The end of that schooling period usually concludes with a exam that you must pass to become a recognized member of that work field. In this case we are talking about the NCLEX or National Council Licensure Examination for nurses. Here are some things to look at before you take the exam.
NCLEX Registration And Application
In order to take the exam you need to first apply for it. The NCLEX application is obtained in a few steps. The first is to submit the application of registration to the board of nurses where you want to be licensed. You then have to meet all of the nursing boards eligibility requirements for the exam. Then you pay for the exam at the Pearson VUE website. The cost for the exam is $200. Last, you need to be eligible from your board of nursing. After that it is time to take the exam.
In order to sit for the exam you will have to get your ATT or Authorization to Test once the board of nursing declares you eligible. This will come to you via email. In fact, you cannot even schedule the NCLEX exam without having first received this email. After you have this email you are required to take the exam within a specific time period. The average time given is 90 days, but can extend up to 1 year depending on where you registered. Since the dates cannot be extended you need to be ready to take the exam before it expires.
Scheduling Your Exam
After you have the ATT email there are a couple of ways to schedule your exam. The NCLEX exam dates are given out when you contact Pearson VUE by phone or from the internet. If it is your first time taking the exam you will be granted a 30 day window to take it. If you are a repeat candidate you will be given a 45 day window for completion. You do have the option of declining the first test window if you feel unprepared, but you shouldn’t wait too long.
Preparing For The Exam
One of the first things that you should do in preparation for the exam is to look over the Candidate Bulletin on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website. Within this bulletin you will find information on how to register, contact information, and the rules for the exam. Next, you will want to get a test plan and you can find these on the website as well.
The test plan includes helpful information such as definitions of client needs, nursing activity information, detailed content information, and samples of NCLEX items as well. Once you are more familiar with the test plans you should be a little more comfortable with taking the actual exam since you will have a sense of what will be on it.
NCLEX Review Courses are also a great source of preparation. Be sure to try and get some good rest before the exam so you feel fresh and alert. Nerves can get in the way of any exam so try to make sure that you limit your other activities right before the exam day.
The first thing you need to bring when you come in to take the NCLEX exam is proper identification. You will need to dress comfortably as they will require you to leave all hats, gloves, scarves, and coats out of the exam room. You do not want to be late so the best rule of thumb is to arrive a half hour early. If you are late you will forfeit the exam and have to reschedule and on top of that will have to pay the exam fee again since it is non-refundable. You will also have to provide the following biometric data: a photograph, your signature, and a palm vain scan.
Since this is a computer based exam you cannot bring in any paper or writing utensils. Instead they will provide you with an on-screen calculator and an erasable note board and marker for making notes. Since the lives of sick people are being placed in the care of Registered Nurses, they want to make extra sure that there is no cheating on the exam. A nurse has to really know what they are doing.
If you are taking the PN exam to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, the exam time is 5 hours. If taking the RN exam to become a Registered Nurse, the time for completing the exam is 6 hours. There is a short tutorial for the exam, and you can take an optional break after the first 2 hours. You can also take another optional break after 3.5 hours of testing.
After completing the exam comes the wait for the scores. If you pay a $7.95 fee on the Pearson Vue website you can have the results in 48 hours if you are a U.S. citizen. If you fail the exam you will have to wait a minimum of 45 days to take it again. The NCLEX pass rate in 2014 for all RN candidates was 73.87% and 69.76% for PN candidates, according to NCSBN’s 2014 exam statistics.
Scheduling & Preparing for the NCLEX Exam
|Steps||Helpful Tips To Schedule & Pass The NCLEX|
|1.||Find a suitable NCLEX exam dates from the Pearson VUE website|
|2.||Read the Candidate Bulletin on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website and get a test plan to get started|
|3.||Take a NCLEX Review Courses to prepare for success|
|4.||On test day ensure you have proper identification & arrive early|