Everything You Need To Know About The NCLEX (Without all the Hype).

As is common practice with any professional course where you need to get first get certified before being allowed to practice, nursing requires that you get licensed too. For nurses, the requirements are few, a supported nursing degree and license from the National Council Licensure Examination which should act as enough proof. In this short guide lets decode a few but  clear and unbiased facts about NCLEX courses

NCLEX is an entry-level nursing exam that does not limit opportunity only to degree holders and for that reasons the NCLEX offers two types of exams which vary depending on your level of education. For diploma holders, you are eligible for the NCLEX-PN(practical nurse) while those with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree can take the NCLEX-RN(registered nurse) exam.

The NCLEX is a computerized test that does not require you to have computer knowledge. A little computer knowledge can never hurt but while taking this exam, only the spacebar and the enter button are active and used. The questions are in three different levels with the first level being general knowledge and multiple choice questions, the second being analysis and application and the third requiring that you apply facts and rules to answer.  The number of questions vary from between 75 to 265 and should take a maximum of 5 hours which is inclusive of breaks and practice exercises. The breaks include a mandatory 10-minute break that is after 2 hours of testing and another optional 10-minute break that takes place after one and a half hours of testing. The practice exercise contains 15 questions which are trial questions that can be used in future examinations.

There are four areas concentrated on in the NCLEX examination: safe effective care environment, psychosocial integrity, physiological integrity and health promotion and maintenance. Physiological integrity tests your capacity to administer proper nursing care whereas psychosocial integrity focuses on your ability to deal with the stress that comes with nursing and administering proper mental health care. Safe effective care tests your ability to maintain hygiene and manage infections. The physiological integrity takes up the largest part of the test, taking about 67%.

To apply for the NCLEX you will need to first ask the nursing board of your state which will forward your name if they are convinced that you have the necessary skills to become a nurse. After that, you will receiver a letter, the Authorization to Take the Test(ATT) letter which will confirm your position to take the test which will cost you $200. The test is available throughout the year and you can take it any time you feel ready. In the event that you fail, you can retake the test in three months.