How Often is the NCLEX Offered?
The NCLEX, which stands for the National Council Licensure Examination, refers to the standardized test nurses must pass to become licensed in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The NCLEX can refer to two tests, one that certifies nurses as licensed practical nurses (LPN) and one that certifies nurses as registered nurses (RN).
In addition to passing the NCLEX, nurses must also have an approved nursing degree certified by their state’s nursing board. The NCLEX is an additional step that demonstrates a nurse's comprehension and ensures they can practice safely. To pass the NCLEX, nurses must find the time and place to take the exam.
So how often is the NCLEX offered? This NCLEX is offered continuously throughout the year for first-time test takers and repeat candidates. First, the nursing candidate needs to decide which state’s Board of Nursing to apply to. Different state boards have specific criteria regarding work experience, so candidates should research which location works best for them. Then, the candidate needs to schedule an appointment with a testing center. Upon scheduling, they’ll be given a testing date within the next 30 days. Once the candidate completes and passes the NCLEX exam, they will gain proper certification as a nurse in their chosen state.
Common Questions about the NCLEX
Although the NCLEX is a standard for nurses, it is natural to have questions about the exam and testing. In addition to wondering “how often is the NCLEX offered,” let’s look at some other common questions regarding this test.
How do I know my NCLEX exam date?
If you schedule your NCLEX exam online, you will do so through Pearson VUE, the company that administers the test. You’ll need to create a username and password on their website when you register. Through this account, you’ll be able to check and verify your exam appointment date. You can also schedule your exam over the phone by contacting Pearson VUE candidate services. Whichever way you choose to schedule, you’ll be sent a confirmation email with your test date and information.
Can I take the NCLEX exam online?
You’ll need to take the NCLEX exam in person. There are testing centers in the United States, Canada, and select international locations. The list of international test centers is subject to change, so if you are scheduled at a specific location and it changes, you’ll be notified via email or phone. To schedule a domestic or international NCLEX test, contact Pearson VUE NCLEX candidate services.
What is the minimum passing score for the NCLEX-RN?
The minimum passing standard for the NCLEX-RN exam is 0.00 logits. A logit is the measurement term used to report the relative difference between your nursing ability and entry-level knowledge versus the question difficulty level. To pass the NCLEX-RN exam, you need to answer questions correctly at least 50% of the time.
What can I expect on the test day?
When your NCLEX test day arrives, aim to get to the testing center 30 minutes early. When you arrive, you’ll need to store your electronics in a plastic bag to retrieve after the exam. Then, you’ll need to present an acceptable form of identification, such as a passport, driver’s license, or state identification card.
Once you’re seated in the testing room, the testing administrator will provide you with an erasable note board you can use during the exam. You’ll have up to 5 hours to complete the RN and PN exams with two optional breaks.
What happens if I miss my NCLEX appointment?
You'll have to forfeit the exam and scheduling fees if you miss your NCLEX appointment without giving proper notice of at least 24 hours. Then, you’ll need to re-register to take the NCLEX at a different date. If you miss the appointment offered, this will be recorded in a case report that the nursing regulatory body can view.
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How do candidates schedule a test date?
Test takers can schedule an NCLEX test date online through the Pearson VUE website or contact Pearson VUE candidate services to schedule over the phone.
Can I take the NCLEX anywhere?
You’ll need to take the NCLEX at a certified testing facility. There are facilities in the U.S. and Canada and select international locations. Contact Pearson VUE candidate services for assistance finding your preferred test center.