LPN goal when feeling tired and a bit discouraged! You can do this! Hang in there! It will take more-than-usual self-discipline to be successful at both.
So now you are finished with school and have graduated from your LPN program! I can finally relax, right? Well... now it is time to prepare for your nursing licensure test called the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (or NCLEX-PN). This test is required before you can be hired to work as an LPN. Passing this examination demonstrates your competency to work as an LPN. Your LPN school may offer a NCLEX-PN Practice Class in which you review important material and practice test questions prior to the real test.
Before you can take the NCLEX-PN exam, you’ll need an Authorization to Test (ATT). To get this, you’ll need to apply to your board of nursing and then register through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (www.ncsbn.org/nclex.htm). The cost of this is around $200.00. You’ll want to start this process well in advance of your target date for taking the exam. As part of your preparation, you’ll want to review the NCLEX Candidate Bulletin and familiarize yourself with the format of the NCLEX test plan.
Once you have obtained your Authorization to Test email, you can now register online or by phone to take your NCLEX-PN test. You can look one the NCSBN web site to search for test sites. Test centers can fill up quickly. Once you register for a specific date and time, you will receive more detailed information about the test by email. Don’t wait until your ATT is close to expiration to schedule your exam or you may have to reregister and repay.
The test is organized into four sections and include questions on topics that will be tested during the NCLEX-PN examination. The test itself is organized into four areas of nursing:
To learn more about the test, what is in each section of the test and the perfect of questions in each section, a great NCSBN resource is at www.ncsbn.org/2013_NCLEX_RN_Test_Plan.pdf
There are a couple great tips to be ready to take the NCLEX-PN and give you the greatest opportunity to succeed.
Take our NCLEX-PN practice test.
Keep in mind that although the exam is graded as you progress, scores go through a second verification process. Your score is not available and will not be released at the test center. The passing standard is called the “cut point” and it is a score that reflected the minimum competency to safety function as an LPN. The cut point may change over time but is set, published on their website, and re-evaluated by the NCSBN as needed. Read about about the exam day.
Some state boards of nursing participate in a Quick Results program and you can log into the NCSBN website to see your results 48 hours after taking the test. However, only the state Board of Nursing can provide you with official results and these will come in the mail 6 weeks after completing the NCLEX-PN test. You will be mailed a performance report which will state whether or not you passed and describe how you did in each section of the test. For a sample of a performance report go to www.ncsbn.org/Sample_CPR_PN.pdf. The State Board of Nursing then mails you a copy of your nursing license.
The NCSBN has a retake policy that you to retake the exam 45 days after you last took the exam and you will be required to pay fees again. You can take the NCLEX-PN exam up to eight times a year, but no more than once in any 45-day period. Learn more about taking the exam a second time and see additional tips.
While you wait for your NCLEX-PN results get some well-needed rest. Please rest! Reconnect with your family and friends, travel, and vacation. It may be good to organize your school books and papers. But get some rest! As soon as you can show evidence of passing the NCLEX-PN exam, either through the Quick Results or letter from the State Board of Nursing, you can begin to search for a position as an LPN. Many organizations will hire you prior to your test results as you still go through the organizations orientation process. Look into many of the different avenues LPN's work. Research more about the various LPN careers and LPN Jobs.
Next Guides: NCLEX-PN Exam Overview > LPN Resume & Job Application > LPN Interviewing > Working as an LPN