In order to become an LPN you will need to pass the NCLEX-PN examination. This can only be done once you have completed an accredited training program and you have finished the appropriate number of hours of hands-on experience. Writing the exam will license you to work as an LPN in your particular state. There are a number of tips that you can keep in mind in order to do your best on this examination.
Before The Exam
In addition to studying for the exam as carefully as possible, there are also a number of practical tasks that you will have to perform in order to ensure that you registration for the examination goes through. Many students who want to take the NCLEX-PN exam fall short simply because they are unaware of the procedures involved. This information should be provided by the school where you complete your training program as well as online at a variety of different sources.
Different states have different eligibility requirements for prospective licensed practical nurses. Learn about the specific eligibility for your state and then apply for licensure with your own state’s board of nursing. If you want to work in a state other than the one in which you live, apply with that state’s board.
The next step is to register for the NCLEX-PN examination. The body that administers the exam is called Pearson VUE. The fee that you will be expected to pay is $200. This is necessary in order to schedule a date to write the NCLEX-PN test.
Before you set an exam date for writing the NCLEX-PN examination you MUST wait for Acknowledgement of Receipt of Registration from Pearson VUE, an eligibility letter from your specific state’s board of nursing, and Authorization to Test (ATT), also from Pearson VUE. It is important that you receive all of these before setting your exam date as you will be unable to write the exam without meeting all of these criteria.
Last, but not least, you must schedule your exam with Pearson VUE. This can be done online or by phone. There are a number of testing centers across the country for you to choose from. The exam itself will be computer based, so brushing up on your basic computer skills may help. This will increase your confidence while writing the exam. In addition it will allow you to answer the questions more quickly and not waste time.
On The Exam Day
The following are the basic things that you will need to do on the day of the actual NCLEX-PN examination in order to feel prepared:
- Be Prepared
- Dress Comfortably
- Arrive Early
- Provide Your Biometrics
- Receive Materials
- Set Your Pace
- Finish Up
Being prepared for the exam means more than simply having studied all of the relevant work. It also involves having the necessary documentation with you. This documentation includes:
- Your ATT letter
- An acceptable form of identification
Make sure that you are comfortably dressed. Remember that all hats, scarves, and gloves will be left outside the testing room in order to minimize the opportunities for students to cheat, so, if it is a cold day, make sure that the clothes you are wearing are warm enough. Religious dress will be allowed.
You should arrive more than 30 minutes before your examination. This is for a number of reasons:
- If you are 30 minutes or more late you will forfeit the right to write the examination. This means that you will also not be refunded for the money that you paid in order to write the exam.
- If you arrive early you will have a few moments to relax and breathe and gather your thoughts. Being rushed will add to your stress and make it harder to pass the exam.
You must be prepared to provide your signature, photograph, palm vein scan and fingerprint, or your biometrics as these things are otherwise known, on the day of the examination.
Because an on-screen calculator and erasable note board/marker for making notes will be provided during the exam, you will not be permitted to take in any paper or writing materials to the exam venue.
You’ll have up to 6 hours to complete the RN exam, 5 hours for the PN exam, including the short tutorial and 2 optional breaks (the first 2 hours into testing, the second after 3.5 hours of testing). Take time to analyze each question carefully—once you submit an answer you can’t return to that question.
The exam will end with a survey which you must complete. Once you have completed the survey, raise your hand and wait for the invigilator to dismiss you.
After The Exam
There are a number of things that can happen after taking the exam:
If you want to hear you ‘unofficial’ results within 48 hours, you will be able to do so if our board of nursing participates in the Quick Results Service. If this is the case you can:
- Receive your results on the Pearson VUE NCLEX Candidate website for a fee of $7.95, or
- Call 1.900.776.2539 for your results with calls costing $9.95
Your official results, on the other hand, can only be provided by your state board of nursing. These will be mailed to you about 2 months after you have taken the examination, so patience is needed. You must NOT call:
- Your board of nursing
- Pearson VUE NCLEX Candidate Services
- The Pearson Professional Centers
Making a phone call will reflect badly on you. Your results will be sent to you in due course.
According to https://www.ncsbn.org/2556.htm?iframe=true&width=500&height=550 “If you didn’t pass the exam you’ll receive an NCLEX Candidate Performance Report (CPR). The CPR is an individualized document that shows how a candidate performed in each of the test plan content areas. Candidates who fail the exam can use the CPR as a guide to prepare them to retake the examination”.
To retake the exam follow these basic steps:
- Contact your board of nursing and notify them that you plan to retake the examination and submit the required fees or documents.
- You will need to then reregister with Pearson VUE and pay the $200 fee again. This is in addition to the fee you paid the first time.
- The same process of waiting for your ATT and so on applies for your retake.
- Once you have received confirmation of your registration and permission to write the test, you can schedule a new test date.
Studying For And Passing The NCLEX-PN Exam
There are a number of tips that you can keep in mind when it comes to studying for the exam:
- You need to know what will be on the exam. Obviously you will not be able to find out what the exact questions will be, but you will be able to find out what coursework will be covered. Also understand how the exam is laid out and how the questions will be asked.
- A good understanding of how the examination is graded will also help you to focus your attention in the correct avenues while studying, so finding this information out can be invaluable.
- It is advisable that you form a study group with other students who are studying for the same examination as yourself. Studying together will help you become aware of concepts that you may have forgotten about or that you did not understand the first time. Discussing coursework in a group can also help to solidify the information in your mind.
- Sign up for a prep course. A prep course can help you learn the material better and focus more intently on the exam. Look for courses with instructors who have a background in nursing and understand the structure of the exam well. A course can be a few hours or last for several weeks.
- When studying it is a good idea to create a study schedule for yourself that is based on your personal timetable and needs. Different people study differently, so you may find that you and your best friend need to develop different and separate timetables for study in order to achieve the same goal, i.e. passing the NCLEX-PN.
- Local libraries are full of resources for nursing students who want to take the NCLEX-PN examination.
If you are feeling a little nervous about the exam, remember that, as long as work hard right from the beginning of your training program, and as long as you set aside enough time to study for the exam, you will do a very good job when it comes time to write this test. With the right amount of effort and a positive attitude you will be able to pass the NCLEX-PN examination easily. Even if you do not pass you will be able to rewrite it and you will be far more confident the second time round.