All About The NCLEX

What exactly is the NCLEX?

In general, the NCLEX, which stands for National Council Licensure Examination, refers to one of the two standardized examinations that nurses must pass to become either a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN) in the United States (RN). Nursing applicants must have an authorized nursing degree and pass either the NCLEX-RN (for registered nurses) or the NCLEX-PN (for practical nurses) exams to become licensed (for LPNs). This phase is critical because it provides states with a method of independently verifying their nursing knowledge and determining their capacity to practice nursing safely in their jurisdiction.

Who must pass the NCLEX?

The simple answer is that anybody who wants to follow a career in nursing will need to take and pass the NCLEX test to do so. As previously stated, there are two different types of the NCLEX test, each of which depends on the candidate’s educational degree. Practical nursing diploma holders who want to pursue licensure as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) must first pass the NCLEX-PN. Those with an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree who intend to pursue a registered nurse (RN) career must pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

Future of NCLEX?

The NCSBN’s study and data analysis are currently ongoing. Research of the technology required to accommodate new inquiry kinds is specific. Cloze question types, for example, include many questions inside a single item, while some other question types may not have a single correct answer. Because present scoring systems cannot effectively score the new question items, the NCLEX scoring structure is also likely to change. The NCSBN is trying to solidify the technology that will allow these sorts of things to be administered and scored smoothly. Through detailed research on a Next-Generation NCLEX-PN has not begun, the NCSBN has said that it expects to offer a new version of the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN at the same time. The revised examinations would be conducted as early as 2023. Although the NCSBN has not explicitly announced any intentions, it is feasible that new special research sections may emerge on either the NCLEX-RN or the NCLEX-PN in future administrations if a unique study part is included in your test administration.

Next-Gen NCLEX

Between July 2017 and December 2018, applicants might choose to complete a research portion that assessed clinical judgment. 85% of test-takers chose to take it, and NCSBN utilized their data to support the need for a revision and to test additional question types.

The Next Gen NCLEX will have the following new item types:

  • These items require candidates to match items from two columns. You may be given a list of customers and their symptoms. Then match room allocations to client circumstances.
  • A narrative case study is presented, followed by six questions on the right course of treatment.
  • Scenario and customer data are provided, and applicants must judge the results, ticking suitable boxes in a matrix.
  • A scenario and customer data are also shown. To answer questions, candidates must highlight areas of the scenario.

The items on the Next Gen NCLEX are designed to evaluate applicants’ critical thinking, judgment, and decision-making abilities. Though none of these questions directly evaluate clinical knowledge, clinical fluency is presumed and required for success. During NCSBN testing in 2017-2018, applicants completed each item in around a minute.


It may be a little scary for nursing students to realize that this is much different from a simple four-answer question, but do not worry. We have got you covered. To alleviate test anxiety associated with the NCLEX, we created SIMCLEX, a computer adaptive NCLEX simulator that matches the adaptive nature of the actual NCLEX exam.

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