The National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX-RN is a test for nurses who want to work in the USA or Canada. The majority of NCLEX items are multiple-choice but there are other formats as well.The NCLEX is designed to test knowledge, skills and abilities essential to the safe and effective practice of nursing at the entry level. IRS Group provides comprehensive training with a proven mix of classroom lessons and computer based exam practice sessions.
Everyone answers a minimum of 75 questions to a maximum of 265 questions. Regardless of how many you answer, you will be given 15 experimental questions that do not count for or against you. The exam administrators use them to test for future questions on the exam.
There is no time limit for each individual question. You'll have a maximum of 6 hours to complete the exam, which includes a tutorial in the beginning. There are no mandatory breaks. However, there's an optional break after 2.5 hours of testing, and another optional break after 3.5 hours of testing.
Your exam ends when one of the following occurs:
The NCLEX-RN® exam is pass/fail—there is no numerical score. A determination will be made at the conclusion of the exam as to whether you have passed or failed. However, the results will not be made available at the exam site. You'll be notified by your State Board of Nursing approximately 2-4 weeks after your test date.
First, don't despair. You are not alone. Many students do not pass the NCLEX-RN exam on their first attempt. Failing the exam means that you did not successfully answer questions at or above the level of difficulty needed to pass. On this particular exam, you were unable to demonstrate your ability to provide safe and effective care.
If you fail, you'll receive a diagnostic profile that evaluates your test performance. Read it carefully. You'll see how many questions you answered on the exam. The more questions you answered, the closer you came to passing.
The only way you continue to get questions after the first 75 is if you are answering questions close to the level of difficulty need to pass. Use the diagnostic profile to determine your problem areas. You can then focus your preparation accordingly.
Absolutely. Re-testing for the NCLEX-RN exam is permitted 45 days after the initial administration (unless you're in Georgia or Guam—contact SBON for details).
If you prepared on your own for the first time, you may want to consider a formal preparation option to help you focus your study time more effectively.
Regardless of the method you choose, don't forget to use the diagnostic profile to guide your preparation.
Your first step is to submit an application to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). You will be required to follow the procedures established by the individual State Boards of Nursing. Some states have combined registration for the NCLEX-RN exam with the application for licensure. In all other states, you must apply for licensure with the State Board of Nursing in the state in which you wish to become licensed. Once you have applied, you will receive a Candidate Bulletin to register for the NCLEX-RN exam.
The cost to take the NCLEX-RN exam is $200. Additional licensure fees are determined by the individual State Boards of Nursing. Send your completed test application and fee to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. You can register by phone by calling: 1-866-496-2539 in the USA (1-952-681-3815 for outside the USA) between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Eastern), Monday through Friday. Phone registrants are required to pay by VISA or Master Card. There is a $9.50 service fee for the phone registration. If you prefer, you may send a personal check, cashier's check or money order to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
You'll receive a postcard acknowledging receipt of registration. You will not be able to schedule an appointment to take the exam until your State Board of Nursing declares you eligible and you receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) in the mail.