To become a certified nurse, you must pass a complex test called the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination). The National Council of State Board of Nursing developed the exam and millions of applicants take it every year.

What Does The NCLEX-RN Exam Cover?

Basically, the exam is designed to see your knowledge and critical thinking skills as a potential nurse. Your critical care nursing judgment is put to the test. The examination is purposefully difficult so only qualified applicants will pass. Health promotion and a safe care environment are an examples of the types of topics covered in the NCLEX. There are multiple choice questions and alternative type items on the nursing exam.

How Do I Prepare For The NCLEX?

It is wise to take the NCLEX within a month of your graduation from nursing school. Spend at least three hours daily studying prior to the test. Review NCLEX tutorials and take plenty of practice exams. After years of intensive nursing training and practice, you are well-prepared. Take advantage of online resources to find out as much as possible about the exam. Get a good night's sleep the evening before the exam. Don't worry about naysayers or people who failed the exam. Think about your own studies and potential so you can remain calm during the testing process.

What Happens On The NCLEX Testing Day?

When you get ready to sit for your NCLEX, you must have an Authorization To Test (ATT) form or you cannot take the exams. You also need to bring photo identification. You will present these items to a receptionist who will ask you to sign in and assign you a number. You will get reading material to look over and then return to the desk when you are done. You are giving a key to a locker to store all your belongings. You will be fingerprinted and photographed. Prior to entering the testing room, you will be fingerprinted again. An administrator watches you during the test and a camera is directed on each person. An erasable white board is given to each person being testing so they can do calculations. If you must leave during the test to use the restroom, you will be escorted out by the test administrator.

The test is a maximum of 6 hours long with 265 questions on the NCLEX-RN and 205 questions on the NCLEX-PN. The test is based on a CAT (computer adapted testing) format. You can take a break but the time is deducted from your total testing time. When you are done, the test administrator escorts you out of the testing area. Your photo identification is returned and you are fingerprinted a last time. Within forty-eight hours, you can find out whether you passed or failed the NCLEX. If you fail the NCLEX, must wait a minimum of 45 days to retake the test.

Do I Need A License To Pass Medications?

Many hospitals require you to have a license to pass medications. Usually the hospital will pay you for the day you sit for the nursing exam. Most hospitals offer two or three week orientation sessions for all new nurses to demonstrate drawing blood, tube feeding, chest tube management and other essential skills. When you start to work prior to taking the NCLEX, you gain essential experience to help you pass this critical exam.

Will I Earn More When I Pass The NCLEX?

When you have a Registered Nurse License, your pay rate will increase. Your license is good for a period of one year. After a year, you must renew your license and start earning continuing education credits toward the renewal of your license in two years.

What Is Continuing Education?

All Licensed Registered Nurses must complete continuing education. The medical profession is constantly growing and changing. Continuing education ensures nurses keep up with the latest developments in their profession to offer the best possible care to patients. If you fail to complete mandatory continuing education, your license may be suspended. Online educational facilities make it easy for nurses to obtain their continuing education credits while working in a demanding profession.