The Ultimate NCLEX Overview
Passing the NCLEX exam is one of the most important steps en route to becoming a nurse. Though it is inevitable that it, like all exams, will make prospective nurses stressed and feeling overwhelmed, there are several important tips that may serve to mitigate these pressures.
First of all, It is important to remember that the NCLEX-PN and NCLEX-RN are designed to test your ability to assess a patient’s medical condition and not your knowledge of every medical term involved. That being said, you should rely more on the assessments that you studied through your coursework rather than through practical experience. There are several terms that are important to review prior to the exam, but remember to concentrate on how these medicines/conditions relate to patient assessment. More comprehensive approaches to each term may waste value study preparation time.
The NCLEX-PN is comprised of 205 questions and the NCLEX-RN has 265. Both tests are administered as computer adaptive tests (CAT). It is very important to remember that the questions you will be given adjust on a continuous basis. If you answer a question correctly, the next question will be more difficult than the last and vice versa. Most times the testing system shuts down before the test taker reaches the full amount of questions. If this happens, it is still possible to pass. Your final score reflects your baseline knowledge of nursing, so the first several questions are extremely important in determining your overall score. You will literally either sink or swim.
Five hours; individual questions are not timed.
The NCLEX-RN content areas are overlapping and somewhat vague. Each question focuses on specific Client Needs topics, while also assessing the Integrated Practices , or problem solving approaches, that nurses take while assessing these needs. The Client Needs topics are split into eight subcategories: Management of Care, Safety and Infection Control, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psychosocial Integrity, Basic Care and Comfort, Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies, Reduction of Risk Potential, and Physiological Adaptation.
How to Apply
Applicants for the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN must send their applications to their state boards of nursing. Following acceptance of the application, candidates must set-up a specific exam time and place through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).