Step by Step Guide To Taking the NCLEX

As graduation season arrives, you and your nursing school classmates are likely getting prepared to take National Council Licensure Examination in Nursing.

Yes…the dreaded NCLEX.

You've passed your nursing courses and are in the process of applying for licensure in your state, either as a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Practical Nurse (PN). As you move closer to the culmination of all of your hard work, you may find that this last piece of the puzzle is a bit confusing.

Getting ready to take the NCLEX does not have to be complicated.

To help simplify the process, just follow our step by step guide to taking the NCLEX below, and breathe a sigh of relief.


Step 1. Apply for licensure to your state board of nursing.

Step 2. Register with Pearson VUE and pay the fee of $200 online or by phone.

- You can pay with your credit card online or by phone.

- Your registration is good for one year, during which time your board of nursing will make you eligible for testing.

Step 3. Obtain your Acknowledgement of Receipt of Registration by email.

- This email from Pearson VUE will contain your username and password for their website. If you don't see it in your inbox, check your spam and junk folders.

- Mark this email as important. You will need to get back to this email to schedule your test.

Step 4. Your state board of nursing will make you eligible to test with Pearson VUE.

Step 5. Receive Authorization to Test (ATT) email from Pearson VUE.

- Your authorization to test is usually good for 90 days, during which time you may take your NCLEX. There are no extensions.

Step 6. Schedule your appointment to take the NCLEX exam online in your Pearson VUE account or by phone.

- International test scheduling must be done by telephone.

Step 7. On the date you are scheduled to take the exam, arrive and present your identification.

Step 8. Await your official NCLEX results from the state board of nursing.

- This may take up to six weeks after you take the NCLEX exam.

Now you can breathe a sigh of relief and get started with the real challenge: Nursing.