National Council Licensure Examination for RN (NCLEX-RN) is developed by the NCSBN to evaluate nursing knowledge and skills of nurses who want to practice as a registered nurse. The licensing exams are administered by a nationally recognized testing agency Pearson VUE at their different centres located throughout the United States and few out of the country centers. The board qualified candidates can also apply for the testing accommodations 200-300.
The registered nurse licensing exam is a computerized adaptive testing (CAT), and NCSBN started offering the exam on computers from April 1994.Now, NCLEX is administered only in the CAT format, not as oral or paper-and-pencil exam. Before the start of the exam, aspirants are provided with a tutorial and instruction on the use of computer for recording the answers for multiple-choice and other format questions. The exam consists of about 75 to 265 questions, and out of these, 15 items are not scoring pre-test questions. The time limit for the examination is 6 hours, and candidates will have to answer these questions within the prescribed time. The six hours time limit also includes breaks, sample questions, revision, and tutorials. The respective state’s Board of Nursing is responsible for releasing the test results to candidates.
The licensing exam is mainly organized in four groups that are based on major Client Needs including a) Safe and Effective Care Environment, b) Health Promotion and Maintenance, c) Psychosocial Integrity, and d) Physiological Integrity. The section is a) is divided into two sub-categories: Safety and Infection Control and Management of Care, whereas, section d) has four sub categories – Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies, Physiological Adaptation, Reduction of Risk Potential, and Basic Care and Comfort. The test questions are assigned among these categories/subcategories in a percentage basis.
The eligibility for testing is offered to only qualified candidates who are authorized by the board of nursing/regulatory body. There are few necessities that are to be completed by the applicants to be eligible to take the registered nurse licensing exam. These prerequisites include graduation from the board approved and accredited RN programs, completion of the BON/RN and Pearson VUE’s registration process, payment of exam fees, and receipt of Authorization to Test (ATT). Once candidates complete these formalities, the BON qualifies them for the national RN licensing exam.