Things You Must Know about NCLEX-PN

Things You Must Know about NCLEX-PN

National Council Licensure Exam for practical nurses is a global exam for the license of nurses. NCLEX-PN is also known as the board or the state board which protect the public from unproductive and insecure nursing care. These tests ensure that each nurse is competent and have the knowledge to practice as a nurse. NCLEX is based on computerized adaptive testing which means each candidate receives a unique test paper. NCLEX exam is conducted by the National Council of state boards of nursing. The board ensures the safety of the public by providing a license to the candidates who have the proper knowledge and represent themselves as professional nurses.

Description of NCLEX-PN exam

NCSBN focuses on the high level of standards which means that nurses should have the knowledge and keep safety while practising as a nurse. NCLEX-PN exam questions are tricky and the test itself is tough. There are several types of questions like fill in the blanks, choose the right one, true or false. It not only requires the knowledge that is gained through books but also practical knowledge that is gained through work. It requires the decision-making ability, fundamental knowledge and understanding of the questions that have been asked.

NCLEX-PN contains 4 categories with subcategories. The main purpose of this exam is to satisfy the client’s needs. Nurses have to use their knowledge regarding medical assessment, process and care towards the clients. The topics that are included in NCLEX-PN exam are as follows:

  1. Safe and effective care environment – It contains 21-33% of the total questions and most are related to the safety issues of the patient. It covers a wide range of topics like safety measures to prevent injuries and infections, nursing management, laboratory tests.
  2. Health promotion and maintenance – It covers 12% of the total questions which include prevention and proactive measures. The main topics that are included related to pregnancy and the birth of a child. Maternity and human growth and development are the basic points studied during nursing programs.
  3. Psychosocial – It also contains 12% of the total questions. It covers the topics related to the mental health and disease, personality disorder, anxiety disorder, depression. Nurses must be aware of the diagnoses, symptoms, treatment of mental disorder patients. They should have the knowledge of how to take care of these patients.
  4. Physiological – It contains 43-67% of the total questions. It covers many topics like adult care, child infectious disease, nursing care, medical knowledge of elder patients, general knowledge regarding nursing care, childhood infections and diseases.

Types of questions included in NCLEX-PN exam

The test is based on CAT and contains maximum of 205 questions in which minimum 85 questions must be attempted. Each candidate has maximum 5 hours’ time limit to complete the exam. NCLEX test differs from other tests and it has many types of questions. Many candidates think that it was tough and confusing but this is the style of NCLEX-PN exam. To succeed in the exam one should understand the question asked in the test. Mainly questions contain objective type i.e. choose the right option from the list. The tricky part of questions is that it may ask to choose the most correct option or choose more than one option and that’s the place whereas candidate gets confused.

Including multiple choice questions, it also includes fill in the blanks, sound questions, chart-based questions, drag and drop questions, hotspot questions. To check the candidate’s decision-making ability some questions contain a picture in which they have to analyze the picture and information and then answer the question.

Registration process

  1. An application for practising nursing must be submitted to the board of nursing.
  2. According to the board eligibility criteria, a candidate must meet their requirements for appearing in the exam.
  3. With Pearson VUE, you can register for NCLEX exam. Through online or on phone registration can be done.
  4. After registration, an email will be sent by Pearson VUE for confirming the registration.
  5. By the board of nursing, a candidate is made eligible for the exam.
  6. Candidate will receive ATT i.e. authorization to test through the mail by Pearson VUE.
  7. This ATT is valid up to 90 days and schedule the exam within this time period.

Preparation resources for exam

    1. There are some books by Kaplan, Saunders Q, Delmar, Mometrix media which provide the guidance material to study for the exam. These books not only contain the matter that can be memorized but also includes the material which helps to increase the skills, abilities of a nurse.
    2. The preparation courses are available which is very helpful to candidates who are taking NCLEX-PN exam for the first time or those who have not scored well in the exam. It offers the material which can be helpful in providing guidance, knowledge to pass the exam.
    3. One can choose online courses which provide the same material taught in a classroom. You can download the online video or lectures which can be seen at any time and anywhere. The online tutorials are very helpful to score in the exam.
    4. After graduation, many students come together and form a group in which they share their knowledge obtained in their nursing program and help the other also. Studying together helps in keeping candidates stay motivated and make the study more enjoyable. It helps in gathering more and more knowledge through mutual interaction.
    5. NCSBN publishes the test plans for students. The test material is available on their site and covers all the detailed material and test papers that can be helpful in studying. It includes the type of questions that can be asked in the exam.

Find and use the preparation material that you can find and which is helpful for the exam. The critical thinking skills, decision-making ability should be used while doing the exam. Candidates should not cram for the exam and just stay calm. Be well prepared and you’ll easily pass the exam.


Mukhtar Jafari is the founder and CEO of He is CISCO CCENT & CCNA Certified and has got his diploma in IT Networking from North Metro TAFE PERTH. He is currently working as a Help Desk Technician at DEEPTECH Perth Western Australia. In addition, he loves helping other tech enthusiasts so he is working part-time on He shares his experience through this website for IT beginners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.