Studying for the NCLEX-RN: Where Do I Start?

Congratulations! You have made it through nursing school and you are ready to tackle the NCLEX-RN.  There are so many study options for the NCLEX-RN that you might not even know where to start! Here is a guide to getting your studies started and getting you on the path to success.

Studying for the NCLEX-RN

Photo by Bob Jenkins

The Test Plan

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing is responsible for the development of the NCLEX-RN.  Lucky for us, they publish a test plan that lets candidates know what content will be on the exam in addition to information about the exam itself like how it is scored, how much time you have to take the test, and information on the types of questions you will see on the test. To get started with your studies, take some time to review the test plan and get to know what content you will need to study.

Set Your Schedule

Studying for the NCLEX-RN

Everyone is different when it comes to how much time they need to study for the NCLEX-RN.  For some it can take a month or two. For others, it might only take one week. It often takes a few weeks to schedule your exam so that is a good place to start when considering your schedule. Think about how much time you will need to reasonably study for the exam at a pace that will help you feel confident about the information and not like you are trying to cram it all in.

Decide on Your Resources

Studying for the NCLEX-RN

There are plenty of resources available to help you study for the NCLEX-RN.  There are formal classes, online sources, study groups, flash cards, books, and practice questions.  Take some time to explore the resources out there and find the ones that appeal to your learning style and study schedule. Aim to find something that fits how you want your study experience to be and you will find studying much more enjoyable than if you pick something just because you’ve heard it is the “best.”

Studying for any big test can be daunting and it can be difficult to figure out where you should even begin when studying for something like the NCLEX-RN. Use these tips to help you get started on the path to earning that passing score and moving on with your career as an RN.  Happy Studying!