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Hi! My name is Amanda. I have been a NICU nurse since 2009 and love everything about neonatal nursing.

I am currently a Clinical Nurse Specialist in a Level IV NICU in Los Angeles.

I am passionate about educating the next generation of NICU nurses. I share my knowledge through platforms such as Instagram and Facebook and am excited to have you here on my website!

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Managing Test Anxiety

December 19, 20235 min read

My morning routine is what grounds me for the day, no matter what is to come .”

I hope this message finds you well this holiday season. Recently, I've had heartfelt conversations with some wonderful individuals, and one common thread emerged—struggles with anxiety, particularly test anxiety. It's a challenge that often lurks in the shadows, and too many of us silently battle it alone.

Firstly, a huge thank you to those who've reached out to me about these struggles. Your courage is inspiring. In response, I'm excited to announce that I'll be adding a module on managing test anxiety to my Neonatal Certification review course. My aim is to extend support and help more people navigate this hurdle.

For those grappling with anxiety, I have thoughts and insights on managing it, along with invaluable test-taking tips. Take what resonates with you, and know that support is here whenever you need it.

Studying for the RNC? Join my course today!

What is test anxiety?

Feeling nervous for an exam is a normal feeling. This is a normal body response to help us focus during times of stress. However, extreme feelings of anxiety and stress before and during an exam can have unhealthy results. Anxiety can be problematic when it prevents you from taking or doing your best on an exam, causes you to feel anxious all the time, or becomes extreme.

Test anxiety is a combination of physical symptoms and emotional reactions that interfere with your ability to perform well on tests. Many people experience varying levels of test anxiety for a number of different reasons.

🚨**Quick Disclaimer** My expertise is not in mental health and these suggestions are strategies that have worked for me and other nurses who I have interacted with. This does not replace any medical advice from your primary care practitioner or mental health professional 💗

Daily Positive Affirmations

I've become an advocate of daily positive affirmations. They've significantly improved my own mental health. Consider integrating positive affirmations into your daily routine—especially before study sessions, practice exams, and actual tests. Here are a few to kickstart your journey:

  • Today is a great day.

  • I am smart and prepared for this exam.

  • Difficult questions offer opportunities for growth.

  • I am an excellent nurse.

  • I am capable, confident, and well-prepared.

If you don't already, follow me on instagram where I have started a series of "Motivational Monday's" posts to help get us on the right track every week😍

Prioritize Your Well-Being

Remember, your well-being is paramount. Prioritize adequate sleep, nourishing meals, and enjoyable physical activities. For me, nature walks and hikes are incredibly rejuvenating. What activities re-energize you and bring you happiness?

And for those who've sought professional help, kudos! Additional evidence-based interventions and, when needed, medication, can be invaluable allies when anxiety is overwhelming.

Establish a Morning Routine

My morning routine is what grounds me for the day, no matter what is to come. Every day I spend 10 minutes meditating. I use HeadSpace for guided meditation but I've also used free meditations on YouTube. Guided meditation can be super helpful, especially when getting started. Click the link below to try Headspace for 30 days.

After my meditation I spend a few minutes journaling and I write out my positive affirmations while I journal. I don't use any journal prompts, I just write about whats on my mind. Things I'm excited about, things I'm grateful for, anything on my mind. If I'm struggling with anxiety or other challenges in life I have found that journaling again at the end of the day helps get my thoughts out of my brain.

I've been consistently doing this routine for over a year and it have made a world of difference for me. Do you have a morning or night routine? Email me and let me know what you do to set yourself up for success!

Try Headspace for Free for 30 days

Now let's talk about test taking and some of my tips to help you succeed when you're taking a certification exam!

  • Read Questions Carefully: Understand each question thoroughly before responding. Don't jump to an answer before you finish reading the question.

  • Manage Your Time Wisely: Allocate time for each question, avoid excessive dwelling on questions you don't know. If your not sure, flag it and come back.

  • Prioritize Easy Questions: Tackle easier questions first to build momentum and confidence during your exam

  • Utilize Keywords: Look for clues in both questions and answers. Notice words like "always" or "never"

  • Eliminate Wrong Answers: Increase your odds of picking the right answer by removing obviously incorrect options.

  • (Maybe) Review Your Answers: Consider reviewing if time permits but trust your instincts. I personally only review to make sure I didn't miss any questions because I don't want to talk myself out of the correct answer

  • Stay Calm and Focused: Utilize relaxation techniques and mindfulness during the test. If you start to feel overwhelmed, pause for a moment take some deep breaths and ground yourself. Say your positive affirmations. Flag the difficult question and keep going.

  • Answer Every Question: Never leave a question unanswered.

  • Trust Your Instincts: Your initial response is often correct.

  • Speak Positively to Yourself: Encourage yourself with affirmations and believe in your readiness. You can do this!

Quick Update About My Course

As a valued member of my community, I wanted to let you know that on January 1st, I will be increasing the price of my course to better reflect the ongoing enhancements and added value that has been continuously incorporated.

I'm proud to share that the Neonatal Certification Course has seen significant improvements over the past months. From additional modules, more certification questions with detailed rationales, and extra resources including Quizlet study aides. And more additions are coming in 2024! 🤩

I truly appreciate your continued support and trust in my program. As a token of gratitude for being part of my journey, I want to provide you an exclusive opportunity to lock in the current price by enrolling in the Neonatal Certification Course before January 1st, 2024.

I strongly believe in the immense value my course brings to your professional growth and success as a certified NICU nurse.

Studying for the RNC? Join my course today!

I hope this is helpful to you!

Email me and let me know if your are using any of the mindfulness practices I mentioned (or others) and what test taking tips you have used to help you be successful!

Wishing you all the best!

Amanda xoxo

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December 2023

Certification Review Webinar


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Not very many people love taking tests but as a self-acclaimed "forever student" who has taken (and passed) five different certification exams I am no longer afraid of tests! "Way to brag", you might be thinking but I want to help YOU pass your certification exam too! Click the link below to download my FREE E-Book and enroll for my "RNC-NIC Success: Test Taking Tips for the RNC-NIC" course. In the E-Book I give you the resources you need including the link to access the candidate guide, several types of books to study from, some of my favorite strategies, an outline of the content you should review, and a blank calendar for you to make your study plan! I'm here to help you succeed and I can't wait for you to share with me that you PASSED the RNC-NIC EXAM!!!



I'm a NICU nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist, NICU Educator... basically your NICU BFF. If you want to talk NICU, I'm here for you! I love everything about NICU nursing and I'm eager to learn and share my knowledge with all my NICU friends.

Frequently Asked Questions About the RNC-NIC exam

What is the RNC-NIC?

The RNC-NIC is a competency-based exam that tests the specialty knowledge of nurses in the United States & Canada who care for critically ill newborns and their families.

The RNC-NICU is a nationally recognized certification that recognizes the registered nurse for their specialty knowledge and skill.

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Who can take the RNC-NIC exam?

Nurses can take this exam after a minimum of two years experience in the NICU caring for critically ill newborns and their families.

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Which books should I use?

I'm glad you asked! There are many excellent books to help you prepare for the RNC-NIC, I gathered ande describe each of them for you in my FREE e-book.

Is there a course to help me study?

Yes! Many hospitals host their own certification course and there are a few online courses. See my RNC-NIC test taking tips E Book for more information

What happens if I don't pass the exam?

If you don't pass the exam on your first try you can try again after 90 days. You will have to reapply after 90 days and pay a retest fee. There is no limit to the number of times you can take the exam (however a candidate can only sit for the exam twice per year).

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Can I make more money if I take the RNC-NIC exam and get certified?

Yes! Many hospitals provide a raise or a bonus for nurses with specialty certifications. Hospitals also typically hire at a higher base salary when nurses have a certification.

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