Your Ultimate Guide to Acing the NCLEX-PN Exam in 2023!

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If you’re an aspiring nurse or considering becoming one, you’ve probably heard of the NCLEX (pronounced en-clex). It is the name of the nursing test that you must finally pass to work as a nurse. The NCLEX exam verifies that you have the expertise and abilities required to perform all of the operations of a nurse safely and effectively.

Congratulations on your nursing school graduation! You’ve worked incredibly hard to get here, and while that’s a significant accomplishment, you still have one more hill to conquer. Before beginning your professional life, you must pass the NCLEX-PN National Council Licensure Examination.

This test comes in two varieties. The NCLEX-RN is intended for graduates who wish to become registered nurses (RN), whilst the NCLEX-PN is envisioned for graduates who are concerned with becoming licensed professional nurses (LPN) or vocation nurses (LVN).

Even entry-level nursing employment needing licensing in the United States, Canada, and Australia require a passing score on the NCLEX. You’ve studied hard, studied, and finished all the schooling needed to become a certified practical nurse, but there’s one more obstacle to overcome: the licensure exam. The National Council License Examination (NCLEX) is administered in two sections: NCLEX-PN for nurse practitioners and NCLEX-RN for licensed nurses.

It isn’t easy knowing that you need to pass this exam to become a certified practical nurse, but you’ve mastered the required skills and information. You only need to do a little preparation and study for the NCLEX-PN. But that is not the topic, and we will only discuss the NCLEX-PN exam and its related data. We will discuss the NCLEX-RN in another blog.

Continue reading and exploring to learn more amazing facts about the NCLEX-PN exam.

What is NCLEX?

NCLEX is an abbreviation for the National Council Licensure Examination. It is frequently followed by two more letters, PN or RN. It indicates whether the test is for a Practical Nursing or an RN. The NCLEX is an exam that all nursing program graduates must take. Its purpose is to guarantee that each nurse can practice safely as a newly licensed nurse. The NCLEX is based on Automated Adaptive Testing (which is further detailed here). CAT means that each exam is unique.

Each candidate is given a one-of-a-kind testing experience. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing, or NCSBN, creates the NCLEX tests. The NCSBN surveys newly certified nurses every year to keep the NCLEX exam up-to-date and relevant.

The NCSBN was established in 1978 as a charitable organization and self-sufficient organization. According to the group, they were founded “to protect the general public’s safety” and on the assumption that “nurse supervision needed to be an independent company from the group representing trained nurses.”

What is the NCLEX-PN Exam?

The NCLEX-PN National Council Licensure Examination is a computerized responsive assessment exam comprising 85 to 205 multiple-choice questions. 25 of these exam questions are labeled “experimenting” and will not be encompassed toward your total score.

Your score on the test and the total number of problems you’ve already responded to correctly will decide the number of issues you’ll need to respond to. Choosing the proper response pays you since the fewer wrong test questions you receive, the fewer queries you will face on exam day.

In general, the NCLEX-PN exam includes five primary components essential to the tasks and responsibilities of a practical nurse. The following are the five sections:

  • Safe and efficient care environment: This section emphasizes that nursing care is advantageous and beneficial to the medical care delivery environment and patients’ overall well-being.
  • Infection Control and Prevention: This section of the NCLEX-PN test evaluates a nursing student’s knowledge of protecting colleagues and patients from well-being and environmental hazards.
  • Health Promotion and Maintenance: NCLEX-PN applicants are asked questions in this section that demonstrate their understanding of how illnesses begin and evolve and recommended practices to speed up illness diagnosis.
  • Psychosocial well-being: This exam section comprises questions to assess a nursing applicant’s knowledge of the factors affecting patients’ mental, interpersonal, and psychological health.
  • Stability Physiological: In this component, the candidate requires being able to talk to and help patients with their daily life activities.

The  NCSBN-National Council of State Boards of Nursing) allows test takers to finish the NCLEX-PN exam in five hours. There are two possible breaks, an instructional film, and 25 exploratory questions during this period.

The purpose is to evaluate your ability to make educated judgments in typical nursing situations. The professional school training program covers everything a nurse needs to know.

Most problems are multiple-choice; nevertheless, some have many correct solutions. Others propose that the candidate choose the best of several correct answers. The exam does not require any practical skill evaluations.

NCLEX-PN Exam Difficulty Level

The NCLEX-PN exam is intentionally challenging. The purpose is to determine whether you can provide secure and efficient treatment to customers who entrust their lives. Passing the NCLEX-PN shows that you can deliver the same level of treatment that you expect.

You already have a solid foundation if you earned your LPN/LVN education from a recognized college, finished the required courses, and did well in your clinical experiences. Your knowledge and expertise will provide most of the information you need to understand the NCLEX topic. You must learn to read and evaluate NCLEX questions before correctly answering them.

The NCLEX-PN exam, while rigorous, is designed to assess an applicant’s capacity for practical nursing. Its difficulty stems from its broad scope, encompassing a wide range of nursing principles. The questions evaluate analytical skills, clinical judgment, and decision-making. To succeed, you must be thoroughly aware of nursing tenets, healthcare practices, and ethical considerations.

Proper preparation is essential, which can be obtained through extensive study and practical experience. However, with patience and concentrated preparation, aspiring practical nurses may overcome obstacles and demonstrate their competence in the field. Remember that thorough preparation, practice, and a calm, focused mindset will significantly increase your likelihood of passing the NCLEX-PN exam.

What Type of Data Is On NCLEX-PN Exam?



The NCLEX exam questions are demanding; this is not your average exam. Since nurses need to be skilled and safe in practice, the NCSBN stresses high-level thinking. Instead of rote memorizing or fill-in-the-blank responses, the test is based on applicability and analysis questions. These types of inquiry demand a firm foundation of subject understanding and fluency. This, together with reasoning and decision-making skills, indicates a comprehension of the knowledge necessary for nursing practice.

Nurses must apply their knowledge of medical processes, assessment skills, and other abilities to deliver the best potential care to the client. During the exam, the queries from various categories are dispersed at random; it is not split into sections.

  • Safe and Productive Care Environment
  • Administration of care
  • Infection management and avoidance
  • Promoting health and maintenance
  • Psychosocial well-being
  • Physiological steadiness
  • Fundamental comfort and care
  • Pharmacological and intravenous therapy
  • Possible risk reduction
  • Physiological alterations

What Type of Questions Are On NCLEX-PN Exam?



The NCLEX-PN exam is a computer-adapted test (CAT) comprising 85-205 questions. You will get 25 “experimenting” questions to answer; your score is unaffected regardless of the number of inquiries or questions you answer. These inquiries will be used to create new questions for the next edition of this exam. Because you can’t tell which queries are exploratory, you must pursue them with the same zeal.

The difference in testing duration may appear weird, especially when contrasted to the tests you completed to finish your practical nurse training. Each CAT varies according to the person who takes it.

The exam uses a system to track your replies in real-time. It all begins with a simple question. If you correctly respond, the algorithm will select a more difficult question. If you answered incorrectly on the initial query, you will probably be given a slightly easier question. This back-and-forth occurs throughout the exam, allowing the software to determine your level of expertise.

The better you do, the fewer questions you’ll have to answer to pass the exam. The minimum number of queries required to pass the NCLEX-PN is 85. The average number of questions is 112. Here are the questions types you must know about if you are going to take the NCLEX-PN:

  1. Care Environment that is Safe and Effective

The LPN/VN delivers nursing care that improves the health treatment setting while protecting clients and medical care staff. This section contains two concepts:

  • Integrated Care (18-24% of the NCLEX-PN test) — Advanced Directives, Campaigning, Client Service Assignments, Concepts of Administration and Management, Ethical Application, Quality Improvement, Resource Administration, and other nursing procedures are covered in this subcategory.
  • Accident/Error Preventive Medicine, handling dangerous substances, Injury Avoidance, Medical and Laparoscopic Asepsis, Incident Communication, Use of Limits and Safety Equipment, and other nursing tasks are covered in this section (10-16% of the questions on the NCLEX-PN exam).
  1. Health Promotion and Maintenance

The LPN/VN provides nursing care to clients, which involves knowledge of expected stages of development and growth, prevention, and early detection of medical concerns.

This category accounts for 6-12% of the NCLEX-PN exam. Nursing actions that have been tested include age-related decline, ante/intra/postpartum and infant care, developmental stages and transitions, avoiding illnesses, vaccinations, decisions regarding self-care, health promotion initiatives, and others.

  1. Integrity in Psychosocial Relationships

The LPN/VN offers care that promotes and supports clients’ mental, physical, and social well-being.

This section accounts for 9 to 15% of the total exam. Coping Mechanisms, Loss and Grief, Psychological Concepts, Spiritual Impact on Health, Support Devices, Chemical Dependence, Behavioral Leadership and Management, Bargaining Mechanisms, End-of-Life Assistance, and other nursing treatments have been tested.

  1. Physiological Stability

The LPN/VN provides customers with comfort and help with daily living responsibilities. This category is divided into four ideas:

  • Basic Management and Comfort (7-13% of the NCLEX-PN exam) — Assistive Equipment, Elimination, Transport, Non-pharmacological Pleasure Interventions, Nutritional and Oral Hydration, Individual Hygiene, and other nursing procedures are tested.
  • Pharmaceutical and Parenteral Therapies (10-16% of the NCLEX-PN exam) — Adverse Impacts, Expected Impacts, Medication Administrations, Pharmaceutical Pain Administration, and Side Effects are all tested nursing procedures.
  • Reduction of Risk Possibility (9-15% of the NCLEX-PN exam) — Nursing actions that have been tested include Imaging Tests, Potential for Body Component Alterations, Possibility for Diagnostic Test Complications, Medications and Methods, Vital indications, and others.
  • Physiological Adjustment (7-13% of the NCLEX-PN exam) – Nursing actions examined include Body Component Alterations, Basic Pathophysiology, Water and Electrolytes Imbalances, Medical Disasters, and Surprising Reactions to Therapies.

Registering for NCLEX-PN Exam

The following are the formal steps for registering for the NCLEX-PN exam:

  • Step-1: Submit a licensure/registration request to the nurse regulatory organization (NRB) where you want to be registered.
  • Step-2: To sit for the NCLEX-PN exam, you must satisfy all of the NRB’s qualifying standards.
  • Step-3: Pearson VUE is where you may register for the NCLEX-PN.
  • Step-4: Pearson VUE will send you an email confirming your NCLEX registration.
  • Step-5: In the case of the Pearson VUE system, confirm your NRB eligibility.
  • Step-6: Pearson VUE will send you the authorization to Test (ATT) letter.
  • Step-7: Pearson VUE can help you schedule your exam.

NCLEX-PN National Council Licensure Examination Cost

The NCLEX-PN exam costs $200.00 in the United States and $360.00 in Canada. International planning, altering the nursing regulating body, altering the exam category (RN/PN), or altering the exam language may all incur additional NCLEX-PN fees.

You must use a credit, debit, or prepaid card to make a payment for your exam and finish your registration. All main credit cards, like MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, are accepted. You must prepare carefully because registration payments are not refundable for any reason.

How to Pass the NCLEX-PN Exam?


pass NCLEX-PN Exam

There is no magical bullet or quick fix for this exam. To pass, you must fully comprehend all of the test material. After all, nursing may be a challenging profession that demands you to make vital decisions on the spur of the second. The test aims to show that you have learned the skills and knowledge needed to provide the best possible care to your patients.

However, there are a few NCLEX PN Exam strategies and techniques that could assist you in improving your score and taking the NCLEX on your first try. The following are our top 5 test-taking tactics.

  1. Have Knowledge About the NCLEX-PN Test Format

The NCLEX-PN is not like different tests you might have passed in the past. On your road to a satisfactory grade, you must answer at least 85 questions. You are eligible if you exhibit the bare minimum of competency with those 85 inquiries and responses. If you do not demonstrate a minimum level after the first 85 queries, you can answer up to 205 questions. You will have a maximum of five hours to finish the exam, which will be delivered electronically.

  1. Develop Your Personal Study Guide

Your personal interests and educational style decide the best way to study.

The simplest way to start creating your study plan is to decide which days of the workweek you’d like to study and the amount of time you want to devote to study on each.

On those days, plan to study for a minimum of two hours. However, it can’t hurt to check for extended periods (up to 4 hours) on particular days of the week.

For the NCSBN exam, you don’t have to construct a thorough study guide. Instead, use the practice exam results to focus on the issues bothering you. It should assist you in fine-tuning your personal NCLEX PN study guide and correcting your thinking.

  1. Think About Nursing Significance

Complex questions on unfamiliar topics might produce tunnel vision. NCELX-PN developers understand that as a nurse, you may experience numerous circumstances that you were not taught about in college, and they wish to see how you would do in those situations. Can you make sound decisions depending on the information at hand?

The most crucial duty of a nurse is to determine and prioritize needs. That is, if a patient chokes on meals in a flame-filled space, the most important thing is to remove them far from the fire so you may perform the Heimlich procedure on them.

Priorities are the most effective technique to manage multiple-choice formats with what seem to be multiple correct answers. In the above experiment, cleaning an obstruction in the patient’s throat and evacuating the patient from an unsafe position are valid responses. Still, one is of greater significance than the other.

  1. Take a Prep Course

If you haven’t taken a nursing prep course and aren’t as confident as you were soon after completion, an in-person or online course can be a brilliant idea. If you are newly graduated, the knowledge you gained while finishing your program will provide a sound basis for your NCLEX-PN study.

Several NCLEX study materials and practice exams are also accessible as apps for your tablet or mobile device. NCLEX PN Mastery, for instance, is an app accessible on the iTunes store for iPhone or iPad with over 2,300 exam-like queries, comprehensive explanations, and must-know methods.

  1. Prepare for the Exam Day

Remember to get plenty of relaxation the night before your exam and to eat breakfast. It will keep you alert and eager throughout the day.

For your convenience, the NCSBN offers the following NCLEX-PN exam day suggestions:

  • When you take your NCLEX, you must bring an acceptable form of identification. You do not need to present a printed copy of the Authority to Test (ATT) to be admitted to the NCLEX. For more details, please visit Permission to Test.
  • Candidates without adequate identification will be denied the opportunity to take the NCLEX.
  • The policies covered include personal items, anonymity, NCLEX management, and break procedures.
  • Hats, scarves, protective gloves, and coats must be removed before entering the testing room.
  • There are, however, exceptions for religious and ethnic attire.
  • Arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before your exam time. If you are over thirty minutes late, you might feel compelled to forfeit the assessment, re-register, and purchase a different exam.
  • The following fingerprints will be gathered to be tested: signature, photograph, and hand vein scan.
  • Paper and writing implements are not allowed in the classroom. It is a computerized assessment. However, a displayed calculator and a removable notes board/marker will be accessible for taking notes.
  • After the brief tutorial and two optional breaks, it will take up to 4 hours to complete the NCLEX-PN. Take your time evaluating each question; after you submit a response, you can’t go back and change it.
  • After the exam, you will get a brief computerized survey. Elevate your hand when completed, and wait for the TA to leave you.


According to NCSBN, applicants may take the NCLEX-PN exam a maximum of eight times yearly (note the 45-day rule). To be specific, contact your chosen nursing regulatory body to learn more about its NCLEX retake rules. Everything you know in nursing school, from your first day to the last, is in preparing for the NCLEX-PN exam. Graduation is the first step toward a satisfying new job, and completing the NCLEX-PN test is the cherry on top.

We hope you enjoyed this informative blog and that the data we provided will assist you in passing the NCLEX-PN.

We understand that preparing for and thinking about the impending NCLEX-PN exam might be pretty stressful, but you must proceed with courage. You’ve completed the required curriculum to get to this point. This exam will prepare you for your exciting, fresh profession as a certified practical nurse. You can also comment below if you have difficulty pursuing the NCLEX-PN certification exam. If you’ve already passed the exam, you can also share your valuable experience to help other individuals seeking their careers in the NCLEX-PN field.

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