Exams, U.S.A.

Top tips from successful candidates to be successful in passing the NCLEX Exam

What is NCLEX exam?

NCLEX or the National Council Licensure Exam is an exam that needs to be cleared by nurses who want to practice in USA. There are 2 different types of NCLEX exam. The NCLEX-PN is an exam that needs to be passed by Vocational or Practical nurses to work in USA. NCLEX-RN is the exam for registered nurses.

NCLEX for foreign educated nurses

Nurses from India, Philippines and other countries prefer to work in USA. Even nurses from developed countries like Australia, UK may want to work in USA. Every nurse who wants to work as a Registered nurse has to pass NCLEX-RN Exam. Only on passing the exam will foreign educated nurses be provided with a visa. The exam has been designed by National Council of State Boards of Nurse (NCBN). Each state has a different process of applying for nurse jobs. But, each state has NCLEX pass as a mandatory requirement. Once you pass the NCLEX-RN exam, you will be able to call yourself as a registered nurse. Only Registered Nurses can practice as nurses in USA. For example, the California Board of Registered Nursing states that you have to complete the NCLEX after your credentials are evaluated and meet the requirements.

Passing the NCLEX exam


Success in the NCLEX exam is easy if you prepare well. There are several successful candidates who have attributed their success to hard work. Also, using the right material is important. Some study materials are focused and help you to pass the exam easily. Preparing for the exam will mean putting in long hours of study. You should study for at least 4 hours a day. You can do self study using the study materials or you can join a course. You should prepare for a minimum of 12 months to ensure success in the NCLEX exam the first time itself.

If you are taking the NCLEX exam head on, you will need all the tips and ideas to taste success and pass the exam. Passing the NCLEX can be quite easy, if you know the tricks and tips of successful candidates. Read on to know these tricks and tips of clearing the NCLEX exam successfully.

First you need to know where and what topics the questions are from
The NCLEX comprises of 4 categories with 6 subcategories:

First Category:

Safe and Effective Care Environment
1: Management of Care: 13 – 19% of questions
2: Safety and Infection Control: 8 – 14% of questions

Second Category:

Health Promotion and Maintenance: 6 – 12% of questions

Third Category:

Psychosocial Integrity: 6 – 12% of questions

Fourth Category:

Physiological Integrity
1:Basic Care and Comfort: 6 – 12% of questions
2:Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies: 13 – 19% of questions
3:Reduction of Risk Potential: 13 – 19% of questions
4:Physiological Adaptation: 11 – 17% of questions

A pass in the NCLEX is required for you to work in the USA. So if you as a nurse have plans to work in the USA, read on to get tips and ideas to pass the exam.

Before we get to the details, you should also know why the NCLEX exam is being conducted. This will help you to perform better in the exam. There are 3 major purposes for the NCLEX.

The purpose of NCLEX is:

1. To find if you are a nurse who is effective and provide safe patient care.
2. To ensure that the patient is protected and their rights are safeguarded.
3. NCLEX tries to ensure that you have the bare minimum competency to function as a nurse.

Tips to help you pass the NCLEX exam

1. Use the right books and resources:

There are a plethora of books available. Most of these will help you to study for the NCLEX. But there are only a select handful that will help you to pass the exam.

a. Kaplans content review guide : One of the popular books that is comprehensive and will help you to get through the exam is the Kaplans content review guide for the NCLEX-RN. The advantage of using this book is that it is a refresher guide and you will be able to glance through and read all the important questions usually asked in the exam. It has other content that will help you to clear the exams successfully.


b. Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment Study Guide: This is the other book that will help you taste success. The best part of this book is that it will help you in planning and prioritizing your subjects so that you can do your best in the limited time.

2. Practice with sample NCLEX questions:

If you are to pass NCLEX exam the first time itself, you will have to practice with NCLEX questions. You can take a sample test online in one of the many sites. The other thing you can do is to get review questions and then take the test on your own timing yourself and then manually checking your answers. An online NCLEX practice test will save you the time needed to correct the questions.

3. Read rationale given in answers to practice tests:

The rationale provided in the practice tests that you solve will help you to learn more aspects that are important in scoring high marks. For example, when you read the rationale, especially in questions that are confusing, you will be able to understand how the question was answered. This will help you to answer many more similar questions.

4. Prioritize questions and eliminate answers:

One of the important strategies that you can successfully employ to pass the NCLEX exam is prioritizing the questions. You should first complete those that can be answered easily. This helps you to allow more time for the other more complex questions. Also, elimination of wrong answers helped to narrow in on the answer and helped create a higher success rate for successful candidates. This is a useful method that nurses aspiring to pass the exam can try to use.

These are the top tips that will help you in passing NCLEX-RN first time you appear in it. Look out for addition of more tips as we interview more successful candidates.

Remember that the NCLEX exam touches upon not only just theory, but it also deals with situations and how a nurse much react in specific situations. The questions are almost always applied aspects of treatment concepts. So, the questions need to be answered accordingly for NCLEX exam success.


If reading this article has been helpful for you in your clearing the exam, we would be happy to hear from you….

More readers write…….

Thank you for these tips that is sure to help many nurses clear the exam. Here is one tip that helped me. Planning your study is important. Take time to plan the topics that you need to study. You can either take the easy topics first and then finish them to be confident of finishing all the portions quickly. Or finish the tough topics first. You will then be happy that you have only easy topics remaining!!!

The tips are helpful…but could you give more tips on the application methods and other aspects of the exam, so that it would help people who are not having any idea about the exam and the application process / methods.

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