Like any medical professional, becoming a registered nurse requires more than just dedication, countless hours of study and time spent gaining clinical experience. It also requires passing tests. Often standardized and impersonal, these tests are generally required to get your nursing license.
To become a registered nurse in the United States, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). The National Council of State Boards of Nursing reports a passing rate of 87.11% for those who took the test in 2017.
Those who are prepping for the test can better ensure they join this group of passing test takers by using the following tips:
- Plan. Put together a study plan. Decide how much time you will dedicate to your studies, which topic areas you plan to cover and which materials you will use. Those who have already gone through and passed the exam recommend setting aside at least 1 to 2 months of dedicated study time.
- Practice. The best way to conquer these standardized exams is to practice. This test utilizes a computational algorithm to generate questions. As a result, the test changes for each individual test taker. The testing program will generate different questions depending on how the test taker answers each question. It is helpful to become familiar with the format by taking practice exams. Classroom review courses can also be worth the investment.
- Prepare. Keep your personal habits in mind when scheduling your testing time. If mornings are difficult, schedule the test for later in the day. Prepare for exam day by finalizing transportation to the exam site, getting a good night’s sleep, packing snacks and water for use during breaks and getting to the exam site early on test day.
Those who do not pass the first time around can retake the exam.
Mastering the NCLEX-RN exam is just one of the many steps’ nurses take to get their license. As a result, once a nurse earns their license they should be prepared to protect it. If, at any point in your career, your license is threatened know that you are not alone. Legal counsel can help you to defend that hard-earned license in the event of an investigation or disciplinary matter.