The NCLEX PN exam is considered one of the most important requirements for any nurse before developing their future nursing careers. It is believed that you should get to understand its structure and idea very clearly before taking the test so your chance of passing it will significantly increase. If you are wondering what NCLEX PN is, or how to study for it and pass it, this article will give you some clues.

1. What is NLCEX PN?


1.1 Why should you take the NCLEX PN?


The NCLEX PN stands for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses, which is an entry-level practical nurse exam. The purpose of this test is to determine whether you are skilled enough and be ready to begin working as an entry-level practical nurse and the aim of this process is to prevent citizens from having unsafe and inefficient nursing services. As a consequence, there is no doubt that every nurse has to get this certificate before pursuing any further achievements in their nursing job.


what is a nclex pn


After you have proved your competency by passing the NCLEX PN, you can start finding jobs such as medical offices, physician’s assistants, and nursing homes… and the salary level you can get will significantly increase when you get qualified by this evaluation. 


>> Read more: NCLEX PN vs RN: Is NCLEX-RN Harder than NCLEX-PN


1.2 How to apply for the NCLEX PN exam?


About how to apply for this exam, you will receive an application for the NCLEX PN test in your last semester in nursing school, and you will have to submit that application with completed forms to your school so you can register for the test. When your application is accepted, you will be given the information about the registration receipt, and when you receive a document named “Authorization to test”, you will know the date of the exam, your candidate number, and lists of test center locations. At this stage, you can schedule your test date on

If you still don’t know how to apply for the NCLEX PN , contact your state’s nursing board and complete the registration process with examination fee and there will be no refunds under any circumstance. For people who are wondering how much it cost to take the NCLEX PN, currently, the fee for attending it in the US is $200.


2. What is the structure of the NCLEX PN test?


Since this evaluation is crucial to a nurse’s future, there are many questions about how to study for the NCLEX PN, how to pass the NCLEX PN, or how many questions are there in the test. Understanding the structure of this examination is a fundamental step for you before building up plans to archive it. 


2.1 What is the format of the NCLEX PN exam?


The format of this test is a computer-adaptive test (CAT), which is a list of multiple-choice questions that based on your ability to answer, the number of questions and difficulty levels of the test will change depending on how you answer them. This mechanism will ensure that the test is not too easy or too difficult. You will begin with easier questions and when you get them corrected, more challenging questions will show up. If you get incorrect answers, the computer will give you an easier one consequently.

Therefore, there are a minimum of 85 questions and a maximum of 205 questions on the NCLEX PN. You will also have to solve 25 pretest questions that are not scored but you will not know which one is a pretest question. To solve all the questions on this test, you have to brainstorm in a very critical way, so that you can choose the most suitable and realistic option out of the numerous options that are listed. While most questions are in the form of multiple-choice with 4 selections, you may still have to deal with other types such as filling in the blank, charts, and graphics…

The total amount of time you have to finish the test is five hours. During the evaluation, you can choose to take 10-minute breaks optionally: after 2 hours of testing time, or after 3.5 hours of the test time. 

2.2 What topics will you meet in the NCLEX PN test?


In terms of topics mentioned in the exam, there are four main categories: safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychological integrity, and physiological integrity. These major areas take different percentages of distribution through the test.

The area about safe and effective care environment has two smaller ideas: coordinated care (18% to 24%) and safety and infection control (10% to 16%). The second area of Health Promotion and Maintenance takes from 6% to 12%. The part of psychosocial integrity holds 9% to 15% of the total amount. Lastly, the physiological integrity section includes four smaller concepts: basic care and comfort makes up about 7-13%; pharmacological and parenteral therapies takes 10-16%; reduction of risk potential accounts for at least 9% to 15%; and physiological adaptation comprises 7-13% of the test. 

With the question about how to pass the NCLEX PN exam, there is no specific number of questions that you have to complete, but you are suggested to perform your best and the computer will stop providing further questions when you reach 95% of satisfaction that your responses make. 


3. What are some necessary preparations for the NCLEX PN?


To prepare for this evaluation, there are several helpful tips for you to try on. Firstly, you should start building up your personal study plan. You have to arrange self-study time, with a specific target, date of time, the duration for each section of knowledge, and so on. Remember not to study for long hours because it will decrease your learning capability, you should decide the amount of study time depends on your own ability rather than cramming information into your head.


how to pass the nclex pn


Secondly, try to learn by using the NCLEX practice questions and materials. By doing these trial tests, you will get to know the official test better so that you feel more familiar when it comes to the format and structures. Materials from your nursing school are also helpful to help you revise the information, so you should make use of them. 

Last but not least, relax yourselves and manage anxiety. It is sure that this test is very important for you so you have to pass it at all costs. However, you still have to keep in mind that you only perform your best when you feel relaxed and comfortable. You don’t have to study every day to achieve your dream score, you have to study and rest properly. Especially on the night before the exam, you should stay comfortable, fresh, and conscious so you will have your best performance on the next day.


With all the information listed down above, this article is expected to help you get a better understanding of the NCLEX PN exam so you can start to gear up and sharpen your skills for it. Keep following your goals and pursuing your future career!