Northern Marianas College nursing graduates Eric Lee, Shekinah Armea, Elisa Guerrero, and Savannah Santos recently joined the list of students who have passed the challenging National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, or NCLEX-RN.
The NCLEX-RN is the exam nursing graduates in the CNMI have to pass in order to be able to practice nursing. The exam tests the knowledge, skills, and abilities of nursing graduates in order to certify that they are equipped with the capability to apply entry level nursing practices correctly.
“It’s great to see more and more NMC nursing graduates pass the challenging NCLEX-RN,” NMC President Galvin Deleon Guerrero said. “I congratulate Eric, Shekinah, Elisa, and Savannah on this accomplishment.”
NMC Nursing Department Chair Rosa Aldan likewise congratulated the four on their achievements.
“Our Nursing team is so proud of their accomplishments in passing the NCLEX-RN Exam,” Aldan said. “We commend them on their achievements and expect nothing but great things from them as they begin their professional careers as registered nurses.”
Lee, who graduated from NMC’s nursing program in 2021, said that he started to develop a passion for nursing while in the program.
“Honestly, when I first started nursing, it was to earn money,” Lee said. “However, while taking classes and going to clinicals, I started to develop a passion for nursing and imagined my future self being able to help not only Saipan but the whole world.”
He attributes his success with the NCLEX to his family’s support and the Kaplan Test Prep provided by the College.
“NMC's Kaplan session was overwhelming at first, but it prepared me mentally on what to expect on the NCLEX,” Lee said.
Lee advises others who are planning to take the NCLEX to envision their lives after passing the exam.
“Whether it's partying with your friends or working as a registered nurse along with your colleagues, use that as motivation to study and pass the NCLEX,” Lee said.
2021 nursing graduate Armea said that she developed an interest in science and the human body while in her Advanced Placement Biology class in high school.
“My teacher's passion for science was contagious and I caught it,” Armea said. “From there I sought out a degree that would fuel that particular interest and I felt a degree in nursing was just the right avenue.”
Armea said that she was successful with the NCLEX because she always thought of the one person she pursued a nursing degree for.
“[I passed the exam for] someone very important in my life who couldn't pursue their dream to be a nurse and so they opted to support me in my dreams instead,” Armea said. “Knowing that, I worked hard to pass for this person. In addition, I kept in mind all the people who have supported me: my God, my parents, my friends, my church, and my youth group.”
“NMC's nursing program also armed me with invaluable test-taking skills,” Armea added. “All the exams and the days dedicated to taking practice exams helped me learn to conduct myself during the actual test-taking experience.”
Like her peers, Armea advises other students planning to take the NCLEX to have a support system and to not let the exam define them.
“Your success or failure is just a part of your journey. It doesn't dictate who you are,” Armea said.
Guerrero, who graduated in 2022, said that she developed an interest in the healthcare field after caring for her great-grandparents in high school. Like Lee, she credits her success with the NCLEX-RN to her family.
“My family and friends in Guam and CNMI provided me with the love, patience, and encouragement to not give up,” Guerrero said. “[By passing the NCLEX,] I want to show my daughter that with hard work and commitment to whatever goal she has, it can be done and it will be worth it.”
According to Guerrero, the Kaplan Test Prep provided by the College helped her prepare for the questions on the exam. She advises other students preparing for the exam to answer 50-75 practice questions a day, and establish a support system.
“Breaks are definitely necessary,” Guerrero said. “It seems like a lot of time and effort now, but this is just a temporary sacrifice for an amazing path ahead.”
Santos, who graduated from the nursing program in 2022, said that she entered into the nursing field because she had a desire to help people in a meaningful way. She attributes her success with the exam to her family, friends, and her experience as a graduate nurse at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation.
In addition, Santos also commended NMC’s instructors for preparing her for the exam questions. Her advice for others planning to take the exam is to define their studying style.
“Everyone has different study habits,” Santos said. “A suggestion would be to figure out the time that is most convenient for you to study and the study tools you are most comfortable with using. Also if you need a break, then give yourself a break."