The NCLEX® Examination

Under the guidance of its membership, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. (NCSBN®) develops and administers two nurse licensure examinations; the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®) and the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN®)*. These two examinations are used by Nursing Regulatory Bodies to test entry-level nursing competence of candidates for licensure/registration as Registered Nurses and as Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses*. The NCLEX examinations are provided exclusively as computerized adaptive tests.

NCSBN includes a Special Research Section as part of the NCLEX-RN administration. By participating in the Special Research Section, candidates will be making valuable contributions to the future development of NCSBN examinations as well as to the enhancement of the nursing profession.

The Special Research Section will be given to select candidates taking the NCLEX-RN and will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. This section will be administered following the regular exam and will not count as part of the NCLEX score.

Once a candidate finishes their exam, an introductory screen will indicate the beginning of the Special Research Section. This section will also continue to be numbered in accordance with the completed exam – for example, if a candidate's exam ended with question 153, the first question on the Special Research Section will be numbered 154. Despite the consecutive numbering, these new questions will have no impact on NCLEX scoring or results.

Candidates may take the entire allotted 6 hours to complete the NCLEX. All questions on the NCLEX-RN examination and the Special Research Section are confidential.


Downloads Format Size
Candidate Bulletin and Information Link
NCLEX® International, U.S. and Canadian Educational Program Codes PDF 950 KB
Palm Vein FAQ for NCLEX® Candidates PDF 597 KB
Online Tutorial for NCLEX® Examinations Link

Please note that the tutorial is the same for both the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN* examinations with the exception that the exam time will reflect the correct time allotted for the exam type.


  1. Submit an application for licensure/registration to the Nursing Regulatory Body where you wish to be licensed/registered.
  2. Meet all of the Nursing Regulatory Body’s eligibility requirements to take the NCLEX Examination.
  3. Register and pay for the NCLEX examination with Pearson VUE.
  4. Receive eligibility from your Nursing Regulatory Body.

Attention: Please make sure that you check your spam and junk folders as it is possible that candidate correspondence from Pearson VUE could automatically go to one of these folders. All correspondence from Pearson VUE will end with “”.

Visit for a complete overview of the NCLEX® examination process.


Once you have been made eligible and received your ATT, you may schedule your examination by selecting either Sign in or Register from the menu. You must test within the validity dates of your ATT. These validity dates cannot be extended for any reason. Appointments may be made up to one business day in advance.

Attention: Please make sure that you check your spam and junk folders as it is possible that any of the communications from Pearson VUE could automatically go to one of these folders.

Change Nursing Regulatory Test Type or Exam Language

Please be advised when selecting a Nursing Regulatory Body for licensure/registration to make the appropriate choice. Requests to change the Nursing Regulatory Body must be made through customer service and will result in a $50 fee. In addition, any requests to change an examination type* will result in a $50 change fee. Finally, any requests to change the examination language** type will also result in a $50 change fee.

Testing Internationally

Candidates who would like to test internationally are required to pay an international scheduling fee of $150 plus a Value Added Tax (VAT) where applicable. Candidates may schedule online and pay the fee. In order to make any adjustments to already scheduled international appointments, you must contact Pearson VUE’s customer service for assistance.

Definitions of Domestic and International Test Centers
Test Center Type Candidates Seeking U.S. Licensure Candidates Seeking Canadian Licensure/Registration
Domestic United States and Territories including American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands Canadian Provinces/Territories and the mainland United States
International Test centers outside of the United States and Territories listed above Test centers outside of Canadian Provinces/Territories and the mainland United States

*The NCLEX-PN is used for U.S. licensure only.
**For Canadian NCLEX candidates only.

Last updated 2019-06-20