Sunday, April 3, 2011

What is the NCLEX?

By Travis Van Slooten

NCLEX? What's that? This is a typical question among a lot of individuals especially those who are about to embark on a nursing career. If you're one of those who want to know what these letters mean, this article will give you a better idea about just what it is and the way it can affect aspiring nurses.

The NCLEX is an acronym for National Council Licensure Examination which is the qualifying test for nurses who want to be certified as a professional in the field of registered nursing. For those who have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), sitting for the NCLEX-RN and subsequently passing it, is the last challenge they must overcome to become a registered nurse or RN. At the same time, graduates of a Licensed Practical Nursing degree or LPN will also need to take the NCLEX-PN for a practical nurse license.

To be able to qualify for the exam, a nursing graduate must accomplish the list of requirements set by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing or NCBSN, the regulating body that administers the NCLEX. These include paying a registration fee, and submitting one's official transcript of records as well as fingerprint scans. Academic requirements may also be asked of the graduates, although most probably, these would have been part already of the coursework while they are still in nursing school.

Nursing schools which are known for their high standards ensure that their graduates are fully equipped with the knowledge, skills, and training needed for them to be able to cope with the demanding duties of a nursing professional. Of course, nothing can be learned overnight and the know-how they eventually acquire is a product of years of training. It's understandable for students to feel some pressure in the weeks leading to the NCLEX but if they've done their homework well, so to speak, they should be able to breeze through it.

Composed of 265 questions, the actual NCLEX-RN test is a mixture of things which the student should have implanted in his/her memory already as well as practical and comprehension questions. The test has a time limit of six hours. Once the examinee reaches 75 correct answers, the test is done and he or she would have passed the NCLEX already. By reaching that minimum number, the student is deemed to have acquired the required skills and knowledge to be admitted into the nursing profession.

What is the NCLEX? As you can see, the NCLEX is an important challenge for aspiring registered nurses and practical nurses who want to obtain their licenses and start their nursing career.

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