Dear Future Nurse,
Good day! First of all, I like to express my warmest appreciation for spending your most valued time reading my letter. It must be pretty hard for you to joggle things up in your hectic schedule, especially now that you are on your way to start all your Nurse Licensure Examination preparations. It has already been a year when I, with my greatest capacity, got ready for the much awaited NLE. I, too, was in the exact position as you are right now a year ago, filled with all the ambivalence I never imagined I would be experiencing—anxious yet excited, determined yet hesitant. That’s why I decided to send this letter, exclusively for you to let you know that you are not alone in this endeavor and that almost every successful Registered Nurse in this world experienced everything that is going on with you right now. I would love to help you in all ways I know. Sana makatulong ‘tong liham ko sa iyo.
After my graduation, I don’t even have a single hint on how I would proceed then. It was like I wanted to end everything in my diploma. No matter how hard I try to convince myself, I was still faced in the imperishable reality: A REGISTERED NURSE SHOULD BE A R.N. However, the path towards success (as we all know) was NEVER easy… especially for someone like me. I am often belittled and underestimated by people. I have always been remarked as the sordid, lunatic, and come-what-may rocker who was expected to live a life of cigarettes, alcohol, and gigs—JUST THAT. I could still vividly remember the term those people used to address me: BASURA. Oh di ba ang sakit! Another factor that made everything much more difficult and complicated was my passion with music. I am deeply in love with it, way before I became madly in love with my fiancée now. That’s why, arriving at the decision of taking the NLE that time was, for me, as hard as performing a Slapshock song in front of a crowd without even knowing how to blurt a growl! And the worst part is, I have to make the hardest decision of my life on or before my mom’s deadline (tsk!). It’s like a “whether you like it or YOU LIKE IT” thing leaving me with empty options! This means that I have to set aside all my compositions and my guitar, kiss my band mates goodbye, and let go of my ambition to pursue a rock star career (lol) after college.
I bet that right now, you might be undergoing similar situations. It might be a different issue; however, it is still an impediment that keeps you from moving on to reach your NLE goal. Well, don’t fret. Chill… You can check out some of my B.O.A.R.D. E.X.A.M. tips that you might want to try.
B-oard is BROAD
The Nurse Licensure Examination is not the typical exam that you have back in your college years. It’s more like taking an exam of ALL the things that you studied during the time of your BSN program. Unlike your usual departmentalized exams wherein the ranges of topics are most often predictable, the NLE may contain even the rarest ones that you are least expecting to come out. During that time, I begun my review by doing a complete recollection of the topics that I know, I am familiar with, and those that I really don’t know. It would be helpful to take note of the topics that you haven’t encountered yet so that you wouldn’t end up leaving them out. Also, there is a thin line of difference between the topics that you know and that you are ‘familiar’ with for the latter requires a bit more of your mastery. Of course, even if you already have the list of the topics that you already ‘know’ about, it is still very beneficial to allot some time to read or master them once again.
It’s unhealthy to be morbidly ashamed of one’s abilities. However, you shouldn’t be too confident that you can do everything. You have to recognize that you too have your own weaknesses and that you might need the assistance of other people. Don’t hesitate to raise your concerns. Consult some RNs you know, your previous professors (in case they are amenable with that) or your review instructors. They can provide you much enlightenment on those topics that you find vague or difficult.
Amplify everything in you—friends and family ties, faith in the Almighty, and your will power. Fortification of these can further help you endure all the challenges that you might encounter along the way.
Having been able to prepare your list of review topics and resource materials, you are on your way to proceed with your review per se. Attending classes in review centers are optional. However, if you really feel that you are more comfortable with that type of review strategy then go for it! Most importantly, you have to demonstrate preparedness to what I call your PIES—physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your present status. If you don’t feel like taking the NLE just yet; maybe because of an emotional upheaval or a physical condition of some sort, don’t be afraid to postpone it. Like in my case, I wasn’t really up for the June NLE that time because I feel that I am not yet ready, that is why I decided and told my mom that I am going to take it in November. I strongly believe that you have to create balance within these four major factors of readiness in order for you to proceed in your NLE prep smooth and sound.
D-art your target
One thing I learned in Philosophy is that “an action is always driven by a motive”. It might help to remember this equation: MOTIVE=TARGET and that TARGET=PASSING THE NLE. You have to set your goals for they will act as your ‘blueprints’ to your success. Some of my friends said that they wanted to pass the board exam because they don’t want to break the ‘R.N. legacy’ in their clan. For some, it might be not reasonable enough. However, for my friends, that reason is strong enough for them to get on their feet and keep working! We all have our personal reasons in taking and PASSING the NLE. Whatever it is, if it keeps the drive in you, well then GO!
As our body takes away all the unnecessary entities in it for it to function more effectively, I think it would be reasonable enough to incorporate that ‘dogma’ within your review or NLE preparation period. ELIMINATE everything that might cause distraction. Like in my case, I have to temporarily quit performing with my band because I think it would make me lose my focus. If you think something won’t help you in acing the NLE, naku forget mo muna.
Xeroxed notes are worth your glimpse!
The NLE is fast approaching and you want to stop reading or reviewing. Oops, not so fast. If you still have ample time, try to go over your photocopied notes. You might want to welcome the possibility that, maybe, the topics in there might show up. Never lose a chance! 😀
It’s a week before your board exam. During my time, I found out my test venue five days before the NLE. I am not good at directions or shortcuts. That’s why I decided to survey the location in order to know my room number and even the route, landmarks and establishments around. Having done so, I was able to reach my testing venue without the hassle.
Nothing beats having a complete eight (or make it ten) hours of sleep. Enjoy your slumber for the biggest day of your Nursing Life!
I hope these pointers I mentioned will help you in a way or two in your venture towards your board exam. As for me, I was euphoric when I found out that I passed the NLE when the results were released in the evening of January 31st of the present year. All of my sacrifices had paid off. Remember the kontrabidas I mentioned earlier that called me BASURA? It was relieving enough that even if I am just the ordinary Tina, I PROVED THEM WRONG by becoming the new RN in town (lol).
Kaya naman tol, maniwala ka sa kakayahan mo at sa Nakatataas na handang tumulong sa iyo. The NLE, though considered as the qualifying exam to become a full pledge RN, doesn’t measure your totality as a nurse. Tol, wala sa score yan o kung nagtake ka agad ng NLE… Ang importante, kapag ganap ka nang may lisensya bilang nars, ay ang busilak na hangarin mong magbigay pagbabago sa sangkatauhan—bilang tao at bilang FILIPINO NURSE.
See you on your oath taking my future COLLEAGUE.
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