For me it was hard to know where to begin. I would start by reading the study guide cover to cover. Think of it as your new “bible”.
I broke the exam down into 3 sections: Writing Careplans, learning the critical elements for each management and assessment, and practicing the labs.
I did the schools online workshop for careplans and really didn’t get a lot out of it. I was lost the whole time. We get to submit 1 careplan at the end and I got back that I wasn’t ready to take the CPNE. So okay, I just paid you $300 to tell me that I learned nothing. Where do I go next? So that is why I looked for an outside workshop and found one that worked for me. There are a few different ones out there and I have heard good things about more than one. (I plan to do a post soon on all the different workshops.) I don’t think the school alone adequately prepares students for careplans so unless you already have writing them mastered you may want to get some outside help. It seems a lot of students don’t even make it in the room to see patient’s because they don’t pass the planning phase. There is no sense learning the managements if you can’t make it in the room.
After getting started with careplans though you need to start to learn the critical elements for the PCS management and assessment. You need to know what scales you need to do, what you need to assess and REASSES for each one as well as interventions. In time you will see how learning the critical elements for managements and assessments actually go hand and hand with writing careplans.
You need to practice doing assessments and managements. After you get them down individually do them in 2s, then 3s, then start doing full PCS scenarios. You need to have a game plan as to how you are going to stay organized in the room. Lots of people teach the grid method. This again is an area you may want help with from an outside workshop as it is not something the college teaches.
Then there are the labs. These really are just memorization and practice right? Well it seems to me from watching peoples stories online people fail for the labs more than anything else. I did go to the live workshop at the college and it was helpful for me to see the manikins and supplies that will be on the exam. I bought the kit from the school and practice, practice, practice. I am thinking to start making videos next to watch my technique.
I did Sheri Taylor’s online program and all the schools workshops. I still put in a lot of my own work too. It is unrealistic to expect one person or workshop to give you everything that you need to pass this exam. You need to read the “bible” and be accountable for your own success. However, I feel like taking a reputable workshop can greatly help you to get started, cut down your stress, and prep time so you can focus on your performance.
**Please note this website is not affiliated with any school, exam, workshop, or hospital. The CPNE is a registered trademark of Excelsior College for whom I am not endorsed.**