March 8, 2008

So I Took This Little Test Yesterday...

When I woke up yesterday morning I had the feeling of someone who was waking to her death. I can't explain the feeling other than to say I was so scared I was numb. Going into the testing center was all a blur. I remember handing the lady my ATT (Authorization To Test) and giving her my drivers license then kissing my husband goodbye as if he was never coming back for me. He had this smile on his cute little face that read "I'm proud of you" but I didn't feel very proud at that moment. When he walked out I felt so alone.

There were about 5 other girls there...all looking a bit like me...terrible. So they handed me a form to read the rules of the exam, which basically said...nothing aloud inside except watches, no gum, no phone, no purse, no nothing. I wondered for a moment if they may strip search me. I got a locker and a key and nervously put my things inside. I was so anxious I locked my locker before I even opened it. lol Then they call my name again and I had to have my fingerprint scanned about 5 times...they ain't playing y'all. Then I sat in the chair and they took my picture. No smile, no expression except a blank look of fear. The picture is worth a thousand words. Marlene Hurst said that our NCLEX photos would look like we had exopthalmus....mine surely did. It looks like a mugshot. Oy!

So I was motioned to enter "the" room. Before I walked in, there sat a lady...the "test proctor" she had a desk just outside the room that was glass so she could see everyone testing. She explained there were cameras and microphones recording our every sound and movement. She then handed me a dry erase board and had me scan my fingerprint to again verify it was me. I was me 2 paces before I got to the one switched identities with me! Talk about a negative environment. I sat at my desk (I was in cubicle #4), she logged me on the computer and so it began. It started with the test rules and how to click and drag and crap. I was too nervous to read it so I just kept clicking next to get on with it. When the first question popped onto the screen I think I could actually hear my heartbeat and let me tell you it was beating HARD and fast! If I didn't take some slow breaths at that moment I may have had a heart attack.

I don't even remember the first question, but I do remember thinking that this was it and it was what I've come this far pressure!!! It took me about an hour and a half to get to the 75th question...all of which were a blur. I closed my eyes and clicked next and opened them and there was question 76. GULP! So I won't be stopping just's just hasn't determined how I'm doing. Keep focusing Christy you're still in the game...

The questions were not as hard as I expected them to be, but I can't say that I got ANY correct either. That's the nature of the NCLEX beast you see? It is built up to be this MONSTER, a scary, angry, judgemental one too. When I say not as difficult, what I mean may ask...who do you see first then give you 4 very hard answers to choose from. It's kind of straight forward, but the answers is where the beast lies. He hides in there and makes you second guess everything you think and I did second guess....everything. Sigh.

Around the 150th question I began to doubt my abilities. I knew the way the test is designed and I knew it hadn't made a definitve decision on whether or not I should pass or fail. If it keeps going, it means you are on that line and I felt the test teetering the whole time. For instance, I would get some really difficult priority questions and then I'd get a simple, no nonsense fact based question that let me know I wasn't doing too hot. That can make a person nervous and it did. The majority of my questions were priority, delegation and teaching. I had a handful of "basic" questions, about 8-9 drug questions (all of which I'm sure I got wrong b/c I suck at pharm) 2 calculation ones and about 5-6 select all that apply...hate those!

By question 180 I was beginning to get spent and upset, I opted out of all my "recommended" breaks because I was afraid I may run out of time, the clock doesn't stop for your breaks. My nerves were shot and I was hoping and praying that the damn thing would just shut off, tell me I'm a moron and send me home already with my dunce cap. It seemed the more questions I got, the more nervous I became and the worse I felt I was doing. SIGH!!!!!! I felt like the test was trying to pass me, but I just wasn't complying. It was laughing at me...let's give her more more MORE! The damn clock just kept ticking away and it didn't help that the girl in the cube next to me had to clear her throat 1000 times! I've never had the urge to smack someone as much as I did yesterday.

Question 200 had me thinking I would just fail. I lost all confidence and b/c I was worried I would run out of time I started reading the questions and answering more quickly. Looking back, I wish I hadn't done that. I was so anxious and brain fried that I was to the point of hyperventilating and feeling like a big failure. I get to question #221 and it was about something very close to me...think hard y'all cuz I can't's against the law and you all know I am a law abiding citizen. (wink) It was a priority question. Anyway..I thought...SURELY I can answer THIS I submit my answer and the damn thing shut off. Screen black, heart pounding, tears stinging the back of my eyes. I prayed so hard that it would shut off and when it did I felt like a bumbling fool. A part of me wanted it to go on so I could "prove" myself some more, but I also felt a sense of relief to just get the hell out of that rat cage. I raced through the survey at the end, don't even know if I told them I was a female or not. I fumbled in my locker and said something to the test lady that I don't recall and walked out the door.

Outside the door was a very long hallway that I don't even remember walking down a four hours before. It seemed to take me FOREVER to get to the end...dead man walking...that was me. I call my husband and can barely form the words...come get me. I had no words for what had just happened. It felt like a disaster and as soon as I got in the car I cried and didn't stop until I got home. I am almost certain I failed. I was too nervous and wasn't able to think clearly. All of my preparation, everyting I knew went out the window when I sat down at that computer...along with my common sense. I feel so ashamed that I let my fear take control of me and possibly ruined things for my family.

I don't yet know how I did and almost don't want to know. I know that "everyone" thinks they fail...that's the NCLEX way, as they say...but I really, honestly, truly think I did and I could just cry right now thinking of it. I screwed up...I got too anxious and my brain just shut down. I don't want to go through this again and am so jealous of those who pass the first time. I've already chalked it up that I failed and the wait to know for CERTAIN is one of the hardest's sheer torture. I've checked the pearson vue website all day and it only says "my results aren't available at this time". I know it usually takes 48 hours, but still...I just want to know so I can have my pity party then move on. Who knows, maybe God has other plans for me....atleast that is what I am telling myself.

Anyhow...I just wanted to share. I should know something by tomorrow if the quick results show up over the weekend...if not, it will be Monday. Ugh.....hope your NCLEX expereince is much better than mine. If I have any advice to give any of you it is to REMAIN CALM! Don't freak out like I did. Just don't...


Heather said...

oh my gosh, i wanna barf. Soooo dang stressful. Thanks for sharing!

RN Someday said...

.comOh Christy - sounds hellish and I am not looking forward to it. i can't believe you got that many questions. I am so happy for you and am not surprised at all to hear u passed! many hugs and congrats from here!!!