So, to the soon-to-be nurses, this is for you.
1. The board exam is a test for entry-level nurses. This means that it does NOT expect you to know everything. So, don't panic when you encounter questions and you have no idea what it is asking. Use test-taking strategies in aswering it.
After doing an extensive review and you still feel like you don't know enough, don't feel bad. It's natural to be anxious. A little anxiety will actually help during the board exam as it will keep you alert and focused.
2. When reading questions.. find out what the test item is asking you about. If the question said.. "What Nursing Action..." Always think about the NURSING PROCESS and remember it all begins with ASSESSMENT. If the question asks you about "Patient needs.." Always think about MASLOW'S HEIRARCHY OF NEEDS and remember that PHYSIOLOGIC NEEDS is priority. If the question asks you about "Prioritization or which patient to see first" Always think about ABC.. remember Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. This also applies in choosing the best NURSING DIAGNOSIS for your patient.
Also remember that nursing interventions are categorized into three, namely: Independent, Interdependent, and Dependent. Independent nursing actions are those that the nurse may perform for the patient without the need of a doctor's order. Interdependent are those where the nurse collaborates with other members of the health team (PT, dietician, medtechs etc.). Dependent are those that require a doctors order.
In choosing answers, always begin with INDEPENDENT NURSING ACTIONS.
The nurse is caring for a patient with a fever. During the morning rounds, the patient complains of headache. The nurse proceeds to check the temperature and finds it to be elevated at 37.9 C, the nurse should:
a. Administer paracetamol to relieve headache and fever as ordered
b. Perform a tepid sponge bath
c. Document the temperature and call the Physician
d. Check CBC for signs of infection
In the example above, the independent nursing action is B. Therefore B is the correct answer.
4. When answering questions that you really don't have an idea about, choose the longest answer or the one that is totally different from the other choices and stick with it.
The nurse is caring for a patient on heparin infusion. During the morning care, the patient complains of sore gums after brushing teeth. The nurse should:
a. Stop the infusion
b. Notify the doctor
c. Assess for bleeding
d. Administer protamine sulfate
In the example above, options A, B, and D are all nursing interventions. Only option C involves nursing assessment. Therefore, by way of elimination, the correct answer is C.
4. Do practice tests everyday. This will help you develop test-taking strategies. In answering questions, read the question carefully. Find out what the item is asking you. In reading the choices, look for words that make the option wrong then eliminate that choice so you can narrow down your options.
Nursing is NOT an absolute science. There are exceptions to every situation. Choices with "always" "all" "never" are therefore wrong because they are generalizations.
5. Never change your answer (even if it was just a guess) unless you are absolutely sure with your new answer.
6. In eliminating choices, similar ones are automatically wrong answers.
7. Take time in reading questions and answer choices however be aware of the time remaining for exam set. It is usually written in the board by the proctor.
Things to do several days before and On the day of the Exam:
Several Days Before:
1. Ensure that all PRC documents, prescribed calculator, pencil, sharpeners, and pens are in order.
2. Visit the site of the exam and the exact room assignment a day before the exam. Also, try locate where the nearest comfort room is located.
3. Get adequate rest and sleep
4. Avoid dairy products and fatty foods at least 2 days before the exam
5. Check nursing uniform and shoes to ensure that everything still fits
6. Plan meals ahead (consider availability of food in exam site)
On the Day of the Exam:
1. Bring water (remove labels), candies, and light snack
2. Place all belongings in a clear plastic envelope
3. Bring medications such as anti-diarrheals, no-drowse cough and cold remedies, Bronchodilators if asthmatic, Paracetamol for headache, toothache, etc.
4. Be at the exam site early
5. Always listen to the instructions given by the proctor. Ask questions when in doubt.
6. Take toilet breaks before the start of every exam.
7. Avoid discussing answers with others in the lobby as this will tend to increase anxiety. Use the time instead to relax in preparation for the next set of exams.
I guess that's all you need to know for your exam.
One final note: You have to believe that you are just days away from breezing through the Licensure Exam with flying colors. Rely on yourself and if you're a spiritual person, pray.
I was going write goodluck, but I guess it would be more appropriate to extend my advance congratulations.
Tips in Preparing for the Nurse Licensure Examination