On failing the NLE

I just came from a celebration of a friend who passed the Nurses’ Licensure Examination (NLE). The atmosphere’s all festive for the families and friends of the passers. But as I keep up with the happy spirit, I couldn’t help but think of how the non-passers take their fate.

I have never wanted to be a nurse; it was all my mom’s persuasion that’s why I took the course. So early last year as I was about to take the NLE, I firmly told her: “If I do not pass this in one take, I am not retaking, ever!” But luckily, I became a registered nurse and the rest was history.
Looking back, I would really not retake the exam, and just two days ago I asked my mom: “What if I didn’t pass the NLE? What would you have done?”
She said: “You can do whatever you like, work for a different field”
I was like “Drat. I shouldn’t have studied well!” Kidding.

On a more serious note, I had a friend who actually failed on his first try. He narrated that it was really a sad time for his family, much like when someone in the family passed away. But more than sad, it’s shameful (I guess you get the picture by now). He was lucky though to have a supportive family that did not gave up on him. He took the exam right the next season and brought home the victory. Now he’s on training on the same hospital where I work and I’ll be with him next shift. Hooray!

Other non-passers were not as lucky though. I’ve just had it with non-supportive families who rather than stood beside their loved one on this gloomy era had been total asssholes, making the loss even more unbearable. Failing an exam that you have exerted your entire effort for is agony, but having your own family despise you is beyond torture.

I may not be the best person to provide an advice, but I too am a nurse and I have dealt with all the unimaginable sacrifices in order to take the NLE, so my advice counts. Having the courage to face that 500-item examination is bravery, passing it is just a bonus. For most student nurses, aspiring nurses, and full-pledged nurses, our families are our inspiration to succeed, and their support is our only consolation. We would never have forced ourselves in this crazy nursing world if not for our loved ones, so even though we were not victorious on the first take, please do not let the faith as a family falter. Besides, upon entering real world, the NLE grade is nothing but a number.

I look up to all those NLE takers who failed but tried again, because I would never find the courage to face that examination twice.

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  • You make very interesting points about the complexity of passing the licensure examination. In Canada, many foreign trained nurses, who meet the criteria to write the Canadian Registered Nurses Examination or the Canadian Practical Nurses Registered Examination, also have difficulty passing it. I highly recommend anyone who has failed the CRNE or CPNRE to take and RN exam prep course or an RPN exam prep course. In fact, may foreign trained nurses and new graduates take the CRNE prep course or CPNRE prep course in Toronto at the Toronto School of Nursing. You can get more information at http://www.torontoschoolofnursing.com or email at [email protected]. Just trying to help out all the nurses who want to work at home and abroad. Take a prep course, it will help!