What's holding you back from taking NCLEX?
For many qualified test takers, it may be as simple as their preconceived notions regarding the U.S. nursing license examination. With so much complexity surrounding how to qualify for the exam, it's understandable that well-meaning advice from friends, teachers, and even parents is often accepted as gospel truth. In this article, we examine four of the most commonly upheld NCLEX misconceptions and expose the truth.
Myth #1: You must work as a nurse for 1-2 years before you can take NCLEX.
DEBUNKED: While it is true that some U.S. State Boards of Nursing list clinical experience as a prerequisite for international nurses wishing to take the NCLEX, there are many that do not. That means there are several U.S. states that will accept applications from new grad international nurses. Despite this fact, several of the most popular nursing websites contain the WRONG information on this. Work experience is NOT a universally listed requirement and waiting to take the NCLEX can actually lower your chances of passing in many cases (See our article NCLEX Test Taking Tip: Sooner is Better for more information).
Myth #2: You must register for NCLEX in the U.S. state in which you plan to live.
DEBUNKED: Passing NCLEX is your ticket to getting a U.S. nursing license in ANY state. In fact you can even take the exam in American Samoa, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands and then your license can be endorsed at a later date to any other U.S. state in which you choose to live. In practice, you should avoid states that have more difficult requirements or require a Social Security Number for license issuance. When you work with PassportUSA, we'll help you choose a "friendly" state to register through.
Myth #3: NCLEX results will expire unless your U.S. nursing license is issued quickly.
DEBUNKED: Your NCLEX test results do not expire.
Myth #4: You must pass an English exam first.
DEBUNKED: While some states (six out of 50) list passage of an English exam as a prerequisite to take the NCLEX, the vast majority do not. You are much better off passing NCLEX first and then moving onto the IELTS English language exam for many reasons including the one cited in the debunking of Myth No. 1 above.