• Category:Nursing
  • Format:Pdf

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Passing the NCLEX is the final step on your journey to becoming a licensed nurse.

If you want to prepare for your NCLEX, but aren’t sure how to get started, we have put together a comprehensive NCLEX study guide. With our guide, you’ll find everything you need to create a plan to pass the NCLEX on your first try.

Overview of the NCLEX Examination The NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) is a national standardized test that graduates of accredited nursing programs take to become licensed in the United States or Canada.

The examination is designed to determine whether a candidate has gained the competence necessary to provide safe client care as a new Registered Nurse or a Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse.

Licensure assures the public that minimum qualifications and competencies have been met. It also assists a state’s Nursing Regulatory Board in determining a candidate’s capabilities for performing entry-level RN positions. Licensure also benefits nurses as it provides clear legal authorization to practice under the state’s defined scope of practice. This also means the titles under which nurses practice, such as registered nurse (RN), licensed practical nurse (LPN), licensed vocational nurse (LVN) and Nurse Practitioner (NP), can only be used by licensed practitioners.

The NCLEX is 80-90% standard multiple-choice questions, with a stem and four options.

One of the options is always the best choice.

There are also alternate question formats including Multiple-Response (also called Select-all-that-apply, or SATA), Hot-Spot, Fill-in-the-Blank, Chart or Exhibit, Drag-and-Drop, Graphics, and Audio/Visual Clips.

No matter what type of question you answer, it is always pass/fail. No partial credit is given for any question. The number of questions per exam, including 15 questions that are being analyzed for future exams, is below. You won’t know which ones they are, and won’t be scored on them:

NCLEX RN: Minimum of 75 questions and a maximum of 256

NCLEX-PN: Minimum of 85 questions and a maximum of 205

The number of questions is different for every candidate because NCLEX uses Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT), which adjusts both the number of questions and their difficulty for each candidate.

Every time you answer a question (You’re not allowed to skip; you must give an answer in order to continue.) the computer recalculates your ability to answer the next question. It uses a formula that includes all your previous answers and how difficult they were.

The computer then will choose a question that gives you a 50% chance of answering correctly. This means the new question shouldn’t be either too hard or too easy. Each question should be challenging because the computer is tracking your ability. As the exam proceeds, it gets better and better at selecting questions.

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