention.

Nursing considerations.
a. Weigh daily and record intake and output (I&O).
b. Assess blood pressure level in terms of fluid retention.

Hyponatremia.

Replacement of lost sodium.
a. Administer IV fluids with sodium (3% or B 5% saline) monitor venous pressure to prevent circulatory overload.
b. Restrict water intake monitor intake and output.

Nursing considerations.
a. Clients who excrete excess sodium must be advised how to increase sodium intake.
b. Assist client to identify symptoms of sodium depletion.

You may visit Brilliant Nurse, to know more about them and get access to full resources on this subject as well as other topics for the NCLEX.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We recommend BrilliantNurse’s 6 months All access test prep tracks with daily assignments courses for preparation of NCLEX-PN® and NCLEX-RN®. An all round approach for your exam preparation that won’t make you regret later. Click the below links for further information. 

Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-RN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments and Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-PN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments

CGFNS Exam

CGNFS stands for Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools.

The CGFNS Certification Program was created with the intent to predict and evaluate the potential of foreign-educated and also forecast which nurses were likely to meet the requirements for licensure as registered nurses in the United States. This lets you know whether or not you are eligible to appear for the NCLEX exam. CGFNS Certificate also helps applicants to qualify for an occupational visa. The CGFNS sends a report to the BON if you meet their requirements.

It is an exam for the foreign students which checks and verifies their credentials. First of all you need to check with your BON (where you wish to practice) that they desire this certification or not.

Being a foreign educated nurse you might find CGFNS satnding in your way even before NCLEX! 

Why there is need for this exam?

When the United States experienced a surge in the amount of foreign educated nurses migrating to their country it became tough to identify the number of qualified nurses. Most of them were not able to clear the NCLEX exam, so this was devised as a predictor exam to make sure they are eligible to work in the US and pass the NCLEX. This not only served as a means to filter out non eligible candidates but also make them for occupational visas.

The CGFNS Certification Program® is a three part program that consists of:

1.  It evaluates the credentials of the candidate, their secondary education, nursing education and licensure.

2.  The candidate has to appear for the CGFNS Qualifying Exam® which is based upon the Nursing knowledge.  

3.  They also check that the candidate should have passed any of the English language proficiency examinations (mostly TOEFL or IELTS). This has to be qualified within to years of passing the CGFNS exam to keep your score valid.

REMEMBER: It is a requirement for licensure by some State Boards of Nursing to take the NCLEX-RN® exam.

Exam Structure:

The CGFNS exam is conducted in two parts, with a total of 260 questions. It is a multiple choice and objective based paper. 

There are 150 questions in the part 1 exam with a time limit of 2 hours and 30 minutes. After a break of one hour,  you have to attempt the second part of the question which contains 110 questions.

The CGFNS exam requires the candidate to submit TOEFL, TOIEC or IELTS passing scores for an eligibility criterion.

Program highlights:

  • It determines the candidate’s probability of passing the NCLEX-RN.
  • The scores of this exam are used by U.S. Boards of Registered Nurses, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, universities and other employers too.
  • The CGFNS and TOEFL both, provide a number os test centres around the world which enables the applicants to save both time and money. This enables them to attain this certification in their home country before even travelling to the U.S.
  • CGFNS prepare two types of CES reports:
  • Professional Report – This report meets the specific requirements of individual state boards of nursing, incorporating their requirements templates and including a statement of comparability of an applicant’s education when measured against U.S. standards.
  • Academic Report – This report is designed to meet the needs of applicants pursuing further education in U.S. institutions of higher learning.
  • The CGFNS Qualifying Exam of nursing knowledge is offered three/four  times a year at more than 40 locations spanning the globe. (check) You should choose your location wisely so that you do not face any travel limitations.
  • For more queries about the CGFNS, visit their website

How to apply?

1. Register with teh CGFNS official website to create your online account. Thsi will keep you informed via mail abput the status of your application and any documents if required. 

2. Go throug the payment instructions and pay teh required fee. Afetr teh apyment is made, the CGFNS ID number is generated.

3. Now you have to prepare and send a request for ACADEMIC Report or professioanl Report; which of teh following you might need. Compleet al formaliteirs teherafter. CGFNS reviews all academic records/transcripts that they receive from your schools after you provide them with your academic documents.

4. The evalaution report is sent to teh designated recipient online. 

5. Now your exam will be scheduled and you need to pass it in oreder to furthur continue your Nursing education or work as a registered nurse in the USA.

About the CGFNS Exam: How to prepare for it?

  • First of all you need to get familiar with the eaxm pattern. This can be done by thoroughly reading teh Official Study Guide for the CGFNS Exam in PDF format provided by the authorities (CGFNS) through E-mail. 
  • Start your preparation well before the exam date.
  • You may go throug previous yer’s questions to get a close idea of the test. Practice sample questions too.
  • Lastly, an organised study plan and teh right approach will help. 

*For any more information about this exam and its requirements, you may visit their official website.

CGFNS and NCLEX: Do not be confused!

When we have a look at the syllabus that is required to be known for a candidate to pass the CGFNS, we find that it is quite to similar to that of the NCLEX. Why?….. because both of them test the Nursing proficiency!We should admit that there can be a slight change in the style of questions but the content remains the same. Moreover, the skills that you need to pass the NCLEX must super-seat the skills needed to cross the CGFNS exam since teh latter is a predictor exam.

But we find that some candidates find the CGFNS exam more difficult than the CGFNS. We believe it is an opinion based on personal experience which may vary. In that case if you really fear the CGFNS you may find the Board of Nursing which does not make the CGFNS certification mandatory to practice. Apply with that BON and be relieved of this tension. But the NCLEX still remians….

Ther is no escape whatsoever from the NCLEX. So, isn’t it better to start preparing for NCLEX, since the knowldge required for both the tests is same and any good NCLEX Review course will help you develop analytical and reasoning skills that you mostly need. It is better you stop searching for a CGFNS guide or review program rather go in for NCLEX review courses which will build a strong foundation in content and also help you develop critical thinking nad clinical decision making skills. Preparing yourself for a higher exam well in advance would of course get you through the CGFNS. 

Many NCLEX review courses provide the same content and classes as they provide for the CGFNS! Though the style of questions might be a little different you will easily get through and save both time and money.

Lastly, if you still fail the CGFNS you do have a chance to opt for a state in the USA who’s Borad of Nursig does not require teh CGFNS certification.

Editor’s Note:- We recommend BrilliantNurse’s 6 months All access test prep tracks with daily assignments courses for preparation of NCLEX-PN® and NCLEX-RN®. Click the below links for further information, or for all their courses and options for 30 days and 3 months crash courses, check out this link.

Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-RN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments and Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-PN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments

References:

http://www.cgfns.org/services/certification/cgfns-certification-program/

Gateway to being a Nurse Practitioner: ‘The Nursing License!’

A career in the field of nursing is a good choice. It is a well demanded and an adequately paid profession in the USA. Many decide after passing high school that they would like to take up this career and get enrollled in a nursing school. While even if you did not decide earlier you do not need to whine. You can still make a career change and get into this field.What’s important here, is that you should know the ‘Nursing Requirements’ that include every thing you neeed, and what is the path to be a licensed nurse.

Lets start with it..

If we summarize all the steps, the journey  begins by,

  • Graduating from a recognized nursing program
  •  Meeting the specific requirements of the state board of nursing
  •  Passing the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) NCLEX® examination for registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPN/VNs)

RN and PN: Now these are two most heard terms and you should be knowing the diference before you start your career.

RN means a Registered Nurse and PN stands for Practical Nurse. Both of them comprise of educational and licensure requirements which have been set by the state’s Board of Nursing in which you would like to practice. To learn more about the requirements for licensure as a registered nurse, first you need to opt for the state where you would like to practice and get a license for! The board pf Nursing of that particular state is entitled to lay down teh rules and provide you with teh license.

Be it a Bachelor’s degree program (BSN), Associate’s degree program (ADN) and a Diploma from an approved nursing programm make you eligible for being an RN

For being an LPN Licensed Practical Nurse, you should have passed high school and then obtain a one-year certificate program in nursing. LPNs often work under RN’s supervision while in some states they may be supervised by more experienced LPNs. 

The duties of an RN and PN differ slightly. RNs not only record patient health and report it to doctors but also can instruct patients bout precautions to be taken and how to care about the patient after injury, they may also create care plans and are sometimes assign specific populations line neonatal care or maternity care.While the LPNs are restricted to maintaining health records and reporting and are sometimes not even allowed to insert IVs.

BUT for both, after you complete your educational requirements you need Licensure and the completion of the NCLEX exam is mandatory for that. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re looking for an NCLEX review program that not only provides you with updated and sound content, but helps you build the ability to think confidently, train you to analyse questions by making you acquainted with case studies, practical scenarios and simulation tests; we recommend Brilliant Nurse, which offer a variety of courses for RN as well as PN aspirants.

It is COMPLETE in every sense and touches all important aspects of the exam. Check out the given links: Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-PNÆ Test Prep Track and Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-RNÆ Test Prep Track

What is the NCLEX exam?

NCLEX stands for National Council Licensure Exam. It is administered by the boards of nursing that represent the 50 states in the United States, the District of Columbia and the 5 US territories. This is a rigorous exam to determine basic nursing competencies. It is much like a marathon and preparation is an essential part of passing the NCLEX.

The NCLEX exam is very specific in its purpose; it determines if you are safe to begin practice as an entry-level nurse.

The number of questions differ for the RN and PN applicants. For the RN exam you get a maximum of 265 questions where a minimum of 75 questions need to be answered correctly. And for PN the maximum number of available questions is 205 while the minimum that need to be answered are 85.

Since, the test is a Computerised Adaptive test recognises the knowledge you possess by testing you with a variety of questions which progressively become tougher if you keep answering them correctly.

If you know your content well and are able to answer questions correctly you will be getting even harder questions and that’s a good sign indicating a high probability of passing the exam. But it is a thing to worry if you are stuck in the low level questions, which are testing only the basic knowledge.

You need to ahev a good preperation for this exam for this you will need a good NCLEX review course!

NCSBN:  National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is an independent, not-for-profit organization through which boards of nursing act and counsel together on matters of common interest and concern affecting public health, safety and welfare, including the development of nursing licensure examinations.

“Options for obtaining a nursing license are many and spread across all the states of the United States! You can choose the state of your choice where you want to practice as a nurse. Every  nurse aspirant is required to take the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses/practical nurses) exam to obtain the certification.”

The steps involved..

1. CONFIRM YOUR ELIGIBILITY: See, that you meet all of the board of nursing’s/regulatory body’s eligibility requirements to take the NCLEX Examination. This can be known by contacting the board of nursing where you wish to practice. The NCSBN website provides a list of all the states’ Borads of Nursing. You can acquire information about their requirements, rules and the Nurse practice acts that they comply with. You can even contact their memeber svia e mail. So, you can clearly check your eligibility status with the BON where you wish to practice.  

The most important and obvious requiremant is th succesful completeion of the nursing program!

2. APPLY: Submit an application for licensure/registration to the board of nursing/regulatory body where you wish to be licensed/registered. At this point you will choose the state where you wish to practice.

3.REGISTRATION: You should complete your appplication process with NCSBN.Register and then pay for the NCLEX examination with Pearson VUE. Pearson VUE provides computer based testing solutions through electronic test delivery. The payment has to be done via the Pearson Vue website after completing the online registration process for NCLEX, since they are responsibel for conducting the test.

4. SCHEDULING: When you complete both of the above mentioned requirements, you will be declaredeligible and you will be recieving na ATT (Authorization to Test) letter. It is now  teh turn to schedule yuour exam. The ATT is avlid for a specific period of time, so you need to schedule yur exam within the stipulated duration.

Online Scheduling: This is done via your own web acccount that you had created with Pearson VUE naf if you’ve not done this then you need to create an acccount. Log in your account using your user name nad password and schedule your exam. You will recieve confirmation e mails and so you need to be vigilant in checking yur inbox nad even spam folders sometimes.

This completes your steps to be eligible and appear for the Nursing Licensure examination test ‘NCLEX’. The most important part is that you need to be very thoroughly prpeared and appear for the test in the right frame of mind, you will definitely succeed. Al the mentioned steps are  for students who obtaines a nursing degree from teh USA but for those who come from foreign countries you need some additional steps.

Foreign immigrants’ requirements!

You also need to clear an English proficiency test: Any one of these will do. 

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)   

Your test results need to be sent directly to the state board you’re applying to by your test administration.

Foreign candidates are exempted from the english proficiency test if,

  • The nursing degree has been obtained from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada (except Quebec), or the Republic of Ireland.
  • The language of instruction in the nursing school was english.
  • Textbooks used were in english meaning you know your nursing content in english.

Rest all steps remain the same: 

  • Confirm your eligibility with the desired Board of Nursing.
  • Register with NCSBN and pay the fee for the exam with Pearson VUE.
  • After you recieve the ATT, schedule your exam  with a suitable date and testing location within the validity period of ATT.

CGFNS Certification Program:

It is an exam for the foreign students which checks and verifies their credentials. First of all you need to check with your BON (where you wish to practice) that they desire this certification or not. Since, some do and do not.

The CGFNS Certification Program was created with the intent to predict and evaluate the potential of foreign-educated and also forecast which nurses were likely to meet the requirements for licensure as registered nurses in the United States. This lets you know whether or not you are eligible to appear for the NCLEX exam. CGFNS Certificate also helps applicants to qualify for an occupational visa. The CGFNS sends a report to the BON if you meet their requirements.

Get an Immigrant VISA: 

To get an RN immigrant visa as a nurse you’ll need the evidence of a US-based employer who will be the petitioner for your immigrant visa. A Visa Screen Certificate (VSC) which is to be  issued by The International Commission on Healthcare Professionals (ICHP), a division of Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).
Both of these documents must be sent directly to ICHP/CGFNS on your behalf by the issuing authority.

After that the NVC (National Visa Centre) will process your visa and this may take a few mnths to about a year sometimes, you will then have to go through a Visa interview and medical examination. Now you will be in a postion to be a licnsed nurse in the US.

Apart from ol the steps mentioned here remember clearing the NCLEX is the most critical aspect for both native and foriegn educated nurses. Prepaer yourself in the best manner and start your nursing career.

Retaking the NCLEX Licensure Test

If in any case you fail the NCLEX in the first attempt, not all hope is lost! You may retake the exam 45 to 90 days after you took the previous exam. The state board of nursing will specify the time period.

For this you need to notify your Board of Nursing that you want to appear for the examination again. Enquire about the fee and documents required. Rest of the process will agin be the same where you need to re- register with Pearson VUE and provide a fee of 200$. After this you will agin receive the ATT and, you can schedule your exam again.

For any further queries you may visit the official website of NCSBN.

We recommend BrilliantNurse’s 6 months All access test prep tracks with daily assignments courses for preparation of NCLEX-PN® and NCLEX-RN® so that you clear it in one shot to kick start your career. Check the provided links: Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-RN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments and Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-PN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments

 

References:

https://www.ncsbn.org/nclex.htm

https://brilliantnurse.com/foreign-international-nclex-application/

https://www.ncsbn.org/nclex-faqs.htm

http://www.cgfns.org/services/certification/cgfns-certification-program/

How to prepare for the NCLEX?

You are getting ready to take the NCLEX test and you are not sure if you are prepared enough. 

Test taking is an arduous process and some people are intimidated by the entire process so much that it is hard for them to stay motivated to study. The right approach and good planning will really help to ease this journey. Find out how can you effectively prepare for the exam that will open the gates for you to be a  licensed nurse in the U.S.A.

1. Get mentally prepared: How do you get mentally prepared? Even before that, as a pre requisite to making up your mind for the NCLEX, you need to know well about the test itself! What is the pattern of the test? The syllabus? The style of questions? The hurdles that people face? Why have people failed? What is it that you dread or your weak area? A good analysis of all the stuff will help you prepare yourself mentally to beginning your preparation with the right approach, convince yourself for the much needed hard work and get through in your first attempt!

2. Know your content: Nursing content is lengthy and tough. It is of course an uphill task to remember it all! First of all you need content based on the updated syllabus keeping view of the present requirements. The content should be organised and NCLEX oriented. A good review provider will cut down the irrelevant part of your nursing syllabus and focus more on the important areas. Moreover it should be studied in new and innovative ways, covering  a wide array of topics, to keep you adept and updated with the most needed information on various facets of nursing that you have no chance to regret later.

Certain tricks and short cuts should be used to remember the stuff so that you do not keep on lingering with content and focus on other aspects of the exam too.

3. Master the NCLEX questions: NCLEX, comprises of a wide array of questions. It tests your all round abilities. There is no single approach to answering such a variety of questions. You should try to analyse all types of questions and practice them enough develop the clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills that you need. A good study should focus on helping you develop strategy to handle the exam and the variety of questions that will be hurled upon you.

“A good and balanced NCLEX review course, a live or an online one will ease your journey to clearing the NCLEX and being a licensed nurse! Help and support is needed to relieve you of anxiety and address all your hidden fears too. Be confident before you appear for the exam, since confidence is really important.”

The NCSBN which is responsible for developing the Licensure examination provides all the detail very vividly about the content and confers to proportionate setting of the exam with respect to the syllabus. They provide detailed syllabus and instructions and any changes made in the recent upcoming exams, You can visit their website to know about NCLEX RN and Pn and then understand the needs of the exam. 

NCSBN provides information related to test planning and how the content of the NCLEX-RN/PN Test Plan is organized into four major categories that focus on client needs: 

  • Safe and Effective Care Environment
  • Health Promotion and Maintenance
  • Psychosocial Integrity
  • Physiological Integrity

The following processes are fundamental to the practice of nursing and are integrated throughout the Client Needs categories and subcategories. The percentage of test questions assigned to each category are provided by the NCSBN, so that you can asses their weightage and importance for the exam and prepare accordingly! You can visit their website to get detailed information.

A well planned schedule and the right direction in your preparation will lead you to passing the NCLEX in your first attempt.

NCLEX Study Plan!

A good study plan comprises of a balanced distribution of your entire syllabus according to the number of days you have dedicated for your preparation. But, as we have mentioned earlier, you also need to be mentally prepared for the rigorous hard work and discipline that it will demand. So  target yourself to revising your content alongside practising the NCLEX style questions. Each new question will help you revise some important fact and will help to develop your thinking in a way that you can apply your learnt knowledge!

We are providing you with a demo plan which will help you. brush up your content and keep on practising questions alongside to help you win the battle.

A SAMPLE 30 DAY STUDY PLAN

  1. Fundamentals – Nursing (Day 1)
  2. Fundamentals – Lab Values (Day 2,3)
  3. Fundamentals – Physical Examination (Day 4)
  4. Maternity Nursing (Day 5,6)
  5. Pediatric Nursing (Day 7,8)
  6. Nursing Pharm Endocrine Medications (Day 9,10)
  7. Nursing Pharm Respiratory Pharmacology (Day 11,12)
  8. Nursing Pharm Neurological Pharm (Day 13,14)
  9. Nursing Pharm DiureticsNeurological Disorders (Day 15,16)
  10. Pharmacology GI Pharm (Day 17,18)
  11. Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (Day 19,20)
  12. Cardio Disorders (Day 21)
  13. Oncological Disorders (Day 22)
  14. Genitourinary and Renal Disorders (Day 23)
  15. Integumentary Disorders (Day 24) 
  16. Eye and Ear Disorders (Day 25)
  17. Musculoskeletal Disorders (Day 26)
  18. Immune Disorders (Day 27)
  19. Visual and Auditory and Wounds (Day 28)
  20. Physiological integrity of patients (Day 29)
  21. Psychological Integrity of  patients (Day 30)

NOTE: Along with revising your content according to this schedule, focus on practising 50 NCLEX style questions daily. This will lead you to covering at least 1500 questions before you appear for the exam. While practising questions read about rationales behind the right answers and hence it will help you to develop the much needed critical thinking skills!

For this we recommend  Brilliant Nurse: A very affordable yet dependable program that will not only help to brush up your knowledge but also give a good practice for the questions and also case studies that mimic real clinical scenarios to help develop your analytical and reasoning skills. Check out the given links: 30 day DIY NCLEX-RNÆ Test Prep Track & Practice Assignments and 30 day DIY NCLEX-PNÆ Test Prep Track & Practice Assignments

The real problem!

If you have analysed the NCLEX questions then you must be knowing…..What lies at the heart of the problem…

It is true that you’ll learn a lot in nursing school…..But you are bound to learn much more in an NCLEX review course! There’s a fine line separating the two. In nursing school, you’ll acquire theoretical knowledge and gain nursing practical experience.What is important to note here is that if you’ve been a good student in the Nursing school and only need to revise your content OR if even if you’ve been an average student and need to really brush up the whole content again, in any of the case both types of students need a rigorous practice of the NCLEX questions and need to develop critical reasoning and analytical skills which will lead to decision making.

NCLEX questions are really tricky sometimes, can leave you totally confused even if you know your content well! So, you need to take help from experts who will provide you with a good number of NCLEX style questions, make you practice them, provide you reasons for the right answers and help build a foundation the at will make you handle the exam really well.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re looking for an NCLEX review program that not only provides you with updated and sound content, but helps you build the ability to think confidently, train you to analyse questions by making you acquainted with case studies, practical scenarios and simulation tests; we recommend Brilliant Nurse, which offer a variety of courses for RN as well as PN aspirants. Check out the links below:

Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-PNÆ Test Prep Track

Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-RNÆ Test Prep Track