5 things to remember when studying for the NCLEX

Some may not know it yet, but to become a nurse you need to pass 2 major milestones. The first- graduate from a nursing school, and the second- pass the NCLEX exam. As a student nurse, you know you need to study for the NCLEX, but you may not how, or where to start.  Many people fail to build an effective studying regime, which can lead to confusion, stress, frustration, and may result in poor studying.

This Article will show you 5 key factors to consider when studying for the NCLEX.


1) Treat it as a full-time job.

The time before your NCLEX is NOT a vacation time. It is your study time.
You need to treat your study as a full-time school. This means you’ll have to set aside time to study and follow a strict studying regime, just as you did in nursing school.


2) Follow a study-plan

It is very important to develop a study-plan, and not “go with the flow.”

A study-plan will guide your help you stay on track.

A study-guide will organize the material you have to review at a set time. thus, will help you cover more topics, understand & retain more information in the long run.

Nursing school is 2 years worth of science & theory. There are many, many topics to go over. From concepts & theories to diseases, conditions and procedures.
It is tempting to jump from one topic to another and get lost during your studying.

you may even neglect to review a topic because you think you know it better,
or simply spend more time on one topic than another.

An example of a possible scenario: You may start answering a question on a heart failure, and then realize you answered it wrong because you don’t know the levels of potassium. You then jump to study levels of potassium… and magnesium… and sodium… Next thing you know you are reviewing signs and symptoms of hypercalcemia- which is completely off topic!

This is why you need to have a study-guide and follow it. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself reading and studying, but retain little information in the long run.


A study guide should include the following:

  • Topics & materials to review.
  • Practice questions & review rationales.
  • Set study time


3) Be consistent with your sources.

There are tons of information, power points, videos & free practice tests available online.
That downside is that it is easy to get lost and get distracted away from your actual study plan.

To avoid this trap, be consistent with your sources. Select few, reliable sources, and stick to them, whether it is your nursing books, review book, videos, website, or sources from a review class. Simply stick to them, to prevent being overwhelmed and feeling lost.


4) Review Everything

It is recommended to review all subjects & topics and NOT exclude any from your study plan.

Often students will concentrate on Med-Surg, and forget about psych or OB. But they part of the NCLEX nevertheless.

Also, you may think you know one topic better than the other. But remember: You don’t know what don’t know!


5) Cover the entire topic.

When you study your topic, (i.e Cardio) it is important to study everything it includes: Starting from anatomy & physiology to diseases & conditions and including diagnostics & procedures.

Just as you wouldn’t study pharmacology by an alphabetic order, but rather an entire class of drugs. So you should study entire topic, rather than sub-topics( i.e studying all procedures separately, or the entire human A&P first)

When you concentrate and study one topic at a time, you’ll retain information and understand it better.

And when you ask nurses & students who passed the NCLEX successfully, they’ll tell you– Understanding, NOT memorizing, is a key to pass the NCLEX.


Simple but hard.

The points above may sound easy and obvious, but it may not be so. Essentially it comes down to creating an effective study regime, which requires time and effort. If you feel that may be little too much, you may want to consider going with an NCLEX review provider

If you feel that may be little too much, you may want to consider going with an NCLEX review provider. This is essentially what you are paying for- the way content is taught, not the material itself

Review providers such as Hurst, spend years and have an entire staff that works on developing an effective study plan to deliver nursing content easily and efficiently.



As student nurses, you know you need to study for the NCLEX but may not know how to start. It is crucial to prepare your study strategy right from the beginning. Consider the points mentioned above when preparing to study for the NCLEX. These factors may seem small & obvious, but they are a crucial component to building an effective study regime. A good study strategy is a major factor that will increase your chances passing the NCLEX!

Ari KalendarovComment