FAQs About the NCLEX-RN

All aspiring Registered Nurses (RNs) must pass the NCLEX-RN exam to practice in the United States. This article addresses frequently asked questions about the exam to help students know what to expect prior to taking it.
FAQs About the NCLEX-RN

To become a licensed Registered Nurse (RN), you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, or NCLEX-RN. Before taking the exam, you must earn a degree in nursing from an accredited program. Regardless of where you are in the process, it's never too early to start educating yourself about what to expect during the exam. Some of the most common questions about the NCLEX-RN are answered below. Study up to be as prepared as possible on exam day.

How is the NCLEX-RN Conducted?

The NCLEX-RN is administered using a computerized adaptive testing (CAT) format. This means that the exam is tailored to each individual examinee's level of knowledge and ability. As you answer questions, the computer assesses your performance and adjusts the difficulty of the subsequent questions accordingly. This ensures that you are challenged at an appropriate level throughout the exam.

How Long is the Exam?

The number of questions you will be asked on the NCLEX-RN varies depending on your individual performance. The exam can range from 75 to 265 questions. Once you have answered enough questions to determine whether you have passed or failed the exam, the computer will automatically shut down. You will have a maximum of six hours to complete the exam.

How Do I Register to Take the NCLEX-RN?

Before you can register for the NCLEX-RN, you must complete your nursing curriculum and receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) from your state's board of nursing. Once you have your ATT, you can register for the exam through the Pearson VUE website. You will need to pay a registration fee and provide your ATT and other relevant information.

How Much Does it Cost to Take the Exam?

The registration fee for the NCLEX-RN is $200. In addition, you will need to pay a fee for a criminal background check, which typically costs around $50. Some states may also charge additional fees. The total cost of taking the exam will vary depending on your state.

Where is the NCLEX-RN Administered?

The NCLEX-RN is administered at Pearson VUE testing centers located throughout the United States. You can find a list of testing centers near you on the Pearson VUE website.

When Will I Receive My Results?

Your NCLEX-RN results will be mailed to you within about two to three weeks of taking the exam. You can also check your results online through the Pearson VUE website.

What if I Don't Pass the NCLEX-RN?

If you do not pass the NCLEX-RN on your first attempt, you will be able to retake the exam up to eight times. The number of times you are allowed to retake the exam varies by state, so check with your state's board of nursing for specific requirements. You must wait at least 45 days between retaking the NCLEX-RN.

Should I Complete an NCLEX-RN Review Course?

Many aspiring RNs find it helpful to complete an NCLEX-RN review course. These courses can provide you with valuable information about the exam format, content, and strategies for success. They can also help you to identify areas where you need additional study. NCLEX-RN review courses can range in price from $200 to $300.

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