Passing the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurse

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The final step after graduation from nursing school is to sit for the national nursing board exams, termed the NCLEX. This is a very grueling test. It behooves all who are going to sit for the exam to get as much information as possible. The more information the better and the less stress there is going into the exam. The first step is to be prepared with the necessary information needed to pass.

This comes from everything that has been taught in nursing school. However, that is not sufficient. Practicing test questions that are similar to those from the NCLEX is a very good way to increase scores. Although nursing school tests are designed to help students pass the NCLEX, they are not always sufficient in building the necessary critical and analytical thinking skills necessary to pass the boards. There are many NCLEX study guides on the market. Choose the ones that are recommended by nursing instructors.

The process of obtaining licensure as a Registered Nurse is governed by authorities within each state. The NCLEX is developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. The purpose of the exam is to test the candidate to be sure that they are capable of the width and breadth of knowledge to practice nursing safely, in accordance with the Nurse Practice Act of each state and the Boards of Nursing act. More information is available at their web site at www.ncsbn.org

Although the exam is considered a national board exam, each state offers it separately. The fee for the exam is about two hundred dollars. Upon graduation the nursing school will send all of the information necessary to the state of issuance. Once the state is in possession of all of the students information, then the state will notify the National Council of Licensing Exams for Registered Nurses. Therefore the student needs only to fill out the application and pay the fee. The fee and registration are only good for one year from the date of acceptance.

Once the student has exceeded that time frame, they have automatically forfeited their opportunity to take the boards and then must reapply. This is a time consuming process, since all paper work must be once again submitted to various licensing authorities. It is highly advisable that all graduate nurses sit for their state boards soon after graduation. Research has shown that the scores of state boards go down dramatically the longer the applicant waits to take the exam.

According the a 2003 report from the Oklahoma Board of Nursing research task force, it was concluded that the negative factors effecting the graduates scores were the following employment hours and family responsibilities, English as a second language, delaying taking the exam five months or more and the limited knowledge by the nursing faculty not adequately preparing students with sufficient practice at answering questions requiring critical and analytical thinking skills.

Toward the end of the students graduating semester, the nursing department will send candidate information to the State Board of Nursing. It is important that the student follow up to be sure that all information that is being sent is accurate and up to date. One omission can mean a set back of several weeks.

The organization that administers the exam is Pearson Vue. Their testing centers are centrally located so that students don