(Updated April 2021)
A lot of students want to know what study right before taking the NCLEX. I usually suggest to study all those things that students have a tendency to easily forget or that are just super hard to remember.
So, what are those things to study right before taking the NCLEX?
Here’s my list!
- ethical/legal issues
- basic safety and infection control
- med administration
- the vaccine schedule
- fluids and electrolytes
- acid-base problems
- milestones of infants and toddlers
- diets and foods for the electrolytes
- infection control precautions and diseases
- how to do a math problem
- labs: the values and what they refer to when abnormal
- the top meds to know
- top 10 adult health diseases
- coronary artery disease, Cushing’s disease, diabetes mellitus, GERD, osteoarthritis, CVA, COPD, pneumonia, ESRD, pressure ulcers
Ideally, you should already have notes for the above topics. Each topic above should take you about 10-15 minutes to review.
If you don’t have some good notes to study the above topics, my favorite resource is my nugget pages or flashcards. However, you can’t get access to them unless you are my student (that will change in the future). So you can use my next favorite source of content: the Saunders NCLEX Review book.
Using acronyms and mnemonics to remember the hard stuff
I love using tricks to help remember that hard stuff. I don’t use mnemonics or acronyms for everything because then it gets overwhelming. But for example, to remember the first set of vaccine shots, use the acronym: DIHHPER. Think of the word “DIAPER”. So at 2, 4 and 6 months, give the vaccines: Dtap, Inactivated Polio vaccine, HIB (influenza type b), Hepatitis B, Pertussis and Rotavirus. I seriously haven’t looked at vaccines in at least a month and remembered that acronym off the top of my head.
In addition to reviewing the above topics, go practice some questions. The day before the test do about 25 questions just to make sure the strategies and test-taking skills are fresh in your mind.
However, a lot of students also ask if they should actually be studying the night before the test. My feeling is that if studying decreases stress then study. If studying stresses you out, then don’t study. Everyone is different. The main point is do something and make it productive and effective.