Requirements to take the NCLEX-RN Exam

The NCLEX-RN is an exam which a nurse completes to demonstrate competency as a registered nurse. Unlike other tests, you actually have to apply to take the NCLEX-RN — not everyone is allowed to register.  While each state board of nursing has its own requirements, here are some of the common themes when it comes to requirements to take the NCLEX-RN exam.


Nursing School Requirement

To qualify to take the NCLEX-RN, you must first complete an accredited registered nursing program. When you enroll into a nursing program, be sure to understand what credentials you will attain upon completion. Is this a practical nursing program or a registered nursing program? Will you earn a diploma, associate degree or a bachelor’s degree? Choosing the best program for you requires that you understand all your options. Once you have decided on a program, study hard and stay focused. The length of training will vary based on the program you enrolled in. Completing your training is the first step on your journey to becoming a registered nurse.



Once you have completed your training, you will be ready to register for the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam will provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of all the knowledge and skills you have mastered throughout your nursing training. You will need to register through Pearson Vue to take the NCLEX-RN exam. It is important to budget ahead for the costs associated with taking the exam and becoming licensed in your state.


Various State Requirements to take the NCLEX-RN

Each state has specific requirements which must be completed in order to qualify for a license as a registered nurse. The state nursing boards review each applicant’s qualifications and then notify Pearson Vue that you are an approved candidate for the NCLEX-RN exam. Check out this resource for a list of State Boards of Nursing contacts and requirements. Some states, such as New Jersey, Virginia and Ohio, require criminal background checks while other states, such as New York mandate specific educational modules.

Once all requirements have completed and the state board of nursing notifies Pearson Vue that you are eligible to take the exam, you will receive an authorization to take the exam. Now you need to focus and study for the NCLEX-RN exam. You have worked hard for the opportunity to apply your knowledge and prove that your are qualified to practice as a registered nurse. Good Luck and welcome to an amazing profession.