First Things First

First Things First
By: J. Lucy Boyd, RN, BSN

“Project Nightingale will blossom into a resource for nurses, but first we must bloom as a lifeline for student and graduate nurses.” Nurses of every variety must have compassion. They also must carry around an encyclopedia’s-worth of knowledge in their brains and the skillset to put it to use. But, does every graduate who fulfills that criteria become a nurse? No, far from it.

NCLEX failure rates are fairly staggering. Students don’t want to think about it any more than patients want to consider their odds of death rather than the odds of survival. But, facts are facts. Of those who sat for the NCLEX-RN in January through March of this year, 29.55% of the test-takers received devastating news. They were smart enough and skilled enough to graduate nursing school, but something went wrong. Ditto for 31.35% of those taking the NCLEX-PN.

An article published in Nurse Education Today, The Costs of NCLEX-RN Failure, shows us some of the sequelae of these failures. The graduate experiences inadequacy, guilt, grief, embarrassment, social stigma, fear of failing again, and financial distress as the anticipated nurse salary doesn’t arrive but the student loan bills do.

We must recognize that each failure is a loss. A loss for the graduate. A loss for a patient population depending on that nurse. A loss for us all. We don’t have extra nursing graduates to “spare.” They are all needed. Project Nightingale promises to make a dent in this serious problem.

Our first products will help bridge the gap between graduate and newly-licensed nurse by tearing apart the NCLEX. We lead our student and graduate nurses by the hand, exploring every single topic discussed by NCSBN, the creator of the NCLEX exams. In this ADHD world, way too much information is flung at these test candidates. We quieten the clamor by presenting, in an organized manner, the true “secret” of passing the NCLEX -- to learn and follow the list of topics. Our core lessons refresh the candidate’s academic learning while our corresponding videos bring home the concepts in a way that will ring in the candidates’ ears come test day. We follow up with thousands of test questions to help the candidates not just be prepared, but feel confidently prepared as we offer questions set up just like NCLEX itself.

Side note: If you’re using another preparation service and you’re not being exposed to NCLEX topics such as, “System Specific Assessments,” “Changes/Abnormalities in Vital Signs,” “Family Dynamics” and “Home Safety,” you need to spend some time with us.

We have lots of bonuses -- exclusive details about how to deconstruct tricky test questions, videos to help students who struggle with calculations, and more I can’t share with you just yet, but the main product we offer isn’t really a product at all – it is the caring of the many nursing professionals who have devoted their careers to making sure these nursing students and graduates become the nurses we will all need someday. Yes, we’re different. And that’s okay.

1. NCSBN. 2016 Number of Candidates Taking NCLEX Examination and Percent Passing, by Type of Candidate. Accessed June 2916 via the Web at
2.     Roa, M., Shipman, D., Hooten, J., & Carter, M. (2011). The costs of NCLEX-RN failure. Nurse Education Today, 31, 373-377.