Open Letter To Those Who Failed The Nursing Board Exam

I may not know how you feel, but I can empathize with the hundreds of thousands of exam takers who didn’t see their names in the list of passers of this year’s NLE. It’s an endless cycle, twice a year thousands of new nurses rejoice, put RNs after their names and happily wait for their PRC cards while tens of thousands more cry and feel the bitter stab of jealousy and disappointment.

And I know from experience that it’s not just personal disappointment that is so painful to endure. It’s the expectations and hopes of people around us that can eat us up inside and make us feel utterly worthless. They’ve helped us get to where we are and offered us unending support. This is the only thing we can do to repay such debts, and yet we cannot even manage to succeed in such a trivial task of passing an exam.

But things happen and they do for a reason. Remember, challenges come our way to be hurdled and defeated.

One thing I know is that passing or failing the board exam doesn’t define who you are. The board exam is just a written test, designed to measure one’s cognitive skills, guessing prowess and shading abilities. It doesn’t asses one’s nursing skills, how one deal with patients and colleagues and how one strives under pressure. It’s a one sided exam, and failing it doesn’t mean that you are good for nothing just because you weren’t able to guess correctly the appropriate intervention for DOB.

Don’t lose hope, don’t surrender. Stand up and try to soar again. And if nursing isn’t for you, then fine. Passing the exam isn’t as hyped up to be anyways. If you think that the mere fact that you have a PRC license that says “Nurse” at the front will open up a world of opportunities and bring in endless flow of cash, then you’re dead wrong. Thousands are still unemployed (including me) and half of the nursing population are at call centers answering call from strangers and/or contacting one to pitch in a product.

Nonetheless, it’s great being a nurse.There can never be too much of people who are well-trained to care for the sick and the dying. It’s a noble job, to have all the work yet little of the glory. The doctors come and go but we nurses are the ones who stay.

So if you really want to pursue the profession then stay. Stay motivated, stay strong and persevere. This is not the end of the world. There are unlimited number of chances you could take. That license could still be yours.

A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.

B. F. Skinner

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About Clarrise E. 9 Articles
RN. Pianist. Aspiring Novelist. Dreams of changing the world one sentence at a time.