Prepaway – Begin Your Nursing Career with NCLEX-RN Exam


NCLEX-RN stands for the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse. This exam allows the individual to start a career as an entry-level nurse. It is considered as a standardized exam which is taken up by each nursing school board to certify candidates into entry-level nursing practice. The exam varies a lot from the tests conducted during the continuation of nursing school. NCLEX-RN exam focuses on the critical thinking skills of individuals whereas the nursing school exams focused on just knowledge-based skills. NCLEX-RN will be essential in helping you to gain perspective on making a different nursing judgment under various conditions. Essentially, NCLEX RN Prep is a computer-based exam which is conducted by the Pearson VUE company.

Exam Registration and Requirements

In order to take NCLEX exam, you need to contact your particular Board of Nursing or Regulatory Body to request for the licensure. Candidates should acquire the licensure from BON or RB within the same state of where they wish to be licensed.

The next step is to register on the Pearson VUE website to start your application process for NCLEX-RN exam. Following this, you have to pay for the registration process along with the submission of all the required application materials. The requirements may vary depending on the rules and regulations of the state.

Note that you have to get the eligibility from BON or RB within 365 days of submitting the application. When you have passed the eligibility ground, you can appear for the test after receiving the Authorization to Test (ATT) email. You can schedule your exam date only after you get the validity email from ATT. First-time candidates can appear for the exam within 30 days of scheduling whereas the candidates for a retake will be offered an appointment within 45 days.

There are various domestic and international test centers for NCLEX-RN exam. Candidates can schedule a test center according to their wish online or offline by contacting candidate services.

NCLEX-RN Exam Structure and Duration

The exam framework mainly focuses on the actions necessary to meet the needs of the client. The test comprises of four major categories. All the questions covering medical, psychiatric, surgical and obstetric areas are adequately assessed. The questions cover specific steps involving assessment of the problem, analysis and planning, intervention and implementation and, finally, evaluation.

The questions in NCLEX-RN exam are mainly multiple-choice questions which come with distinct options. The exam contains questions which will ask the candidate to recognize different parts of the body. Along with that, there will be questions based on the order of operational procedures and mathematical questions for medicinal calculations. There will also be fill-in-the-blanks, chart or exhibit-based and drag-and-drop questions.

Level 1 section contains approximately 10 percent of the total number of questions. It will assess the necessary knowledge of particular information and concepts.

Level 2 question section focuses on the application and analysis of concepts. Candidates are required to know specific information and know how to implement it in analyzing the particular question.

Level 3 section will carry complex questions where individuals have to evaluate specific conditions. They will be asked to provide answers based on the procedures, facts and rules involved. The last two levels usually contain about 95 percent of the total number of questions in the exam.

NCLEX is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) which gauges the candidate’s ability to answer questions. Basically, it is an interactive exam framework which functions through your responses. It means that the level of difficulty and questions will vary throughout the exam duration depending on the candidate’s skill level. If the candidate answers the more straightforward questions right, then the test provides more difficult questions and so on. This is an effective mechanism which helps the computer assess your competence level.

The entire exam does not focus on any particular nursing specialty. The number of questions can vary from 75 to 265 questions in the exam. There will be 15 mandatory experimental questions which do not carry any weight. They will be used by the administrators to form new questions in the future.

Individual questions do not have any time limit. The total duration of the exam is 6 hours. Candidates will be shown a tutorial at the beginning of the exam. There are no mandatory breaks present during the exam. However, there is an optional break provided to students after 2 hours and 3.5 hours.

Fees for NCLEX-RN Exam

The registration fee required for the exam can be up to $200 which is for candidates seeking U.S. licensure. This might also include some additional international scheduling fees. In case anyone wants to change the board of nursing or the regulatory board after filling up the registration, they have to pay an additional fee of $50.

NCLEX-RN Exam Results

There is no numerical scale in NCLEX-RN exam and it will just be a plain pass or fail result. There’s a definite determination at the end of the exam which will say if you managed to pass it or not. The exam results are posted on the exam site. You will be notified of the results after two to four weeks from the day of the test.

You will be provided with an NCLEX-RN Candidate Performance Report if you fail the exam. This will give information about your performance in each of the sections. You can utilize this useful information in order to prepare better when you retake the exam.

Bottom Line

In case you fail the exam, you can easily retake it after 45 days of the initial administration. If you want to clear the exam at your first try, you should focus on preparing smartly and efficiently. You can use the diagnostic profile which will guide you through your exam preparation.