Go from Near to Above the Passing Standard

Most common weakness repeat testers share and how to fix it: Reading Comprehension and Information Processing Skills

You don’t want to read this, do you? Too much text. 

Fact: Professional licensing exams such as NCLEX require a high level of reading skills. For many repeat testers, this is the main problem- the barrier that keeps you from getting above passing. Studying like you did in nursing school exercises your memory and might increase factual knowledge. You need to apply your knowledge, think through tasks using procedural knowledge. Nurses have the ability to process information and solve complex clinical problems. How do testers learn and practice these needed skills? 

Memorizing information only gets you so far. If you repeat the exam at near passing, you most likely need to improve your reading skills. How?

You can start by reading for pleasure and get in the habit of reading daily. Reading daily for pleasure builds reading comprehension and information-processing skills. Reading fiction increases concentration levels to limit distractions. Reading novels increases your ability to think through procedures, to visualize situations and outcomes.


Here is a list of Recommended Reading organized by reading level.

Visit your local library. Ask the librarian for help choosing mysteries to read based on your reading level. Everyone should have a library card. Download the Kindle app from Amazon and borrow e-books from the library. I use Libby and Hoopla through my local library to borrow e-books too.

Read works by nurses to put yourself in their shoes on the floor. I recommend Theresa Brown’s The Shift

Read detective and crime fiction. Nurses think like detectives who identify clues and process the information to make educated guesses. Reading this type of fictiopn will increase critical thinking skills. Try the Sue Grafton series. All my students love these novels. Female medical examiner and female detective series: Rizzoli & Isles series Book One

This website reviews all crime fiction and nonfiction. Find your next book on Crime Reads.

Terry McMillian’s novels never disappoint. You will want to get back to reading every day until the end. Try the first page of any of Terry’s novels here.

If you think you don’t have time to read because of work and kids, read to the kids every night before bed. It will help all of you get a better night’s sleep and retain what you’re learning.

Research shows that fewer than 25% of nursing school graduates have the skills and abilities needed to start a nursing career. Reading skills are essential.

happyNCLEX training addresses this preparation-to-practice gap.

Contact Joan@happynclex.com (727) 967 1891

Research: Crisis in Competency (2017)