An International Student’s Journey To NCLEX® Success

international students journey to nclex success
Learn about Siang Yun's journey to NCLEX® success as an international student. From Taipei, Taiwan, a nursing student passed the NCLEX exam using UWorld's NCLEX Qbank
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My name is Siang Yun, and I was an overseas NCLEX-RN® test-taker back in 2020. The COVID situation was really bad, so I was very fortunate I still had the chance to take the NCLEX in Taipei, Taiwan. And during that time UWorld was really kind to extend my subscription for free. If I remember correctly, it was a 2-3 months extension, and I really appreciate what they did.

For my educational experience in Taiwan, I went to a five year nursing program (associate degree/full-time student) after junior high school. I chose nursing because my mother was a nurse, and she said that nurses will always have a job.

After I graduated from my nursing program, I took Taiwan’s NCLEX and passed it. Then I continued to study for two more years as a night-time student to complete my bachelor’s degree. During this period, my interest in English and American drama grew, so my English got better. I also worked part-time in the outpatient side of a local hospital (echo examination room and local clinic).

3-4 years later, my whole life changed. I decided to take the NCLEX-RN test. I googled the prep test recommendation, and UWorld kept popping out on my screen. Additionally, the other nurses who have the same background that I have also recommend UWorld. 

After I tried the demo, I loved how UWorld’s dashboard and the explanation’s design is so clean and simple. So, about 4-5 months before the NCLEX, I purchased the“ NCLEX-PN 60 Day Qbank + Assessment Tests 1” subscription.

My study plan with UWorld: 

At first, I tried to do 60-75 questions at once, and over the next few days, I’d study every question and answer even if I was correct. Since I’m not a native English speaker, it took me more than two days to review all the questions and answers. (BTW, the last time I really studied nursing stuff was five years ago.)

Then after doing this twice, I changed how I did the prep test because I saw someone share online about how important it is that you do the prep test every day. So I changed to 30 questions a day; the rest of the time, I would review every question and answer to see what I did wrong and how I should think. 

My score: 

Initially, it was really bad (haha). So I continued using UWorld for another five months. After the first 2-3 months my score was around 40-50%. I would do a mix of questions to see my weaker subjects and then practice those sections all at once. If my score was 35-40%, I would change to do the prep test from other textbooks I bought to gain my confidence back (or eat chocolate, watch a movie and just relax). 

After the first 3 months, I changed how I studied again. I started to do 30 UWorld questions, find the correct answers, write down the questions and my explanations on notecards. My rate changed to 50-60%. When it was close to the NCLEX, my score was up to 55-65%.

A week or two before the big day, I only studied my notes. (In the end, I didn’t finish all the prep questions in my UWorld QBank) I took the self-assessment a month before NCLEX, and my correct rate was 49%.

In the end, I passed the NCLEX! 

Lots of people to thank for that: my boss who let me study when it wasn’t that busy at work (I was still working for 15 hours a week in the first 1-2 months of using UWorld), amazing teachers on YouTube, mnemonics online, very helpful UWorld, and my ex-boyfriend, Clay. I truly appreciate all of them!

My advice for students preparing to take the NCLEX is don’t forget to have fun, enjoy your life, and be thankful. When you’re feeling down, it’s totally ok. Go take a walk, go to eat something or do the things you love! 

If you didn’t pass on the first try and really want to be a nurse, just sign up and take the NCLEX again. You’ll have more experience than lots of others, and I believe people will be impressed by your amazing perseverance.

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