Sunday, January 23, 2011

What went into passing the RNC

-A year of dilly-dallying with studying, and 2 months (easily over 50 hours) of real, focused studying

-1 major snowstorm forcing me to reschedule

-2 entire highlighters and 1 pen went into studying

-7 packs of notecards

-countless breaks to bake something

-1/2 bottle of Tums in the last month and 6 cans of ginger ale in the last week consumed to control stress-induced nausea

-a dozen attempts to look up a word in the medical terminology dictionary only to be distracted by a gruesome picture of something completely unrelated to neonatology

-2 dozen attempts to look up a word on Google, only to get distracted by social media sites

-2 pictures in my neonatology textbook that freaked me out. Both were in the dermatology section.

-1 major cut (finger, bathroom toilet handle in Oklahoma, fear of unknown germs invading) and 1 major burn (boiling water, 20% of my forearm) sustained in the last month of studying. I get even more clumsy when I'm stressed out.

It's starting to heal, but that's gonna be a nasty scar
-3: the number of co-workers who told me the test was no big deal and I didn't need to study so much.

-2: the number of co-workers who freaked me out and made me study my butt off. (For the record, I did study my butt off and I absolutely don't feel that I overstudied.)

-Less than 20 of my co-workers are certified- all but 1 (soon to be 2, not including me) are over the age of 30

-There are over 100 nurses on our unit

-175 questions, 2 hours, 1 huge sigh of relief!


  1. You know, if you tilt your head to the left a little, your burn looks like TEXAS. :)

  2. Whew that sounds grueling...but you did it!!!

  3. Brittnye- You're right, it kind of does in that picture! But sadly now that it's healed more, it looks more like a salmon steak or a lobster claw haha!

    Tina- It's such a relief! And now maybe I can blog about something else for a change :o)

  4. Hi Therese i am scheduled to take my RNC this September and needless to say I am very nervous!!!! I have enjoyed reading your blog about you certification journey. If you don't mind could you share how you studied (body systems, diseases or just opened the book an read). Also what kinds of questions did you get on the test? Lastly, hind sight is 20/20, so looking back what do you wish you would have focused more on? Thank you for sharing your story it is truly inspirational:) sorry for any misspelled words... Typing on my iPhone:)

    Oh yeah!!! Would you happen to know where I can get a copy of Linda juretsche's lecture? I am an Air Force NICU nurse stationed on Okinawa, Japan so attending the conference is not possible.

    1. Hey Sharina, thanks for checking out my blog! I wasn't able to go to one of Linda Juretsche's lectures, either. I did get a copy of her notes from my co-worker, but I didn't use them that much. I actually did the bulk of my studying from the Core Curriculum for Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing ( and the accompanying study guide.

      It's been long enough now that I don't remember any specific questions, but I basically read the textbook cover-to-cover and made notecards, since that's how I study best. Also, after reading a section in the textbook, I quizzed myself in the study guide and went back to the book if I didn't know something. The test questions were really similar to the questions in the study guide and I absolutely felt prepared having gone through it like that. Good luck and let me know if you have other questions!

      Also, how cool that you get to be in Japan! I'm land-locked and quite jealous. The only thing I think I overstudied was the nutrition/TPN aspect. I didn't have any questions about the components of TPN! Otherwise, I am so thankful for all the time I spent studying cardiac/respiratory problems as well as the radiology aspects of those. If you have a unit educator with a copy of the STABLE cardiac module book, that was really visually helpful for me as well.

  5. Hello Therese, thanks for your reply. I've been studying like crazy and yet I still don't feel prepared. I'm not sure if I'm lacking comprehension or if it's a case of extreme test anxiety (I've been known to suffer from that). I plan to follow your plan and see if that works for me. I will do all I can, pray about it and let it go. Again thank you for your advice. I'll be sure to update you either way. SEPTEMBER 21!!! Bring it on!!!