Preparing for the NCLEX After LPN to BSN Programs Graduation
Waiting to take the NCLEX can be nerve wracking, especially if this is your first time. As an LPN, you’ve already taken the NCLEX-PN and passed it – so you should be familiar with the testing process. Just as you did for the NCLEX-PN you will need to give yourself plenty of time to study and relax so that you can do well on the NCLEX. In some cases, you can even use the same study methods that you used for the NCLEX-PN. You will simply need to use different study materials. You may even have an advantage over other BSN graduates because after working as an LPN, you already know how to “think like a nurse”.
It’s best to schedule to take your NCLEX within 6 months of graduating. This way, the information will still be fresh in your mind.
How the NCLEX Works
The NCLEX process works in a very similar way to the NCLEX-PN. There are many steps needed to be taken in order to get your licensure.
- Apply to your local Board of Nursing (BON) to be declared eligible to take the test. When you are eligible to take the test, an Authorization to Test (ATT) email will be sent to you at the email address you provided.
- Register online or via phone to take the NCLEX at a local testing center. You will be required to pay test fees on the day you register. Make it a point to do this immediately when you receive your authorization email. Your test will usually be scheduled months in advance once you register.
- Continue to study for the test. Familiarize yourself with the NCLEX passing standard. Do this until the day of the exam.
- On the day of the exam, you will begin by checking in at the testing center. You will store all electronics in plastic bags provided by Pearson VUE.
- You will then read the Candidate Statement and sign the terms and conditions of the NCLEX.
- You will present your form of identification.
- You will provide a digital palm vein scan, and have your photograph taken.
- You will leave your personal belongings outside of the testing room.
- You will have up to six hours to complete the test.
- After you’ve completed the test, it will be sent for processing.
- After six weeks, you will get your test results in the mail from your state’s Board of Nursing.
Once this entire process is finished, you will know if you passed or failed the exam. If you passed the exam you will receive your RN licensure. If you fail the test, there is another process for retaking the exam.
Scheduling to Take the NCLEX
After you’ve submitted your application for licensure to your state’s Board of Nursing, you’re ready to schedule your NCLEX test date. You can schedule your test either by phone or through the website.
To schedule it through the internet…
- Go to the Pearson VUE website
- Pay for the test by card, or through your nursing school.
And that’s it! Now all you have left to do is study.
To schedule it through the phone…
- Contact Pearson VUE NCLEX Candidate Services to register via phone.
- You will receive information on testing via their services.
- Have your card ready for payment when calling to register.
After you’ve registered using the above methods to test for the NCLEX, your registration stays open for an entire year. Your state’s Board of Nursing will send you an ATT email with validity dates for testing. You must schedule to take your test using your registration within the dates specified in the email.
All About the NCLEX Test
The NCLEX has four major sections, known as “frameworks”. There are eight sub sections underneath these main four frameworks. They are organized as…
- Safe and Effective Care Environment
- Management of Care
- Safety and Infection Control
- Health Promotion and Maintenance
- Psychosocial Integrity
- Physiological Integrity
- Basic Care and Comfort
- Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
- Reduction of Risk Potential
- Physiological Adaptation
There is a minimum of 75 questions on the test, and a maximum of 265. That means you must answer at least 75 questions to pass the test, and can continue answer questions if you have enough time.
The maximum amount of time you can spend to take the test is 6 hours. There are optional breaks at the 2.5 and 3.5 hour mark. You should plan to take the maximum amount of time on the test and answer as many questions as you can.
The test is graded on a pass/fail basis. You will not receive any numerical scores. The test is automatically graded as you take it, but the test results won’t be available to you until after your state’s Board of Nursing releases them to you.
Getting NCLEX Test Results After Graduating From LPN to BSN Programs
Getting NCLEX test results after an LPN to BSN program is exactly the same as with any BSN or ADN program. It will take up to six weeks after you’ve taken the exam for your state’s Board of Nursing to mail the results.
However, some states offer “unofficial” results online 48 hours after you’ve taken the exam. You can see a list of all the participating states on the NCSBN.org website.
To access your test’s quick results you will need to sign in on the Pearson VUE website. Under “My Account” you will see “Quick Results”. From this section of the website you can purchase your quick results for $7.95.
What to Do if You Fail the NCLEX
If you fail your NCLEX — don’t worry! Many students fail their NCLEX the first time around. It is a very difficult test, and can take a lot of effort to prepare for. If you choose to, you have 45 days to retake the exam and up to 8 times a year. However, you are required to pay the fees each time you take the NCLEX test.
Students who fail the NCLEX receive a special document called their “diagnostic profile”. It is an in depth evaluation of your test performance. You can use this profile to focus your studies. Once you know what areas you need to work on, it’s easy to target them closely with your new study plan. It is also a good idea to seek professional classes to help guide you, if you failed your NCLEX test the first time around.
Getting an RN Job After Graduation From a LPN to BSN Program
After you’ve passed the NCLEX and you've received the results, you can relax. This is a great time to celebrate and reconnect with friends and family. You may even want to take a vacation. After all the hard work you’ve put into getting your license, you are due for some major down time.
You can begin to apply for nursing jobs after you've taken some time to relax. There are many hospitals and clinics that will hire you based you on your passing results. Read on through this guide for more in depth job search ideas and advice.
Congratulations, registered nurse. You made it!
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