How I Passed The JULY 2011 Nursing Licensure Exam


On the word wide web, I'm known as Jannie. The blogger, vlogger, and freelance makeup artist who loves having giveaways on her blog. A lot of people also know that I'm a part time online seller who sells little knick knacks, RTW items and different kinds of cosmetics. What most people DON'T know is that in the "real" world, I'm called Janna and I happen to be a registered nurse. *smiles*

Now before anybody starts rolling their eyes and whispering under their breath that I'm being a braggart, let me just say that this post is actually highly requested. Aside from doing beauty related posts, I've decided to make more personal posts as well, starting with this one right here.

When people find out that I just happen to be a registered nurse, several questions pop up. The number one question is "HOW DID YOU PASS THE NLE?". A lot of my readers seem to be student nurses, post graduate nurses, under board nurses, registered nurses and I even have a handful of retired nurses who read my blog... And I get the same question most of the time. So, I'm going to share a few of the things I did to pass the NLE (July2011) but first a few photos prior to my "review" days.

Sophomore Year (2007-2008) - Capping & Candle Lighting Ceremony
My first nameplate. It's still alive today.
The very first ceremony that made an impact on my life as a "nurse" was my Capping & Candle Lighting Ceremony. The first time I was given my nurse's cap, a symbolic element that completes our uniform. I also received my first name plate. It was one of those slightly cheap looking plastic ones that's a simple way of saying "Hey! I'm wearing this plastic nameplate because I'm still a student nurse." Another very special thing that happened during our ceremony was the candle lighting which was actually supposed to be their way of saying that the light would lead us on our path to becoming nurses. Exactly the way Florence Nightingale held her lamp to usher her "nurses" to take care of the wounded soldiers.

Senior Year (2010-2011) - Pinning Ceremony
My "metal" nameplate and College of Nursing pin.
Fast forward to two years later. Senior year... *sigh* I had my Pinning Ceremony where we got our college pins & our "metal" nameplates. This ceremony symbolizes that we are so close to becoming real nurses. We have endured 4 years and now finally we get our school pins. I know our pins may not be as "pretty" as those of other schools but as I walked towards the stage to my class adviser who had my precious pin waiting for me, I couldn't help but shed a tear. As he pinned it onto my gala uniform and shook my hand, I looked up towards the bleachers and saw my folks with huge smiles on their faces. At that moment, I knew all my hard work was worth it.
Senior Year (2012-2011) - Graduation Day (April 2011)
Graduation day... What else can I say? After four years of waking up early to get to class and duty, four years of homework and endless requirements, four years of exams, oral recitations, solo class reports, group reports, research, four years of taking a deep breath and plunging into the roller coaster ride of a student nurse's life... After four years I finally graduated. I passed all my classes and completed all my cases. Now all I needed was the RN status and I would finally be a real nurse. I don't know who cried the most that day. I guess my parents did.
R.A Gapuz "Zamboanga" Babies (NLE July2011 Batch)
The photo above was taken after the first week of my NLE review. Which brings me to the actual point of this post. So, how did I pass the NLE? *wonders*
  • Choose the RIGHT REVIEW CENTER for you. - Prior to even graduating I had to go through the tedious choosing of a review center. There were tons of review centers all advertising the same stuff. In the end I broke my list down to St. Louie Review Center (SLRC), RA. Gapuz, RN International (RN) and Ateneo De Zamboanga University Review Center (not sure what it's really called though so I'll refer to it as ADZU RC)... I decided to choose a review center still located in Zamboanga so that I wouldn't have to ask my parents to spend additional for board & lodging if I reviewed outside of Zamboanga. In the end I chose to enroll at R.A. Gapuz because it offered the most affordable tuition fee, I had a few close friends attending the same review center and lastly because I refused to enroll at a review center that had more than 300 students packed into one single theater. I truly believe that at the end of the day, passing the NLE will really be up to the student BUT enrolling in a review center of your choice will encourage you strive harder plus it will help you direct your focus on the topics you need to focus on. In short you won't end up studying just one topic for hours because you're clueless on where to start, where to end and which topics to even review! Enrolling in a good review center sort of ensures that you're actually on track with the whole reviewing for the NLE.
  • Gather a lot of REVIEW MATERIALS & BOOKS. - Review materials and books became my best friends for the whole review period. I read, read and read some more. By nature, I love to read. I used to read a lot back when I was younger and I still do! So I didn't really have a hard time with reading extra materials for the NLE. It all came naturally to me, BUT I know not everybody has the habit of reading. For those who abhor reading, then may I suggest DISSECTING topics into subtopics which you can re-write as bullets and read. A lot of people find reading bullets easier than reading paragraphs plus with this technique, your eyes don't get tired as easily. Also try to borrow review materials from friends who're done with the NLE. You'll need ALL the extra information you can get.
  • DO NOT RELY ON LUCK, pile up on knowledge. - Extreme luck comes once in a blue moon and I tell you, you'd be a FOOL to rely on just pure luck. I believe in the saying that "we create our own destinies so best not leave anything to chance". You see with reliance on luck, you cannot control how you'll answer the NLE. What I did was to pile up on knowledge. I reviewed like crazy. I was at the review center from 7am-5pm, and I reviewed for an additional 3 hours at home. As I piled up on knowledge, it stuck to me and during the actual NLE, when I had to make a guess (because I did make guesses during the actual NLE) it was an EDUCATED GUESS. Not just mindless eenie-meenie-minie-moe.
  • KNOW THE TREND, it helps even if most of it is just "hearsay". - During my time the trend happened to be Medical Surgical based questions, Emergency Nursing, and tons of Oncology (Cancer) Nursing. Knowing the trend sort of guides you towards what topics you'll have to pay attention to a bit more than other topics. Though some of it may be hearsay, it never hurts to add these topics to your list of stuff to be reviewed.
  • DO NOT RELY PURELY ON PRAYERS. - Don't think I'm some sort of anti-christ. God knows how much a prayed during the review (and even before the review started) but basing it all on prayers won't help you in the long run. I am a firm believer in the saying GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES. He blessed us with minds. Use it. I prayed and made tons of novenas BUT I also studied hard and put a lot of effort in my reviewing.
  • MOTIVATE YOURSELF. - Get out of bed early, have a few minutes of stretching, pray and then take deep breaths. After that tell yourself that you need to pass the NLE, that you want to pass with all your heart, that becoming a registered nurse is what you desire the most, that it can't be possible that you won't pass. Motivation plays a big part in your mind set to passing.
  • DO NOT PRESSURE YOURSELF especially with the expectations of others. - Remember that this is your own battle not theirs. You have to want to pass for yourself and not for anybody else. Do not let them get into your head and cause a ton of pressure because working under pressure will surely make you miserable. Based on personal experience, I was able to concentrate more when I just finally decided to let all other people's expectations and comments be irrelevant.
  • UNWIND every once in awhile. - We are not robots. We get hungry, angry and tired. We get depressed at times and on bad days, we get sick. During the review I felt all of the above. I suffered burnout after the first month and then I decided to change my strategy. I concluded that I needed some time out as well. So sometimes I'd gather with my close friends over a downloaded movie, bowls of popcorn, a rather large pizza for sharing and tons of litro Cokes. Sometimes I'd take time to go online and even take time to read a book or two. Unwinding helps you relax and regain much needed energy. Do it!
With Prof. Rey Phillip Ferrer
Before the NLE you'll have to accomplish several things. Some of these are meant to be finished even before graduation day! First you'll need to file for the NLE. So make sure you have all legal documents on hand in duplicate or triplicate copies if needed. Make sure you have the backup incase something happens to the documents. It's always better to be safe than sorry. Also try as much as possible to do things on your own and not wait for your "barkada" so as not to waste time. Remember that it's time to carry your own tail and it sometimes is a dog eat dog world out there. 

The night before the actual NLE, make sure you have all the things you'll need ready like your uniform, pencils, test permit and etc. Keep them safe and make sure that everything is complete. On the day of the NLE, wake up early to avoid rushing around. Eat a light breakfast in case you have a nervous stomach, you won't end up barfing due to intense nervousness. Just breath in and stay as calm as you can. Most of all, pray. The LORD listens, even if we think he does not...

After my Mass Oath Taking Ceremony
My license. I cried the first time I got it.
Janna Joshelle I. Parel, RN <3
February 2012 - First month volunteering at ZCMC Ward 5.
March 2012 - Second month volunteering at ZCMC Ward 5.
April 2012 - Third month volunteering at ZCMC Ward 5.
That's all for now. I know it's a rather long post. It may or may not have helped. *lol* But I really do hope that this post of mine helped even just a tiny bit. To all those who are preparing for the July 2012 NLE (or any other big exams) I wish you all good luck! Aja!


  1. Indeed a long post! No matter how long it is, its still worth it! I'm a reader who doesn't love long post aside from books. Well I love reading your blog. The grammar, the topic, well should I say I love everything about you! Hindi nakakatamad basahin kasi alam kong may sense yung sinasabi mo sis. I would recommend this for those who want to take the NLE exam. This is an awesome post! Keep it going. xoxo :)


  2. Congratulations! to you and to all nurses, I wrote a poem for nurses before :)
    Poem for Nurses

  3. Congratulations!!! Taking the board exam is not easy specially the preparation! Im CPA and the review and preparation is really so stressful! 3 to 4 hours sleep for 6 months for me! Wow!

  4. most of my college friends are nursing graduates and they all passed the NLE. I think they did the same thing too so, I recommend all the fresh grads to read this post ;)

  5. Congrats sis! Grabe. Super hirap talaga mag nursing. -.-

  6. I love the fact that amidst your success, you were thoughtful enough to offer aspiring nurses with relevant pieces of advice. Karma, i know, will look kindly at your thoughtfulness.



  7. Congrats! Passing the board exam is really difficult and a serious studying ,review,a lot of patience and faith in God.Been there,I took and passed the Dental board exam too.You did it .you passed the Nursing Board exam.You make your parents more proud of you

  8. Very helpful post indeed especially to those about to take the NLE. :) I don't think anyone will call you a braggart, Jannie. :) You have every right to be proud of your achievements because you worked hard to get it. ;)

    - Mich of MichEatsandShops.com

  9. This will surely help those who will take the NLE.


  10. Congratulations, Jannie!!! Nice and thorough post! I am sure many can relate with your post (I did, even if I have a different course) and many will learn from it, even those who have a different course!
    Well thought of... lots of sense...very useful... very difficult in reality!

  11. Hi cyber soulmate! :D hahaha. I have got to say, this was really lengthy and but well said. :D I got into review with only 60 days left because elmer and I had problems with our cases and during our review, we slept most of the time, or skipped it to play dota. :D i had too much review materials because of my mom and i couldn't focus. I spend the time reading pocket books instead. I didn't understand what the trend was because it changed every couple of weeks. So yeah. Even if elmer and I both passed without doing much, I always think we could have done a whole lot better. :D I'm sure this will help a lot of people who are about to take the board exam. :D this was a great idea. :D

  12. wow! haha dapat nga tgang mag unwind din ksi nakakapagod tga mag aral. haha soonn! mag RN na dn ako. haha :)

  13. Hi! :) I'm a 4th year nursing student and I 'am hoping to be one of your colleague someday :) God Bless ;)


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