Introduction: Starting with the worst
We all put things off for a day and the next thing we know they don’t get done. So I thought we should begin with what gets put off the most: standards of nursing practice.
Preparing for the CPNRE® gets hard when it comes to learning the ways we’re expected to think, feel and act about things like respect, trust, honesty, respect, advocacy, empathy, communication, client-centered care, privacy and consent. These concepts are hard to teach, and tough to learn.
I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to give up writing this part of the book. It’s hard to focus on topics that make people feel bored. Some weeks were painful to get through. But after a year of studying nursing practice standards, I’ve come to the realization that I didn’t choose to understand them. They chose me. And I believe they chose me because I needed to know what’s most important to the people we care for, so that I can help people like you overcome the obstacles that get in the way of doing your best on this exam and being the person and nurse you’re meant to be. I am not the best teacher or the best nurse, but I am one of the first to explain how these challenging topics work in nursing and how they’re connected to the CPNRE®.
In a world of infinite knowledge and finite opportunities and time to write and prepare for the CPNRE®, the best choice is to stick with learning the hard stuff. The stuff about nursing you might not like all that much. If you can learn these things, you will have a better chance of being successful on this exam. Trust me.
How this book works
Through the process of analyzing the resources referenced by the CPNRE® administrator, I learned that the most significant concepts fall into 15 themes – which I divided into 15 chapters. Each chapter in this book provides a comprehensive review of information and tactics that will help you answer relevant questions on your exam.
You’ll notice throughout the book that I’ve shared stories from my personal life and work. We know that humans are wired to communicate with each other through story, so whenever possible I used stories to illustrate and clarify complicated concepts.
To help you get a better grasp of the information in this book, you can also:
- Answer the ‘Try It’ questions recommended throughout the book to practice applying what you’ve read
- Highlight key concepts to make them stand out
- Summarize concepts by writing them in your own words
- Connect with a study partner
- Join the NursEd CPNRE® Facebook group and get help with answering difficult questions
- Practice answering appropriate multiple choice questions or flash cards
- Get one-on-one coaching
- Attend a course or class
Practice makes progress
Knowledge is important, but only if we know how to use it. Preparing for the CPNRE® is as much about learning and reviewing information as it is about developing the skill of answering realistic multiple choice questions. The most difficult lesson I’ve learned from writing my own nursing registration exams and other standardized tests is that we cannot apply what we know consistently and reliably without practice. Succeeding on multiple-choice exams like the CPNRE® requires that we do practice questions so that when the questions are different on the real exam we can confidently answer them – without guessing.
Getting ready for the CPNRE® demands that you let go of what you once thought to be true (but might not be) and be open to learning things about nursing you haven’t learned before. Give yourself the time you need to make sense of the information in this book and time to practice what you’re learning.
Last but not least, believe in yourself. You are worthy of passing and becoming a nurse.