Don’t Let CPNE Stress Take Over

We have all heard a lot of ideas on how to control stress – take a bath,get some sleep, treat yourself to a massage, take a long walk, and many more. These are all good ideas, but the stress surrounding the CPNE is a special kind of stress. There are so many things to learn and master, and so many things you don’t know. What kind of patients will you have to care for? What will your Clinical Examiner (CE) be like? Which skills will you have to perform? Add that to all of the time and money you have invested in this exam, and it equals a pile of stress that can work its way into every corner of your mind until all you can think of is how many things can go wrong.

How do you manage that kind of stress? The generic stress reducers mentioned in the previous paragraph will certainly help some, but I feel that there are specific, CPNE related things you can do to reduce your stress, clear your mind, and make you better prepared to pass the CPNE.

1. Acknowledge what you cannot control. As a student, you have absolutely no control over who your Clinical Advisor (CA) will be, who your CE will be, or what kind of patients you will be assigned. If these unknown factors have you gnawing your fingernails down to the nubs, take a deep breath and relax. Realize you cannot influence these factors at all, and your energy is better directed toward studying your lab stations and assessments. If you are thoroughly prepared, you will be able to handle any CA, any CE, and any type of patient you may encounter.

2. Do your homework. Another factor you cannot control is the facility in which you test. You do have the option to choose your facility, but let’s face it. Most of us are completely unfamiliar with the hospitals from which we can choose. Unlike the CA’s, CE’s, and patients, however, you can do some research and learn about the facility. Go to the hospital’s website and check out the layout, see what kind of patients they treat. Some hospitals specialize in a certain type of patient or are known for a particular kind of surgery or disease treatment. Knowing these little details can give you a glimpse into the types of patients you may see and subsequently help to ease your fears and calm your nerves. Any information you acquire before you test will boost your confidence and help you pass the CPNE.

3. Know your stuff. The one sure way to eliminate unnecessary stress as you prepare for the CPNE is to be certain that you know how to do all the assessments, how to complete all the lab stations successfully, and how to write a concise, focused care plan. If you are not 100% sure of how to do these things, the best way to learn them is to take a workshop. Whether it is online or in person, a workshop will show you exactly how to do the things you need to do to be successful.

4. Take that bath. Go on a brisk walk, eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep, or do whatever it is you need to do to relax, unwind, and recharge. These interventions are time-tested and work for a lot of folks, but I would put them at the bottom of my list. First, really prepare yourself to take the CPNE. Then give your body and soul all the relaxation and pampering they need to carry you through.

Stress can be a real killer, but it doesn’t have to be. As simple as it seems, the key to relieving most of the stress surrounding the CPNE is knowledge. Know your facility as much as you can, know your assessments, know your lab stations, and know how to write and implement a focused, realistic careplan. The more you know, the more you arm yourself to withstand the stress so you can pass the CPNE.

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