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The National Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) is used to determine that all nurses are fit to work safely and begin their position as an entry level nurse.  The NCLEX-RN was created by the National Council, which is made up if 61 board members whose job is to establish procedures and policies regarding nursing licensure.

 Even though the NCLEX-RN exam is uniform nationally, each state still manages their own standards for which nurses must comply.

The exam is computerized and is compiled of a minimum of 75 questions to 265 questions, which is the maximum.  These questions cover a number of areas such as:

Safe and Effective Care Environment

Questions in this category will focus on client rights, advocacy, confidentiality, and legal rights and responsibility.

Heath Promotion and Maintenance

Questions in this category will focus on physical assessments, family planning, disease prevention, and life style choices.

Psychosocial Integrity

Questions in this category will focus on domestic violence, child abuse and/or neglect, grief and loss, stress management and counseling techniques.

Physiological Integrity

Questions in this category will focus on personal hygiene, self-care, rest and sleep, surgical procedures and alternate and complementary therapies.

For those whose competence exceeds or is far below the exam passing standard, the exam will end soon after the minimum amount of questions are answered.  For those who are closer to the standard, they will have to answer more question before a decision can be made.  If you complete the exam, you will still have to wait to find out your results, as they need to be reviewed before being mailed to the boards of nursing.  The typical time frame to find out whether you have passed or failed the NCLEX-RN is about four weeks.

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