After completing a practical or registered nursing program, the NCLEX exam must be taken to become a licensed nurse (LPN/LVN or RN).
The NCLEX is an exam that a graduate nurse is required to pass to obtain a nursing license and be able to practice nursing. The exam tests nursing competencies, evaluating if the student can effectively and safely practice as a competent nurse.
About the exam:
The nursing exam is taken in a testing center using computer adaptive
testing. The test questions stop once the computer can determine with
95% accuracy that you are above or below the passing standards.
The minimum is 75 questions with a maximum of 6 hours and 265 questions for the RN exam. The minimum is 85 questions and a maximum of 5 hours and 205 questions for the PN (LPN/LVN) exam. The test questions are computer generated based on your responses to previous questions.
Preparing for your NCLEX exam is very important.
It is often very beneficial to study and take the exam within a short time frame after you have completed your nursing program. This way much of the information and rationale you have learned will be fresh in your mind. I was licensed in Canada by taking the nursing board exam there and took the NCLEX about three years later. It was difficult to study again, but there are a variety of study aids available.
There are many more options now than when I took the exam. There are books and computer CD's, as well as some online options. Visit NCSBN for online study programs and hundreds of test questions are included in their study programs. A variety of package options are available.
On a more personal note: Imagine my surprise when the computer told me I was done and turned off after only 75 questions. My first thought was that I must have failed and I dreaded my score. So, I can honestly say whether you receive the minimum or the maximum number of questions, it does not mean that you did or did not pass.
NCSBN : National Council of State Boards of Nursing website @ www.ncsbn.org