Who is Joan Palmeri?

That’s me. I teach the problem-solving skills the National Board says are needed to pass NCLEX.

It is my personal mission to end the cycle of repeat testing by training NCLEX testers in the required problem-solving skills the National Board says are needed to PASS.

I’ve designed happyNCLEX for repeat test takers and those who do not wish to repeat.

My approach to NCLEX is concept-based problem solving. 



Joan Palmeri, NCLEX Whisperer

I’m affectionately referred to as The NCLEX Whisperer by the many repeat testers I’ve coached to successfully PASS the NCLEX-RN & NCLEX-PN.


Whisperer, perhaps because I teach testers to first quiet the mind to be able to think.

And help repeat testers to let go of the baggage of past failures.

The greatest problems are solved when we aren’t trying so hard, when we are fully present and simply allow the process of problem solving.

When I ask myself the question, “Who is Joan Palmeri?” I understand I’m presenting one mental construct of my self.

I am not simply the writer of these words, the woman who practices NCLEX.

I am not my thoughts. I am the witness to my thoughts. I can witness my thinking process. 

I find the ability to witness myself think so fascinating that the focus of my life-long study and research is how we learn, how we know what we know. 

It was a very different Joan Palmeri who began coaching NCLEX more than 12 years ago.

My first experience with NCLEX was in 2006, in New York City. I was recruited to consult on a curriculum to transition immigrant and refugee nurses into the workforce. The Program for International Nurses was a pilot program in partnership with the NYC Department of Labor, launched at Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing.

I quickly realized these men and women- nurses and physicians in their home countries- knew their stuff. They had way more than a base of knowledge, but simply could not figure out what the questions were asking. 

I had a juicy problem to solve! 

And I love it still. Every day. 

I love the challenges and I love seeing repeat testers break through the barriers and succeed.

So, what’s this all about?

The National Board explains that NCLEX questions are designed to test problem-solving skills using Bloom’s Taxonomy.

happyNCLEX training is designed to take you through this process (whether or not you’re even aware of it!)

I use the “Think-Aloud Protocol / Cognitive Theory” in this training program.

As you follow my demonstrations, you will easily move through these stages of critical thinking:

Knowledge/Remembering: access facts, terminology, and classification.

Comprehension/Understanding: meaningfully interpret facts.

Application/ Applying: use newly learned material in new ways.

Analysis/Analyzing: recognize relationships among content parts.

Evaluation/Evaluating: increase uncertainty tolerance.

Synthesis/Creating: understand plans for operation and abstract relationships.


You will learn to do this, learn to think, and you will be free.


You’ll learn to see a patient in every NCLEX question, to identify the issue and make an educated guess to problem solve with the limited information given in any situation.

It will feel like common sense.

happyNCLEX training gets you focused, helps you to manage test anxiety and unleash your critical-thinking skills- all necessary skills to pass the NCLEX and also needed for employment testing, continuing education, and certification exams.

You’ll train through demonstration and deliberate practice. NCLEX-question demonstration is delivered by interactive webinars. The training is self-guided. We troubleshoot your home practice. You will actually enjoy the experience. 

The most important on-the-job nursing skill is problem solving.

You can easily learn to solve problems by demonstration and guided individual practice.

We’ll often make mistakes. This is how we learn best.

Forget textbooks, lectures, and note taking.  I demonstrate problem-solving skills by form before content. In other words, I identify the question format first so I know the direction I have to take to solve the problem. This way, knowledge naturally comes forward. We don’t stress what we don’t know.

You’ll make mistakes but you’ll also become aware of why you’re making mistakes. Error correction gets you to refresh your memory and learn new content every day.

The average time needed to learn and practice problem-solving skills for NCLEX is 8 weeks. You’ll need 2-4 hours a day, 3-4 days a week. If you have less time because of work and family responsibilities, we’ll adjust your schedule as needed.

Start whenever you have a couple of quiet hours to get the basics of problem solving before we begin coaching. 

You’ll get instructions to get started when you register.

Questions? [email protected]