NCLEX Requirements

Becoming a licensed nurse is a challenging and rewarding pursuit that signals the beginning of a career in nursing. Throughout nursing school, whether pursuing a 2-year or 4-year degree in nursing, student nurses are tested with academic and clinical education in order to prepare for a NCLEX examination. These tests are necessary for nursing licensure across the U.S., as the NCLEX is the standard nursing examination that provides proof of a nurse’s skills and knowledge of safety, infection control, psychosocial and physiological integrity and health promotion as learned through the pursuit of a degree in nursing.

Eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN, for registered nurses, or NCLEX-PN, for licensed practical/vocational nurses, varies in each state. All students are encouraged to contact the board of nursing for specific requirements in the state where licensure will take place, and to request an application for licensure in that state. Once all application materials are ready, the student must pay a licensure fee to that specific state board of nursing.  Then, the student must register with the testing vendor, Pearson VUE, and pay a testing fee.

Once a nursing school has registered with Pearson VUE and paid all necessary fees, an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter will be issued to the student. The ATT allows the student to register for the test, within 365 days of issuance, as well as enter the testing facility or area on the day of the test. Eligible NCLEX testers also need to show a valid photo ID upon entering the testing facility.

Taking the NCLEX examination is a rite of passage for those pursuing a career in nursing. This examination affirms that a student nurse has received an nursing education and is prepared to begin a career in nursing. For those that have satisfied all of the educational and clinical requirements of a degree in nursing, the NCLEX is a necessary step toward a fulfilling career in nursing.

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