What is the NCLEX?

Getting an RN to BSN education is a worthy accomplishment indicating an individual has spent a great deal of time and effort to earn the degree, However, if a student has yet to qualify as a Registered Nurse (RN), taking the >National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, is necessary for obtaining license to work. Every state has a board of nursing that sets the standards for the test determining if any candidate is prepared sufficiently to begin a career at an entry level.

Examination Eligibility
Every applicant for a nursing license needs to apply for the NCLEX through the local nursing board in the state of residence. The board determines if an applicant has the necessary credentials to sit for the test. Once determine, an applicant needs to register to take the exam.

NCLEX Test Content
There are several separate subjects each NCLEX test taker will be quizzed about including:

  • Maintaining a safe and effective environment through following effective infection control, safety and care management procedures
  • Understanding patient health maintenance and promotion through knowledge of human growth and development coupled with the early detection and prevention of disease
  • Ability to cope and adapt in an ongoing psychosocial setting maintain professional integrity
  • Understanding and ability to provide basic care and comfort, pharmacological therapies, risk potential reductions and additional physiological adaptions

NCLEX Registration
After a student has applied f to take the NCLEX exam, an Examination Candidate Bulletin will be sent through the U.S. mail from the local state board of nursing. Now the applicant can register to take the exam with the designated testing service assigned by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Registration can be conducted through filling out a mail-in form or by telephone. Once registered, exam candidates receive an Authorization to Take the Test, ATT, as soon as the local state board of nursing has verified the applicant’s eligibility to sit for the NCLEX. Al list of testing centers is provided for choosing one convenient to the candidate’s needs.

Test Format
This is a multiple-choice test that uses an interactive computer-based methodology known as Computerized Adaptive Testing, or CAT. All RN candidates have to answer a minimum of 75 questions and complete the test within five hours. The time allotted includes the necessary time for computer use tutorial as well as two assigned 10-minute breaks. Scores will be first generated by the testing computer and then verified by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s testing service. If a test taker is obviously well above the standard set, the test taker will pass. If below the standard, the test taker has failed. If the test taking is so close the computer cannot determine pass or fail, additional questions will be given so the system can make a final analysis. A maximum of 265 questions may be taken by RN candidates.

What Happens if a Candidate Fails the NCLEX?

Do not worry if taking the NCLEX results in failing the test. There will be other opportunities to be re-tested. Plus, all candidates failing the test receive a diagnosis profile indicating the extent of knowledge revealed in areas that were satisfactory and in those areas where the level of knowledge was not. Tests can be re-taken as many times as needed, but a 91-day waiting period must be met between testing dates. Check with the local state board of nursing for additional limitations, if applicable

One thought on “What is the NCLEX?

  1. Hi
    Great post. Examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States is NCLEX. NCLEX-RN and the NCLEX-PN are the two types of NCLEX. After successful completion of the appropriate nursing school, a prospective nurse must pass one of two versions of the NCLEX in order to obtain a license to practice.

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