The NCLEX-RN is a very important test for anyone looking to become a nurse. Before taking a look at these free NCLEX review resources, it's important to understand what the NCLEX-RN is.
What is the NCLEX-RN?
The NCLEX-RN is a test that nurses take before they can begin practicing, typically after graduation from a nursing program. The goal of the test is to determine if it’s safe for you to practice a nurse.
NCLEX stands for National Council Licensure Examination. The National Council Licensure Examination comes in two varieties – the RN and PN. The RN version is for registered nursing (RN), while the PN version is for practical (LPN) or vocational nursing (LVN). Graduates of Northeastern’s Accelerated BSN program should be concerned about the RN version of this test.
What format is the NCLEX-RN?
The test is administered on a computer using computerized adaptive testing format. It’s possible that you will receive anywhere from 75 to 265 questions. Fifteen of the questions you are given are experimental questions and will not count towards your score. You will have six hours to complete the test as a whole, and you will be given the option to take breaks after two and a half hours of testing and the again after three and a half hours of testing. The test will end for any of the following reasons:
- If you answer 75 questions and you get enough of those questions correct to demonstrate competency.
- If you answer too many questions incorrectly (you will be given at least 75 questions).
- If you have answered the maximum number of questions on the test (265 questions).
- If you have reached the time limit (six hours).
How do I register for the test?
There is a $200 fee to take the test. To read more about all the steps to follow to complete your registration visit the Pearson VUE website. You can register for the test with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
Where can I find free NCLEX-RN review materials?
There are a number of resources that offer free NCLEX practice tests for the exam. Here are a few options to get you started.
- Study Guide Zone - This website has five sets of free practice questions and their answers. Each set is 20 questions long.
- Registered Nurse RN - Here you will find a 15-question practice test.
- Nurses Labs - This website has 12 practice tests, as well as a number of topic-specific questions if you are struggling in a certain area.
- Kaplan – Kaplan is a trusted name in test prep. Their site offers free events, practice tests, downloadable quizzes, and a mobile app. The only down side to this site is that you have register to access some of the content.
- Mighty Nurse – This site offers three practice-question sets and plenty of dosage calculations questions. The nice thing about these practice questions is that you get immediate feedback after you answer each question.
What are some good books to use to study for the NCLEX-RN?
If you prefer to study the old fashion way, here are a few book resources to get you started.
- Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment: Practice Exercises for the NCLEX Examination - According to Amazon’s reviews, this is one of the top NCLEX prep books. It’s offered in both eTextbook format and traditional softback. This book helps with overall strategy of taking this test.
- Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN - This is another highly reviewed book on Amazon. This book is less strategy focused and more question based.
- NCLEX-RN Premier 2014-2015 – Kaplan is a trusted name in test prep. If you agree, you might want to give this book a try.
- NCLEX-RN Exam Cram – If you are looking for a book with a good mix of content review and study questions, then this book is for you.
- Saunders Q & A Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination – This book is great if you are a hands-on learner. It offers 5,000 practice questions and solutions, all explained in detail.
How do you get your results after the NCLEX-RN?
If you pay a small additional fee and are seeking licensure in the US, you can review your unofficial results within 48 business hours of taking the test though the Quick Results Service.
Your official results are available through the board of nursing or regulatory body where you are seeking licensure. These results will be mailed to you about six weeks after you take the test.
What happens if you don’t pass the NCLEX-RN?
It is ideal to pass the test the first time you take it. However, this doesn’t always happen. If you don't pass the NCLEX the first time, you can re-take the test after a minimum 45-day wait.
When you receive your results you will also receive an NCLEX Candidate Performance Report (CPR). This document is a great resource to use as a study guide, as it will outline your weaker areas on the test.
You will have to re-register for the test and pay again in order to take it again.
Good luck! Now that you have read all about the NCLEX-RN, it’s time to get studying. If you find any resources that are helpful to you that aren’t listed in this post be sure to leave them in the comments below. Best of luck to you on the test!
Northeastern Accelerated BSN students are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN after completing the 16 month program. For more information on the Bouve College of Health Sciences ABSN program in Boston, please contact us today.