Navigating the NCLEX Exam For Registered Nurses: Everything You Need To Know

Sep 08, 2023 4 min read
NCLEX Exam For Registered Nurses

Key Takeaway:

  • The NCLEX exam evaluates your ability to think critically and make proper decisions in various patient care scenarios.
  • Understand that the exam adapts to your responses, adjusting the difficulty level based on your performance.
  • Successfully passing the NCLEX exam brings you one step closer to becoming a registered nurse and kick-starting a fulfilling nursing career.

Introduction 

Nurses have a strong and significant impact on the healthcare industry across the world. Along with doctors, nurses are also on the front line when it comes to providing care and educating patients about different conditions. While the doctor examines patients thoroughly, in most cases, communicating the matter in a patient-friendly manner is done by the nurses. 

Nurses usually spend more time and energy helping patients understand particular treatments or procedures, describing medication and possible side effects, and various other things. 

The healthcare community in Australia is keen on inviting skilled and qualified nurses in order to raise the standards of their healthcare services and to contribute to the protection of public health. 

Nurses from around the globe flock to Australia to build a promising yet rewarding career in Australia. The exam that bridges the gap between overseas-trained nurses and registration in Australia is the NCLEX-RN. Let us explore this exam in detail. 

Navigating the NCLEX Exam For Registered Nurses: Everything You Need To Know

  • Introduction
  • National Council of State Boards of Nursing
  • Understanding the NCLEX-RN
    • NCLEX Exam Eligibility Criteria
    • NCLEX Exam Pattern
    • NCLEX Exam Syllabus
    • NCLEX Test Day Tips
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

National Council of State Boards of Nursing

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is the council that conducts the exams for registered nurses and licensed practical or vocational nurses. The council is committed to creating psychometrically safe and legally defensible nursing licensure and certification examinations consistent with current practice. It is a non-profit organisation that empowers and supports nursing regulators with the mission of protecting the general public. 

Understanding the NCLEX-RN

The NCLEX-RN stands for National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. This examination is a standardised assessment implemented in the US, Canada, and Australia to check if the candidates are qualified to work as entry-level nurses in these countries.

The NCLEX exam is designed to evaluate a nurse’s ability to apply critical thinking and clinical judgement in various patient care scenarios. It’s essential to recognise that the exam isn’t just about regurgitating facts; rather, it focuses on assessing your decision-making skills and your capability to prioritise patient safety.

This is a computer adaptive test and is mandatory for all nursing graduates seeking registration in the above-mentioned countries. Needless to say, only candidates with a bachelor’s degree in nursing are eligible to apply for this exam.

NCLEX Exam Eligibility Criteria

  • The candidate must be a graduate of any school of nursing
  • The candidate must hold the Authorisation to Test (ATT)
  • The candidate must provide credentials and personal information
  • The candidate must apply to the Nursing or Regulatory Board
  • The candidate must be registered with the Pearson VUE
  • The candidate must pay the application fee for the NCLEX

NCLEX Exam Pattern 

The form of the NCLEX exam can vary from individual to individual. Each question will be based on how the candidates answered the previous question. 

There are two main types of questions: multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and alternate-format questions, which include multiple-response, fill-in-the-blank, and prioritisation questions. The number of questions can range from 75 to 265, with a maximum of six hours to complete them.

This examination consists of three levels. 

  • Level 1: To assess the knowledge and understanding of the candidate
  • Level 2: To assess the analysis and application of the candidate
  • Level 3: To assess the qualitative and aptitude skills of the candidate

NCLEX Exam Syllabus

The NCLEX Exam for registered nurses examines the following areas.

  • Safe and effective care environment
  • Health promotion and maintenance
  • Psychosocial integrity
  • Psychological integrity

NCLEX Test Day Tips

The big day can be daunting and anxiety-inducing for some candidates. Here are a few test day tips that will help you. 

Rest Well: Ensure you’re well-rested the night before the exam to maintain optimal alertness during the test.

Arrive Early: Reach the testing centre well before your scheduled time to avoid any unnecessary stress.

Stay Calm: Nervousness is natural, but try to stay calm and composed. Deep breathing exercises can help reduce anxiety.

Read Carefully: Pay close attention to each question and read all answer options before making a choice.

Trust Your Knowledge: Remember that you’ve prepared thoroughly. Trust your nursing knowledge and the critical thinking skills you’ve developed.

Conclusion

The NCLEX exam is a challenging but necessary step on your journey to becoming a registered nurse in countries like the US, Canada, and Australia. It is important to approach your preparation with dedication and a focus on critical thinking. The NCLEX doesn’t just test your memory; it evaluates your ability to provide safe and effective patient care. With diligent preparation and a confident mindset, you can conquer the NCLEX and take a significant step towards a rewarding nursing career and make a real difference in the Australian healthcare community. 

If you are seeking guidance for your NCLEX examination, reach out to us at contact@academically.com and we will be happy to help. 

FAQs

Q: What is the duration of the exam?

Ans: There won’t be any time limit for any of the questions. The exam will take a maximum of 6 hours to complete.

Q: How much does the NCLEX exam application fee cost?

Ans: The application fee costs USD 200.

Q: Are there any NCLEX exam centres in India?

Ans: Yes. There are centres in Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, and New Delhi

Q: Is work experience mandatory for writing the NCLEX exam? 

Ans: No. The candidates may take the exam without prior work experience.

Q: Can candidates write the NCLEX before graduating?

Ans: No. Graduating from any school of nursing is mandatory for the candidate to be eligible for the NCLEX exam.

Dr. Akram Ahmad
Dr. Akram Ahmad
about the author

Dr. Akram Ahmad is a clinical pharmacist and lecturer with over 10 years of teaching and research experience across various subjects of medicine in India, Malaysia and Australia. He is an educationist and a medpreneur with extensive knowledge of the global healthcare diaspora. Through his articles, videos and engaging sessions, he always aims to impart unexplored knowledge about the healthcare world to interested students and professionals.