Be Nice To The Examiners. Here’s why…

[WARNING!]This article might make you angry, but keep an open mind. The examiner is probably as well liked as a IRS tax auditor or maybe even a divorce lawyer (for your ex). Both of them are universally UN-liked because you don’t know WHO they are, only WHAT they can do to you. But here’s the #1 thing you need to remember about them


I know, that seems like a lame, cliche’ answer but then I was told this story by a *CPNE Student and it all made sense.

*CPNE is a registered trademark of Excelsior College. Robbie Wolff is not licensed, affiliated or associated with, or endorsed by, Excelsior College.

A tribe member failed her test recently after making some minor mistakes (very minor mistakes). The examiner failed her on the spot BUT afterwards told her that she was extremely competent and that she should come back and test again.

The tribe member wasn’t interested in words of encouragements and just put her hand in the examiners face as if to say, “Don’t talk to me!”

She stormed out of the test site, never to be heard from again. However…

She went back to the test site to pick up her belongings. She saw the examiner and apologized for putting her hand in her face as that was unprofessional and of poor manners.

The examiner smiled and said:

“That was such a small thing, I didn’t even think twice about it.”

“I’ve had water thrown on me, I’ve been called a bitch and all other profane names that honestly a person putting their hand in my face is almost a welcome response when I have to fail someone.”

“Please come back and test again – you are a great nurse but I think your nerves just got the best of you. You’ll pass the next time…I’m sure of it.”

“I really didn’t want to fail you or anyone else for that matter, but I’m just doing my job.”

**CAN YOU IMAGINE having things thrown on you and being called names JUST FOR DOING YOUR JOB?**
(psych nurses, we already know your answer.)

And remember, these are just people. They don’t get paid extra for failing someone. They get to keep their job as long as they are competent and just show up and do the work…just like you and me.

I know it hurts to get failed. You kind of feel like someone is saying to your face:

“You’re not good enough”

…and that sucks. However, NOBODY (or at least very few people) actually like to tell people this. It’s about the same as firing someone and since I had to do this when I was a Director Of Nursing at a home health agency, I can tell you – it’s awful.

Now I only had to fire 3 people over a 1 year period and that was PLENTY!

Here’s another example that might help this subject to make sense – The IRS agent…

MOST IRS agents DON’T want to give decent hard working tax payers a huge fine that financially devastates them for years to come. I mean, how many people take joy on inflicting pain in others and can go to bed happy and relaxed? IRS agents are actually pretty miserable in their jobs as you can see in this article by Bloomberg Magazine HERE (I recommend not reading it, it’s kind of depressing).

However, for all that misery, they still have a job to do and they’re just like you and me – they want to do their job and clock out when the day is done to go home to their families and leave work at the work place.

Are there some agents who LIKE to give out tax penalties in their audit? Statistically, I’m sure there are, but it is a small percentage of the industry (there’s always going to be a sadist in the bunch here and there.)

And is that IRS agent going to be a pretty happy person some days and a raging jerk the next? ABSOLUTELY!

I believe this is the same at ALL jobs and even at the position of CPNE Examiner for a test site!

How many days have YOU gone to work and were just in the crappiest mood because your spouse was being difficult or the kids have been acting up at home or a family member is sick and you’re stressed out about finances? It happens all the time!! (I’m guilty of this like every single day!)

Now let’s go back to the examiner. He or she can’t give you a tax audit
(tax audits are less painful than this test – believe me…I’ve been through both), but what they have in common is a direct influence on your future finances.

IRS agent gives you a HUGE penalty and you gotta pay that which will negatively affect your bank account. If the Examiner fails you, you’re missing out on a salary raise to an RN which according to the U.S. Department of labor is $27,000 or $36,000 (depending on previous status).

Here’s 2 slides from a presentation I did on how that breaks down:

pic of Excelsior CPNE exam salary increase of LVN after taking test.001

LVN to RN. Wow!

...and here's the breakdown for a paramedic to an RN:

pic of Excelsior CPNE exam salary increase of paramedic after taking test.002

So in reality, the examiner has MUCH more influence over your future bank account. An IRS auditor can only assess you a penalty for that year (unless you screw up your tax return again), but the the salary increase you get after passing the exam happens EVERY SINGLE YEAR! (that could be $270,000 - $360,000 over a 10 year time period!!!).

But here's the thing. The examiner doesn't have control over you. YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER YOU and YOU decide if you pass or fail.

- Did you study enough?
- Did you have a program in place to be successful?
- Did you prepare yourself mentally for this difficult test?

I don't know the answers to this, only you truly know if you did all you could do and are ready.

In conclusion, there's a quote that catches the essence of everything I've written:

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,”
-Ian Maclaren

and that is a quote that can sum up this entire article and everyone you meet today and in the future. Good luck on your test,