NCLEX-RN Failure Rate

Of course the NCLEX-RN failure rate is not something you want to think about, but not everyone passes the NCLEX on the first attempt (or the second or the third). It’s OK and it does not mean that you have to abandon your dreams of becoming an RN.

The statistics

According to the statistics from the National Council on State Boards of Nursing (NCBSN) in 2015 157,882 people took the NCLEX-RN for the first time. Of those that took test 84.5% passed which means that 15.5% failed the NCLEX RN on their first attempt. A large percentage of people pass the NCLEX on their first attempt which can be reassuring, but it can also be stressful for those that do not pass initially.

In 2015, 48,228 people were repeat test takers and of those 44.5% passed the NCLEX RN leaving 55.5% with a failing score. For Internationally trained nurses who are taking the NCLEX the failure rate is higher with about 68% failing the exam on their first attempt. International nurses often have different training as well as language barriers to overcome but many go into successful nursing careers in the US.

What if you fail

The good thing is that you can take the test again. The official NCLEX retake policy is that you can  re register 45 days after you have taken the exam for the first time (or the second time). I definitely would recommend taking the exam again as soon as possible rather than sitting on it for a few months. Much of the information will still be fresh in your brain and you will still be in study mode. It is often really difficult to get motivated to study if you have taken a significant of time off.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses and try and focus your study time on your areas of need. Use resources that are helpful to you whether it is taking a study class or investing in NCLEX-RN books. Don’t give up your dream of being a nurse. Create a study strategy and plan and you will be successful and pass the NCLEX RN.