Try and Try Again | Articles | The Fellowship

Try and Try Again

    Apr 26, 2020 | by Nancy Newbrough

    When I finished nursing school in The Philippines in 2017, there was not time to take a review course and sit for the licensing exam. That was because I had received a green card to work in the United States, and my husband and I were immigrating to Katy, Texas, where some of his family lives and would provide a place to stay while we got established. My plan was to study for the licensing exam on my own.

    It was almost a year before I received authorization to take the NCLEX (nursing licensing exam) -- but failed it. So I tried again. The number of questions varies with each exam. This test contained 231 questions with five-and-a-half hours to complete it. But English is not my first language and my brain was totally exhausted by the time I reached Question 100. I felt so hopeless and began crying – and failed again.

    Because of being so certain that God had called me to be a nurse so I could help people heal by letting His love flow through me, I had to keep trying. I was desperately praying for success and so were my family members as well as the Prayer Team at The Fellowship.

    Next, I enrolled in a ten-day review for the NCLEX. The first day we had to do a 265-question pretest. I realized then that my eyes are so bad; I could barely read the questions.  But I did my absolute best to answer them. The facilitator came over afterward and said she noticed me squinting. “Do you have glasses?” she asked. “I do not think you will be able to complete the course without glasses.”  I asked myself, “What is wrong with you, Ninja? The $600 for this course will be wasted if I do not get glasses!”

    My seat mate handed me her glasses and told me to try them. They worked perfectly fine, and she told me to keep them – she has many spare ones. I began crying because with almost 80 people in the class, God had me sit beside this girl!

    My husband had been patiently waiting outside the review room for many hours. He was there to encourage me when I finished that first day -- the kind of guy who will support me in any way possible to get my nursing license!

    After the course was finished, I studied my notes for two more months and signed up for the exam again. But still, I did not pass! This time I felt completely broken and cried continuously. There was so much pain! I thought about our son still in The Philippines waiting to join us … about all the books I had bought … practice questions I had answered … notes on my wall … sleepless nights … continuous sacrifices to get my license.

    After many days I picked myself up, went back to my full-time job at the grocery store, got out my books, notes and Ipad and began studying again. After many months, I took the exam again. I almost passed it – but it was still another failure!

    My husband talked to me about quitting my job to focus on studying. But it would be such a hardship as we have bills to pay and money is needed for our son’s support and for my siblings who need our help.

    But God opened a door in answer to our prayers! I had also been working part-time on Saturdays as a caregiver and when the position came open full-time, it was offered to me. I was so excited to call my husband and tell him I would take the job because there would be periods when the patient was sleeping or watching TV that I could study!

    I settled into the new routine which gave me more study time each day. Then I decided to schedule the exam again, this time on my birthday. But Covid 19 came on the scene and caused cancellations, including that exam.

    On Friday, April 9, I checked and found a spot to take the NCLEX at 8 a.m. the next day. I did not tell my husband or anyone else. Praying for the Lord’s help, I got up at 5 a.m., picked up some breakfast at McDonald’s, and arrived for the exam. When it was over, I had answered the maximum number of questions!

    Two days later, the wonderful news came that I had passed! My heart is overflowing with praise and gratitude. Just as the Lord never gives up on me, I kept pushing forward with His help to do what it takes to fulfill His call on my life. What joy beyond imagination comes with a long-awaited answer to prayer!


    Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial ….
    James 1:12




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