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What is the NCLEX-RN Retake Policy?


You completed nursing school successfully, however you failed your RN-NCLEX exam. First, take a deep breath and relax. You are not alone and you can overcome this hurdle. Let’s start the process of achieving your goal by understanding the NCLEX-RN retake policy.



First, contact your State Board of Nursing and notify them that you plan to retest. They will be able to provide you with the required forms and associated fees. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) requires candidates to wait at least 45 days to retest and allows eight attempts per year. However, some states allow a maximum of three attempts before requiring the candidate to complete a remedial training program. The next step is to register with Pearson Vue and pay the testing fee. You will then be issued a new Authorization to Test (ATT) at which point you can schedule your NCLEX-RN exam. Think about when you will be ready to Retake the NCLEX-RN.


Preparing Mentally

You have had some ups and downs through out your life, and you need to put this failure in perspective. Do not allow this one difficulty to define you. You failed a test and now you need focus on passing the test. Accept this challenge in a positive way and be open to learning new skills. Perhaps, you need to focus on test taking strategies, decreasing your test anxiety, or on your study habits. Try to stay positive and not blame yourself or others. You learned a great deal in nursing school and now is the time to demonstrate your knowledge. While preparing to retake the exam, don’t forget to take care of yourself, take breaks, make time to enjoy your favorite activities or to spend time with your family and friends. You need to find a balance between studying for the NCLEX-RN exam and meeting your personal needs. When you take care of yourself, you will be more successful reaching all of your other goals.


Create a Plan

Now you need to focus, create a study plan and abide by it. There are many strategies to studying and resources available, perhaps consider a different approach to increase your potential to succeed. You have worked hard for the opportunity to apply your knowledge and prove that your are qualified to practice as a registered nurse. Stay positive and focused and you will succeed.


About Michelle

Michelle Besmer is dedicated to preparing the next generation of nurses for successful careers. She completed her Bachelors of Nursing and her Masters as a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Rutgers University. She has practiced and trained nurses in pediatrics for over 15 years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, baking and playing trumpet.

2 Responses to “What is the NCLEX-RN Retake Policy?”

  1. K says:

    took the exam january 2 of this year, paid already but i havent received ATT yet. Is this possible?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert Magoosh Test Prep Expert says:

      Hi there,

      I recommend that you contact your state board or nursing or the NCBSN to see what might be happening here. Unfortunately, we don’t have any extra insight into this process. Good luck!

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