NCLEX®…Let’s Do This!

Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Hurst Review. It originally appeared on hurstreview.com.

If you are finishing up nursing school or are an experienced nurse seeking to take the NCLEX-RN® in the U.S. or Canada, chances are you have some questions about getting through the process. Today, we will walk you through the eight steps necessary to getting it done!

1. To get the process started, you must apply for licensure/registration with the state board of nursing (BON) or provincial regulatory body (RB) in the state or province in which you wish to be licensed. Application fees vary depending on state/province. This application process includes background checks, fingerprints, and in some cases, a letter from your mother. Okay, just kidding on the mom part, but there are quite a few eligibility requirements that must be met!

2. Register to take the NCLEX® and pay the exam fee to Pearson VUE — pearsonvue.com/nclex. The registration fee in the U.S. is $200. If you plan to test in Canada, the fee will set you back $360 CAD. Pearson VUE accepts MasterCard, Visa or American Express.

3. Once you are paid up, Pearson VUE will provide you with an acknowledgement email that they have received your registration. ALL communication from Pearson VUE will be by email. Be sure to check your spam and junk folders if there is a delay.

4. Once you complete all of your graduation requirements, your school of nursing will give the BON or RB the thumbs up. The BON or RB will then make you eligible in the Pearson VUE system. The BON/RB must confirm your eligibility within 365 days of your registration with Pearson VUE, so wait until you are fairly certain of your graduation date to register and pay.

5. At this point all systems are go! Pearson VUE will email your Authorization to Test (ATT). It is very important that you test within the validity dates on your ATT, because there are NO extensions. The ATT is valid for an average of 90 days.

6. You have some flexibility now — make an appointment at the testing center. This can be done by accessing your online account with Pearson VUE or by phone. Select a time that you are well rested and ready to go.

7. On test day, be sure you are familiar with the test center location. This is not the time to take a wrong turn and get lost! Arrive at the test center early and present your acceptable form of identification. A list of IDs that will get you in the door can be found at pearsonvue.com/nclex.

8. Once your test is complete, the BON or RB will notify you of the result. The time period varies among states/provinces. Most states provide a “quick results” option for preliminary results — for a fee of course!

It’s quite the registration process, and you certainly only want to do it once. Be sure that you are fully prepared. Check out our NCLEX® Review options at hurstreview.com.

Apply now to the Hurst Review NCLEX® Scholarship to get the cost of your NCLEX® covered! The scholarship also includes a free subscription to the complete Hurst NCLEX® Review. Up to 25 scholarships will be awarded. The deadline to apply is November 1 at 5 p.m. CT.

Bonus: All Phi Theta Kappa nursing students can save $50 on Hurst NCLEX® Review materials with promo code PTKhurst50.

Find more helpful tips for navigating the NCLEX® on Hurst Review’s blog.

Two Added to Presidential Advisory Board

We’re pleased to welcome Dr. Colleen Smith, President of Coconino Community College in Arizona, and Dr. Kimberly Krull, President of Butler Community College in Kansas, to Phi Theta Kappa’s Presidential Advisory Board.

Smith and Krull join 33 college presidents from across the country who provide input into the organization’s strategic plan, priorities and direction. Learn more about each of them.

The Presidential Advisory Board was formed in 2015. Board members advocate for Phi Theta Kappa, its members and its mission; serve as liaisons between PTK headquarters and the college leaders in their states; and advise Phi Theta Kappa’s CEO and other senior leaders.

See the full list of Presidential Advisory Board members.

A Cooke Scholar’s Journey from Nepal to Cornell

Sagar Chapagain will tell you that he comes from a very humble background. His dreams were big though, and they kept him hard at work.

He’s now attending Cornell University as a prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholar on a full scholarship. And, he wants you to know that you could be next.

“I absolutely love being a Phi Theta Kappan and truly appreciate the life-changing opportunities it has provided to me,” he said. “If I can do it, anyone else can do it.”

Chapagain immigrated to the United States from Nepal with his family in 2011. A first-generation college student, he enrolled at the Community College of Baltimore County in Maryland in 2012 as a part-time student while he worked full time to help support himself and his family.

He became a Phi Theta Kappa member in 2013 and served as the Vice President of Scholarship and Leadership of the Chi Theta Chapter. Chapagain then became chapter president, and he used this platform as a way to reach fellow international and immigrant students and help them navigate the resources available on campus.

Chapagain credits the connections he made through Phi Theta Kappa for the scholarships and internships he has received. He was selected to participate in the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2014, and he conducted scientific research at the National Institute of Health in Baltimore, Maryland, in the summer of 2015.

He was also named a Silver Scholar on the 2015 Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team, and he delivered the commencement speech at his community college graduation ceremony.

“Phi Theta Kappa has given me opportunities to enhance my leadership skills and network with students from all over the country who are not only incredibly smart but also very passionate about serving their community,” he said.

Chapagain was awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship in 2015. This prestigious program awards up to $40,000 to deserving community college students each year, with the opportunity to apply for an internal graduate scholarship of up to $50,000 each per year.

This is the largest private scholarship for two-year college students in the country. It wasn’t out of reach for Chapagain, and it’s not out of reach for you. Check out this video to hear more of his story.

Up to 55 students will receive the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship in 2017. Applications are being accepted now through noon ET on October 25. Apply here.

7 Tips for Acing Your Fall Scholarship Application

Editor’s Note: This post was written and submitted by Alexa Greer, International Vice President for Division 4.

Being nominated for the All-Arizona Academic Team through Phi Theta Kappa has been one of the greatest achievements of my life. It was something I had never thought possible for myself — in fact, I only applied because my advisor told me she thought I had a shot at earning one of the scholarships.

Over the next two months, I revised my application countless times and consulted many college faculty members for their thoughts. To make things easier for you, I’ve compiled a list of best practices for filling out your Fall Scholarship Application.

1. Tie it all back

Before starting your scholarship essays, it’s always smart to think about how your past, present and future all tie together. What events led you to your current passions? What made you decide to follow your career path? What struggles have you had along your life journey? What motivates you to do better?

By answering these deeper questions, you reveal to yourself the underlying motives and values that have led you to where you are. By tying each section of your scholarship application back to these motives and values, you will be left with an excellent application that gives judges a glimpse into who you are rather than just the things you’ve done.

2. Diversify your service

This advice is especially applicable to Phi Theta Kappa’s annual Fall Scholarship Application. With more than nine opportunities to talk about various service projects, it’s important that you fill as many of them as you can. While volunteering long-term at a hospital is awesome, judges want to hear you talk about as many of the projects that you’ve been involved with as possible. Consider using those long-term projects for one of your larger essays toward the end of the application.

3. Use action words

Scholarship applications are your time to brag on yourself. When writing, use active phrases such as “I facilitated,” “I created” or “I implemented.” Using words that express the amount of work and leadership involved in your service projects will only serve to highlight you.

4. Lead vs. Participate

When possible, look for activities in which you can be a leader. That doesn’t mean you have to be a chapter president to do well on scholarship applications; instead, look for opportunities to head a special project or to plan an event of your own.

5. Spell check

Judges WILL notice misspelled words and grammar errors, so be sure to have AT LEAST two other people look your application over. Putting a pair of fresh eyes on your application will give you a new perspective on how you’re presenting your story.

6. Fill every blank

Many scholarship applications receive thousands of submissions annually that all must be read manually. As a result, some programmers will develop software to automatically sift out applications that are missing essays or that fall far below on word count. One piece of advice an advisor gave me was to always fill every blank on a scholarship application.

7. Get your letters of recommendation now

The Fall Scholarship Application opened just last month, and while you have until December 1 (or sooner, depending on your college’s internal deadline) to get it in, it’s always best to ask for your letters of recommendation early. Remember that your professors will submit these online. Professors can get busy as it gets closer to finals, and you don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute to find someone who can quickly write you a letter.

All in all, scholarship season is here and YOU have an excellent shot of being awarded one. With the help of advisors and college staff, you have all the resources you need to truly polish your narrative. Good luck!

See what scholarships are available.