Are you a preparing to become a nurse? Did you know that whether you want to become a registered nurse or a practical nurse, you must become licensed to be able to work as a nurse in the United States and Canada?
In order to get your nursing license, you must take the NCLEX Exams. These exams, known as the National Council of Licensure Examinations, are required by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
According to the NCSBN, here are some of the most important steps for you to follow to get to your NCLEX Exam:
- Check with your board of nursing / regulatory body (BON/BR) what the requirements to get your license are.
- Once you have all the requirements, you should request a licensure/registration application.
- With your application, you will pay a licensing fee to the BON/RB, so they can send you your application materials. Keep in mind, that you must obtain the applications from the BON/RB in the state in which you are seeking your licensure. The requirements will vary from state to state, so make sure you are requesting in the corresponding board.
- Once you are approved to test, register to take your exam. According to NCSBN, you must register with Pearson Vue (pearsonvue.com/nclex).
- Already registered, get ready for the exam. Create a plan that will help you prepare yourself for the exam. Websites like ncsbn.org, have different materials to study from. You can also buy study books, and find other types of materials to study online.
- On the day of the exam wear comfortable clothes, you won’t be allowed to wear coats or any oversized exterior garments into the testing room.
- Make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes early to the exam. You don’t want to be late, as you can miss the opportunity to take your test.
- If you must cancel your exam appointment make sure you do so 24 hours prior to the exam. If you don’t do so you will need to reregister and pay another exam fee.
- There are three sections to the exam: a tutorial at the beginning to familiarize the candidate; the exam itself; and a customer service survey at the end of the exam.
- While taking the exam, try to concentrate on answering all the questions you can. Don’t think about the time, as you will have 5 to 6 hours to complete the exam.
- Once you take your exam, you can pay for the “Quick Result Service”, to get your unofficial scores 48 business hours after you take your exam. If you choose to wait, the unofficial scores will be posted on your state boars, and you will get the official ones in the mail 60 days after taking the exam.
- The results are verified twice before being given to the licensure board, so it is unlikely for an unofficial score to differ from the official scores.
Keep in mind that the passing standard has increased. This means that the test will be more difficult. The changes in U.S. health care and nursing practice, has made the NCSBN make some changes to the test because they believe an effective licensed nurse requires a greater level of knowledge, skills and abilities than what was previously required. So before you register for your test, make sure you make time to study and get ready for the test.
Now that you have some of the most important facts about the NCLEX exams, make sure you do everything to take the test and get your licensure as soon as possible. Remember, if you don’t have the license, you are not allowed to practice as a nurse in the United States or Canada.
For more information about the NCLEX examinations and other nursing exams, please visit www.ncsbn.org.