NCLEX Test is a must for nurses who want to start a linear nursing career. It is time to obtain your nursing license by passing the NCLEX Test. However, some people still can not distinguish NCLEX PN vs RN and raise a concerning topic that Is NCLEX-RN harder than NCLEX-PN? In order to answer this question, we will illustrate these distinctions through this article. Let’s roll the intro now! 


nclex pn vs rn
Is NCLEX-RN harder than NCLEX-PN?


1. What is NCLEX Test? 

In general, the NCLEX Test is a computerized examination held by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, used for testing the nursing abilities for entry-level nursing care. The NCLEX is divided into 2 types, which are NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN. Each type of exam has different contents and formats appropriate to the test’s purpose, that’s why we will go through the distinctions between NCLEX PN vs RN in the next section.


2. What’s on the NCLEX exams? 



Nursing graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become Registered Nurses. It is provided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).

To take the NCLEX-RN, you must meet the requirements: Own a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, are necessary (BSN).

The NCLEX-RN is more difficult to pass and requires more preparation. ADN programs typically take 18-24 months, but BSN programs often run for 3-4 years. For detailed information, you should check the NCLEX-RN Exam to understand and build a suitable strategy in order to pass the test successfully. 


nclex pn vs rn nurse
You should take some NCLEX guidelines to master the NCLEX 


2.2. NCLEX-PN 

The National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) administers the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) exam (LVN). Although LVNs and LPNs are the same things, they have different state-specific designations.

To take the NCLEX-PN, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Own a completion certificate from a board-approved practical nursing program

Detailed information, as well as the study guide, will be presented on the NCLEX-PN Study Instruction which will helpful for those who want to develop a nursing career as a practical nurse. 


3. What are NCLEX requirements?

Certain educational requirements must be met before taking the NCLEX PN or RN test. The NCLEX-PN is available to those who have a diploma in licensed practical nursing or licensed vocational nursing. Graduates of an RN license diploma program or a nursing program leading to an Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing may sit for the NCLEX-RN (BSN).


4. Is NCLEX-RN harder than NCLEX-PN? 


4.1. NCLEX PN vs RN: Passing rate

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing disseminates data on who passes and who fails the NCLEX. The website compares students educated in the United States to students educated in other nations, as well as first-timers to repeat test-takers. You may also compare all of the students who took the test in a specific year.

Consider the previous year’s passing rates: 


2021 70% 69%
2020 68% 72%
2019 70% 75%


As you can see, the numbers for the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN are relatively similar, however, they vary from year to year. 


4.2. NCLEX PN vs RN: Content of the test

The material is comparable for the NCLEX-PN and the NCLEX-RN; however, the NCLEX-RN focuses on care management and supervision of others, whereas the NCLEX-PN focuses on helping RNs and working under supervision.

The NCLEX-PN assesses the candidate’s knowledge in two areas: social sciences (psychology and sociology) and biological sciences (anatomy, physiology, biology, and microbiology).

Clinical issue resolution is also examined in the following areas: caring, communication and documentation, teaching and learning, and culture and spirituality. When studying for the NCLEX and taking the Nurse Plus practice examinations, you will use what you have already learned:

  • Anatomy, physiology, biology, and microbiology are examples of biological sciences
  • Psychology and sociology are examples of social sciences
  • The Nursing Procedure
  • Communication Abilities
  • Spirituality and Culture
  • Learning and Teaching
  • Caring

Knowledge and concepts will also be included in the content for RN candidates:

  • Natural Sciences (chemistry and physics)
  • Documentation and communication

Regardless of category, each NCLEX question must meet four criteria:

  • It must be accurate
  • It must be current with the current nursing practice
  • It has to be something a novice nurse could learn
  • It must be tied to a test plan category


4.3. NCLEX PN vs RN: Roles 

There are a few changes between the NCLEX PN vs RN test subjects that you should be aware of. Because the RN’s goal is to be a leader, RN applicants are evaluated on patient care management. An RN develops care plans, assigns tasks, and supervises patients. The NCLEX-PN focuses on coordinated care rather than management since an LPN works under the supervision of an RN or advanced practitioner.

In addition, questions concerning intravenous medication and administering blood or blood products are included on the NCLEX-RN. Because LPNs do not administer parenteral treatments, these questions are absent on the NCLEX-PN.


4.4. NCLEX PN vs RN: Salary and Job Outlook 


LPNs collaborate with a variety of medical specialists in a variety of scenarios. LPNs can even manage CNAs, but they must report to RNs and advanced practitioners such as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), physician assistant (PA), or physician. This one-of-a-kind role is ideal for a variety of dynamic nursing situations.

The hourly earnings for an LPN is $20.28, and the annual salary is $43,391. Because nurses in many areas work all hours of the day, on weekends, and on holidays, they may be eligible to obtain extra income on top of their base rate for these nonpreferred hours if their hospital offers it.



RNs have more work possibilities as well as greater opportunities for promotion. A registered nurse at the entry-level can pursue a master’s or doctoral degree. Many registered nurses advance to executive positions or work in industries where their specific knowledge is useful. RNs report to physicians and play a vital role in the healthcare business.

The average hourly earnings for a registered nurse is $29.66, with a median annual salary of $64,240. RNs, like LPNs, are eligible for pay differentials if their facility offers them.


nclex rn vs pn
Differences between NCLEX-RN vs PN in job outlook 


5. NCLEX PN vs RN: Which NCLEX you should take?

You’ll know whether you should take the NCLEX PN or RN based on your program if you’re already in nursing school. The NCLEX-PN is taken by practical nursing students, whereas the NCLEX-RN is taken by associate and bachelor’s degree students.

LPNs that want to advance in their jobs should enroll in an LPN to RN program. These nurses would then take the NCLEX-RN test.

Finally, PN students are not permitted to sit for the NCLEX-RN. ADN and BSN students, similarly, do not take the NCLEX-PN.



It’s time to apply for your nursing license! We hope this article NCLEX PN vs RN will help you to determine which type of nursing career is suitable for you and choose the appropriate NCLEX Test to take. In addition, if you are not confident about your NCLEX knowledge, take some NCLEX practice test now to get a good score on your upcoming exam.