Justine’s story on how she started this all.
The day the idea of tutoring started was the day I took the NCLEX exam. I did well in nursing school, but always thought I could have achieved higher grades and then the NCLEX was a struggle for me. What was I missing?! I realized that I spent a lot of time reviewing content but I wasn’t that great at answering NCLEX-style questions. I barely practiced any questions while I was in school. So I passed the NCLEX in 222 questions and only a few minutes left on the clock. I left with a terrible headache and was convinced I failed. But to my shocked surprise I did pass even though I felt like I guessed on the last three questions.
I never wanted a student to go through what I did or least not a second time if you find yourself failing. So, when I got my first teaching job, only one year after being a nurse, I decided to start practicing NCLEX-style questions with the students at clinical.
As I became more exposed to teaching students of different backgrounds I saw they would have difficulty in passing the NCLEX and nursing tests despite their confidence and ability on the floor. These students would make excellent nurses if they could only pass their tests!
Since then I’ve been able to help students pass the NCLEX (and nursing exams) in the USA and every Province in Canada. I’ve helped students from Massachusetts, Ohio, Louisiana, North Carolina, Florida, Hawaii, Arizona, Connecticut, Utah, Missouri, Mississippi, Georgia, New Jersey, California, Maine, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Montana, South Dakota, New Mexico, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kansas, Wyoming and Nevada!
In addition to a million other jobs I’ve had (waitress, road inspector, cashier at a gas station), here are some of the cool nursing jobs I’ve done:
- Neuro stepdown nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati OH
- Med-Surg Clinical Instructor at Hawaii Pacific University
- Traveling float Med-Surg nurse all over Hawaii
- Manager of Flu Clinics all over Hawaii
- NCLEX teacher for Kaplan
- Med-Surg Clinical Instructor at Quincy College
- Long-term care nurse
- Med-Surg Float nurse at South Shore Hospital (very brief)
- NCLEX Flashcard author for Brainscape.com
- Owner of KoaPine Tutoring & Test Prep
But really what drives me to want to help students?
I have a soft spot in my heart for those struggling to start a career for themselves. Growing up, I watched people around me struggle to pay the bills and I never took school seriously until I started college (and even then it was a struggle to change my bad habits). I basically skipped the entire 12th grade and graduated high school a year late because I had to make up a bunch of extra credits. It was later on that I knew that having an education and motivation to do something more was key. The nursing field allows a person to find a well-paying job and eventually a career path out of poverty. It is also very diverse and it’s very likely you will find something that you love to do.
I earned my Masters of Science in Nursing degree with honors from Xavier University in Cincinnati Ohio. Getting that degree was also a big motivator to try to be a better teacher. I had some excellent instructors, but also some that I thought could have been better. I paid $70,000 for a nursing degree and I HAD to pass the NCLEX and start working right away as a nurse in order to pay off the loans. I also almost quit nursing school because I hated giving speeches in front of the class! But I go over that pretty quickly.
I have helped many students pass the NCLEX, including first-time test takers and repeat test takers who have failed once, twice, three, four and five times. No matter what your cultural, ethnic or educational background, it’s important to be prepared to PASS because the patients need you!
I’ve travelled around a bit and got my original nursing license in Ohio. I now have active R.N. licenses in Massachusetts and Hawaii. I am now based out of Boston, Massachusetts.
The journey to a nursing career will give you opportunities you never had before. It is so WORTH it even when you feel like you are struggling. You really deserve to have a better life for yourself and I hope to help you achieve that goal of passing the most important test.
To a better life,
Justine & all “The NCLEX Tutors”