Does it Matter How Long I Wait to Take the NCLEX-RN exam?

Taking the NCLEX-RN is not a race, and you need to prepare for success. In order to successfully pass the first time, you should plan out your study plan and stick with your schedule. However, don’t wait too long to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

Information Retained

When to take the NCLEX-RN Exam
Planning to take your NCLEX-RN shortly after graduating is usually beneficial, as the information you have been studying in school for the past 2-4 years is fresh in your mind. The longer you wait, the more material you will need to review. Your nursing program has been working to prepare you for this exam, so ideally you should study and practice questions throughout your training. After finishing school, follow your review plan and test as soon as you feel ready. This varies from student to student and you need to focus on how well-prepared you feel and adjust your preparation plan accordingly.

Potential Jobs

Once you have graduated, some institutions will be willing to interview new graduates before you have taken your NCLEX-RN, but any job offers or second interviews will be contingent on passing your exam and becoming a licensed provider. In order to enhance your chances, you should focus on preparing for and taking your exam as soon as possible. That being said, be sure that you are preparing before sitting for your exam. Passing the first time is your goal, so if that means waiting an extra week or two, then that is fine. This is not a race and you should be focusing on successfully becoming a licensed registered nurse.

Fellow Nursing Students Stories

While some of your friends will tell you encouraging stories of how they felt well-prepared and passed with the minimum number of questions required, others may focus on questions that stressed them out or they did not know. These negative accounts can cause you to have more fear and can diminish your self-confidence. When I completed nursing school, I was lucky to land a job in a pediatric nurse internship program. Our successful completion of this program and job placement was dependent on us passing the NCLEX-RN and becoming licensed registered nurses. I decided to take the exam as soon as possible because I felt prepared and did not want to be focused on other colleagues’ personal experiences. I passed the first time and felt a huge sense of relief, which allowed me to focus on learning more from the experienced nurses who were precepting me.

Good Luck as you prepare to become a licensed registered nurse and enter the very rewarding field of nursing. Stay focused and your determination will guide you to success.