When Nurse Chioma Okeke heard a statistic that over 13,000 nursing schools have shut down in the United States since 1986, she was inspired to help nursing students get the proper tools to pass their National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
Based on her passion, ChoosingNursing.net was born! Chioma saw a need and used her nursing experience to help get new nursing professionals up to speed to not only pass their exam but to become exemplary nurses who are confident about their craft.
Chioma shared more about ChoosingNursing with 21Ninety and why it is an amazing outlet for nurses to explore.
21NINETY: What led you to nursing?
CHIOMA OKEKE: My mom was the first person who inspired me into nursing because she is a nurse herself, so she really encouraged me to pursue it. After doing my own research, I decided it was something I wanted to pursue because of the flexibility and the desire to help improve the quality of people’s lives.
21N: You describe nursing school as one of the most challenging experiences in your life, why is that?
CO: Yes, absolutely. I went through a very rigorous nursing program. Before the program started, they actually recommended that we don’t have any outside responsibilities such as working because of how much work completing the program would require. Learning nursing was like learning a new language, but with a whole lot more responsibilities. We had clinical papers due, long lectures, clinicals and just many overall requirements. It was more difficult for me because I actually didn’t pass my second semester of nursing school, but instead of stopping, I went back at it again and still graduated with my nursing class.
21N: How did you overcome the difficulties to excel in nursing school?
CO: Well, I visited office hours frequently, I studied in groups, I looked for tutoring and I reduced any outside responsibilities so I would have more time to study. I read more books that helped me to break down the information in a way I could better understand, and then I also had my mom to help me.
21N: You passed your NCLEX exam within weeks of graduation, but that’s not always the case for nursing students. Why did others not passing this exam strike a chord with you?
CO: Because I thought it was unusual. The program I went through, almost everyone in my class passed their exam without any problems so when I heard other people were struggling to pass, it seemed very odd to me. And I wanted to find out why because I couldn’t imagine the devastation of going through nursing school and not being able to work because of not passing the test.
21N: In 2012, you launched your ChoosingNursing website! What was the initial response?
CO: When I launched the website the business had not been born yet at that time. I honestly started it initially as a source to write and blog about nursing. I had no idea at the time it would be what it is today. It didn’t become what it is now until 2015 when I started the business.
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Are you having a hard time to study and pass your NCLEX exam?📲🤓 . Are you an RN or LPN Test Taker? Go to @choosing_nursing and click the link in the BIO to access our #FREE Resources, Reviews and Programs! . FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA!🤗 IG -> @Choosing_nursing Youtube -> Choosing Nursing Pinterest -> Choosing Nursing Website -> choosingnursing.net Facebook Group -> https://www.facebook.com/groups/NclexPrepForSuccess/ ———————————————- FREEBIES! 🙌 The truth to SATA questions -> bit.ly/satatruth 👩💻Prep Course -> bit.ly/freenclexprepcourse 📚10 Big NCLEX mistakes -> bit.ly/10nclexmistakes . . . #nursingschool #nclexexam #howtopassthenclex #becominganurse #nursingstudents #nurselife #nursingcontent #nclextopics #whatisonthenclexexam #howtoprepareforthenclex #howtostudyforthenclex #understandingnursing #ncsbn #nclexworld #whatisthenclex #passingwith75questions #failedthenclex #nursingfam #nursingdays#nursequote #nursemotivation #nursequoteoftheday #obseries #sata #review #sataandpriority
21N: Continuing on the timeline, you left the practice you were working for and began focusing more time and attention on helping graduates pass this exam. When you decided to leave were you nervous? Fearful?
CO: I was a little but honestly, not really. I just felt it was the right time, and also because I knew that because I had nursing experience already, if I needed to, I could just get another nursing job.
21N: Since that time, how has ChoosingNursing grown?
CO: It’s been growing so fast! We now have over 20,000 followers on Facebook and a growing email list every month by the thousands. I’ve expanded the team and our social media following has also increased dramatically.
21N: And through the power of the web, you can connect with students all over the world. Do you get a lot of international students as well?
CO: YES! We get a LARGE number of international students. I would say at about 40% of our audience are international graduates. That’s also one of the things that separates us too, is the fact that we also specifically provide resources designed towards helping international graduates so we draw many international students that way.
21N: When a student comes to you they make a decision to be streamlined to success! If you can, share with us a success story that really touched you.
CO: Absolutely. We had one student who graduated in the Philippines in 2009 but was residing in the states since 2012. Her name was Julie. She reached out to us for help because she didn’t really understand why she wasn’t passing her exam despite taking it once before. That was when I was able to show her what she needed to understand differently as an international test taker, and how she needed to study for her exam.
We worked with her for about two to three months and then she passed her exam about two months later in 2017 on the second time! This was a huge accomplishment for both her and us because she had been out of school for eight years from an international country before working with us, and she passed her NCLEX-RN exam with our help.
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Go to our website and get ready to Pass the NCLEX! Choosingnursing.net . Are you an RN or LPN Test Taker? Go to @choosing_nursing and click the link in the BIO to access our #FREE Resources, Reviews and Programs! . FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA!🤗 IG -> @Choosing_nursing Youtube -> Choosing Nursing Pinterest -> Choosing Nursing Website -> choosingnursing.net Facebook Group -> https://www.facebook.com/groups/NclexPrepForSuccess/ ———————————————- FREEBIES! 🙌 The truth to SATA questions -> bit.ly/satatruth 👩💻Prep Course -> bit.ly/freenclexprepcourse 📚10 Big NCLEX mistakes -> bit.ly/10nclexmistakes . . . #nursingschool #nclexexam #howtopassthenclex #becominganurse #nursingstudents #nurselife #nursingcontent #nclextopics #whatisonthenclexexam #howtoprepareforthenclex #howtostudyforthenclex #understandingnursing #ncsbn #nclexworld #whatisthenclex #passingwith75questions #failedthenclex #nursingfam #nursingdays#nursequote #nursemotivation #nursequoteoftheday #obseries #sata #review #sataandpriority
21N: Your work has been amazing thus far, but we are sure you have more in store. What’s next for ChoosingNursing?
CO: Great question. The next step is that I want us to start helping individuals who are currently still in nursing school. So, providing them with the right resources that will help them finish their program strong and pass their NCLEX exam with ease.
21N: And for any nurses (up-and-coming or seasoned) reading this now, what advice would you give them in regards to making it through nursing school, navigating the field and being the best nurse you can be?
CO: To those in nursing school I would definitely encourage you to not give up no matter what. It’s worth it to keep going. If you are having challenges, start evaluating other things you can do to help you finish your journey. And to those who are already seasoned or navigating the field, I would encourage you to follow your passion. There’s so much versatility in nursing. Do your research, find out what’s available and don’t be afraid to step into it.
PHOTO: MBW PR
21N: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
CO: Yes! If you are thinking about nursing or becoming a nurse, then let this be a sign to you to go for it. The best things don’t normally come easy so find yourself a program and go for it. You have what it takes!
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