The NCLEX PN, or National Council Licensure Examination, is a test for nurses who have studied to become licensed, practical nurses; or licensed, vocational nurses (LPN). Anyone who wants to get a job as an LPN must take this test before he or she can be licensed. It has been developed by educators and medical and nursing professionals who have determined the minimum knowledge level that nurses should possess to begin their practice as an LPN.

You wont be able to apply to take the NCLEX-PN until you prove that you're eligible. To do this, you'll need to apply to your state board of nursing. Each state board has different eligibility requirements, but most states require that applicants have completed LPN training through an accredited program at a community college, technical college, or healthcare facility. Most people choose to get an associates degree in nursing. Most nursing schools include clinical work in their programs. Other requirements might include taking a tuberculosis test. You'll also need to pay the application fee, which is currently $200.00.

When you've applied to your state board and have fulfilled all of their requirements, you'll receive an authorization to test (ATT) notification that you can use to take the test. You'll then have 30 to 45 days to take the test. You will have to take the test at a testing center. Locations of these centers will be provided to you by your state board.

The test itself will be completed on a computer. It consists of a series of multiple choice questions that tests your knowledge in four key areas:

  1. A safe care environment
  2. Maintaining and promoting wellness or good health
  3. Psychosocial factors
  4. Physiological influences and factors

Although there are more than 200 questions on the test for PNs, you may have to answer less than half of them, depending on how well you're doing. The test is designed to assess your knowledge as you answer each question. When you've answered enough questions either to pass or fail clearly, the test is over. You'll have five hours to take the test, and you'll also get at least two 10-minute breaks. Also, you'll be able to take a tutorial at the beginning of the test so you know how the exam program works.

If you don't pass the test, you'll have to wait for a number of days before retaking it. This time frame can vary from state to state, but in many states its 30 to 45 days.

NCLEX PN Secrets Review Video

NCLEX PN Test Secrets

Last Updated: 05/19/2014


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