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6 Things to Know About the NCLEX Exam 2021

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Are you a nursing professional aspiring to work in the U.S? If yes, is the NCLEX exam your first milestone? Whether you want to become a licensed registered nurse or take the next step in your career, the NCLEX exam is the one.

What is NCLEX? National Council Licensure Examination is a nationwide examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States, Canada and Australia. The purpose of this exam is to determine if it's safe for a nurse to begin practice as an entry-level nurse, and you need to know more about What is NCLEX Exam.

If you are an aspiring nurse, you must pass the NCLEX exam before applying for licensure. Licensure is the process of granting a license to the applicant who has attained the competency to practice nursing. Boards of the nursing issue license an individual to start their nursing practice. 

Here in this blog, you will read about a few things you must know about the exam. From the type of tests, test patterns to the scoring system, here are the critical aspects of the exam. 

Everything About the NCLEX Exam

The governing body responsible for the NCLEX exam is the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the NCSBN. The practices and exams are altered based on the current nursing practices. Before you prepare for your licensure, make sure you are clear about:

  • Authorization to Take the Exam

Before you take your exam, you will need authorization. This authorization is called the Authorization To Test or an ATT letter. If the board of nursing finds the candidate eligible, that candidate will receive their ATT by email. To receive ATT authorization, one has to enquire with the nursing regulatory body (NRB). After the review of the application, you will receive ATT via email. The authorization expires after 90 days.  

  • Two Types of NCLEX Exam

The NCLEX exam has two types: 

  1. NCLEX-PN: This exam evaluates aspiring practical nurses
  2. NCLEX-RN: This exam is for registered nursing candidates.

While the PN exam is more of care coordination questions and concepts, the RN exam emphasizes care management. RN exam also assesses registered nurses’ scope of practice. There are more similarities and differences between the two tests.

  • Four Areas of the Exam

The NCLEX exam is divided into four areas:

  • Safe and Effective Care Environment
  • Health Promotion and Maintenance
  • Psychosocial Integrity
  • Physiological Integrity

These four areas of the exam are the same for both NCLEX- PN and NCLEX- RN. However, the sub-content of these four areas are slightly different. 

  • Question Pattern of the Test

The NCLEX test is composed of multiple-choice, four-option, text-based questions. The questions may include charts, tables and graphic images. During the NCLEX exam, the candidate can answer at least 75 questions in the six hours allotted. There are 265 questions on the exam, with 15 sample questions at the end of the test. These tests are unscored and used for creating future test questions.

  • Pass-Fail Scoring System

NCLEX is a pass/fail exam. NCLEX exam is computerized adaptive testing. The length of the exam does not indicate that you have passed or failed. Also, the candidates who fail the exam can retake. A vast majority of candidates pass the exam on their first attempt. Those who fail can retake the test after 45 days from their first test date. You can take a retest as many as eight times in a year. 

  • Registration Varies by State

NCLEX is a national exam that can be taken in any state. Proper nursing credential from respective state boards of licensure and registration is necessary to register for the test. Different states might have other licensure requirements. You must check the procedures and conditions with your state regulatory board to apply for the test.

To Conclude

NCLEX Course is critical for nurses. You can also apply for multiple state licensure. To validate your skills to practice, start your first step with NCLEX safely!

article1Blessy Babu

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Blessy Babu is an English Language Associate with over seven years of experience teaching various language courses such as IELTS, OET, TOEFL, PTE, SAT, GRE & GMAT. She attained her Master’s Degree in English Literature along with a second Masters's in Counseling and Psychology. Besides, these master's degrees she gained an advanced diploma in creative writing, which perfectly enhances her writing skills. She has authored a book that contains multiple essay writing models to help learners boost their essay writing skills and styles.

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