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NCLEX Questions

The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is the nationally accepted examination for nurse licensure in the United States as well as Canada. There are two types- the NCLEX-RN and the NCLEX-PN. After graduating from a certified nursing school, he or she will need to take the appropriate NCLEX in order to receive a nursing license. The NCLEX-RN is for those intending to be a registered nurse, while the NCLEX-PN is for those intending to be a vocational or practical nurse.

Free NCLEX Questions and Sample Tests

Practice NCLEX Questions - from Kaptest

Practice NCLEX Exam - from 4Tests

NCLEX-RN Practice Questions - from Tests.com

NCLEX-PN Practice Test - from VarsityTutors

NCLEX-PN Sample Questions - from PracticalNursing

Free Study Guides, Flashcards, and Other Materials Including:

NCLEX RN Study Guide - from StudyGuideZone

NCLEX PN Study Guide - from StudyGuideZone

NCLEX RN Flashcards - from VarsityTutors

NCLEX PN Flashcards - From VarsityTutors

NCLEX Content Description

NCLEX QuestionsThere are two forms of the National Council Licensure Examination. Much of the information below is identical between the two exams, with two key differences:

The job description of a registered nurse is larger in scope than a vocational or practical nurse, so the NCLEX-RN will have questions relating to topics that do not appear on the NCLEX-PN, such as management of parenteral nutrition and administration of blood products. Otherwise, many questions appear identically on both exams.

The distribution of like categories and subcategories is significantly different on both exams, to reflect the differences in job descriptions between RNs and PNs. Category and subcategory distribution is found at the bottom of each test description.

The NCLEX-PN

The NCLEX-PN exam is required for those who intend to be licensed as a vocational or practical nurse. While quite similar, this exam has a bit smaller scope than the NCLEX-RN.

  • The NCLEX-PN has between 85 and 205 questions
  • Must be completed in 5 hours

The NCLEX-PN contains four specific “Client Needs” categories:

Safe and Effective Care Environment

A vocational or practical nurse is responsible for helping to create a healthcare environment which protects both healthcare personnel as well as clients. This is done primarily through two domains:

Coordinated Care- This refers to the collaboration between vocational or practical nurses with health care personnel in the interest of effective clinical care. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Advocacy
  • Client Rights
  • Continuity of Care
  • Ethical Practice
  • Informed Consent
  • Legal Responsibilities
  • Resource Management

Safety and Infection Control - This refers to the contribution of the vocational or practical nurse in the interest of protecting clients as well as health care personnel from environmental and health hazards. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Accident/Error/Injury Protection
  • Ergonomic Principles
  • Home Safety
  • Safe Use of Equipment
  • Security Plan

Health Promotion and Maintenance

The vocational or practical nurse will provide nursing care which incorporates a strong understanding of growth and development stage expectations, as well as early detection and prevention of health problems. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • The Aging Process
  • Techniques for Data Collection
  • High Risk Behaviors
  • Lifestyle Choices
  • Self-Care

Psychosocial Integrity

The vocational or practical nurse will provide nursing care which promotes and supports the mental, emotional, social, and mental well-being of the client. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Neglect or Abuse
  • Behavioral Management
  • Chemical or Other Dependencies
  • Coping Mechanisms
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity
  • Grief of Loss
  • Stress Management
  • Support Systems

Physiological Integrity

The vocational or practical nurse will assist in promoting physical health and well-being. This is done by providing comfort and care, reducing any risk potential for health clients, and helping with management of any health alterations. This is done primarily through four domains:

Basic Care and Comfort - The vocational or practical nurse will provide comfort and assistance to clients in performing the activities of daily life. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Assistive Devices
  • Mobility/Immobility
  • Nutrition and Oral Hydration
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Rest/Sleep

Pharmacological Therapies- The vocational or practical nurse will provide care involving administering medications as well as monitoring clients who receive parenteral therapy. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Adverse Side Effects
  • Dosage Calculations
  • Expected Actions and Outcomes
  • Medication Administration
  • Pharmacological Pain Management

Reduction of Risk Potential - The vocational or practical nurse will reduce any potential for their clients to develop health problems or complications related to procedures, treatments, or existing conditions. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Changes/Abnormalities Regarding Life Signs
  • Diagnostic Tests
  • Laboratory Values
  • Potential Alterations in Body Systems
  • Therapeutic Procedures

Physiological Adaptation - The vocational or practical nurse will participate in providing care for health care clients with chronic, acute, or life-threatening physical conditions. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Alterations in Body Systems
  • Basic Pathophysiology
  • Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalances
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Unexpected Response to Therapies

Distribution of Categories and Subcategories 

Client Needs   Percentage of Test Items
 Safe and Effective Care Environment  
Coordinated Care  16-22%
 Safety and Infection Control 10-16%
 Health Promotion and Maintenance 7-13%
 Psychosocial Integrity 8-14%
 Physiological Integrity  
Basic Care and Comfort 7-13%
Pharmacological Therapies 11-17%
Reduction of Risk Potential 10-16%
Physiological Adaptation 7-13%

 It is important to use the appropriate NCLEX questions for whichever NCLEX test and subtest you are taking.

The NCLEX-RN

The NCLEX-RN exam is required for those who intend to be licensed as a registered nurse. While quite similar, this exam has a larger scope than the NCLEX-PN.

  • The NCLEX-RN has between 75 and 265 questions
  • Must be completed in 6 hours

The NCLEX-PN contains four specific “Client Needs” categories:

Safe and Effective Care Environment

A registered nurse helps to promote the achievement of client outcomes by directing and providing nursing care which enhances the care environment which protects clients as well as health care personnel. This is done primarily through two domains:

Management of Care - A nurse provides and directs nursing care which enhances the care environment in order to protect clients as well as health care personnel. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Advocacy
  • Case Management
  • Client Rights
  • Continuity of Care
  • Ethical Practice
  • Informed Consent
  • Legal Responsibilities

Safety and Infection Control - This refers to the protection of clients as well as health care personnel from environmental and health hazards. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Accident/Error/Injury Protection
  • Ergonomic Principles
  • Home Safety
  • Safe Use of Equipment
  • Security Plan

Health Promotion and Maintenance

The nurse will provide and direct nursing care which incorporates a strong understanding of growth and development stage expectations, as well as early detection and prevention of health problems. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • The Aging Process
  • High Risk Behaviors
  • Lifestyle Choices
  • Physical Assessment Techniques
  • Self-Care

Psychosocial Integrity

The nurse will provide and direct nursing care which promotes and supports the social, mental, and emotional well-being of clients with chronic or acute mental illness, as well as those who experience stressful events. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Neglect or Abuse
  • Behavioral Interventions
  • Chemical or Other Dependencies
  • Coping Mechanisms
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity
  • Grief of Loss
  • Stress Management
  • Support Systems

 Physiological Integrity

 The nurse will promote physical health/wellness by providing comfort and care, which reduces client potential for risk and health alteration management. This is done primarily through four domains:

Basic Care and Comfort - The nurse will provide comfort and assistance to clients in performing the activities of daily life. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Assistive Devices
  • Mobility/Immobility
  • Nutrition and Oral Hydration
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Rest/Sleep

Pharmacological Therapies - The nurse will provide care involving administering medications as well as monitoring clients who receive parenteral therapy. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Adverse Side Effects
  • Dosage Calculations
  • Expected Actions and Outcomes
  • Medication Administration
  • Pharmacological Pain Management

Reduction of Risk Potential - The nurse will reduce any potential for their clients to develop health problems or complications related to procedures, treatments, or existing conditions. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Changes/Abnormalities Regarding Life Signs
  • Diagnostic Tests
  • Laboratory Values
  • Potential Alterations in Body Systems
  • Therapeutic Procedures

Physiological Adaptation - The nurse will participate in providing care for health care clients with chronic, acute, or life-threatening physical conditions. Related content could include questions on these and other topics:

  • Alterations in Body Systems
  • Basic Pathophysiology
  • Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalances
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Unexpected Response to Therapies

Distribution of Categories and Subcategories 

Client Needs   Percentage of Test Items
 Safe and Effective Care Environment  
Management of Care  17-23%
 Safety and Infection Control 9-15%
 Health Promotion and Maintenance 6-12%
 Psychosocial Integrity 6-12%
 Physiological Integrity  
Basic Care and Comfort 6-12%
Pharmacological Therapies 12-18%
Reduction of Risk Potential 9-15%
Physiological Adaptation 11-17%

 It is important to use the appropriate NCLEX questions for whichever NCLEX test and subtest you are taking.

NCLEX Administration 

  • In order to register for the NCLEX, the candidate must first request a license/registration application from the BON/RB.
  • Application materials and licensing fees must be submitted to the BON/RB.
  • The candidate may then register to take the NCLEX through Pearson Vue.

NCLEX Test Fees

Fees for taking the NCLEX are charged according to the following fee schedule:

Fee Type  Fee for US Licensure  Fee for Canadian Licensure 
 Registration Fee  $200 USD  $360 CAD
 International Scheduling Additional Fee  $150 USD (add’l)  $150 CAD (add’l)
 If BON/RB Needs to Be Changed  $50 USD (add’l)  $50 CAD (add’l)
 Change RN/PN Exam Type  $50 USD (add’l)  N/A
 Change Exam Language  N/A  $50 CAD
 Licensure/Registration Fee  Contact BON  Contact Regulatory Body

NCLEX Requirements

Eligibility requirements will vary because each BON/RB has it’s own requirements for eligibility. Contact your BON/RB to confirm your eligibility requirements. Be sure that you are enrolled in the correct exam (RN/PN) and have taken the appropriate NCLEX questions.

NCLEX Scores

  • The NCLEX is a pass or fail exam. Although the score is calculated as you continue through the test, results will not be made immediately available. 
  • Exam results are forwarded to your BON/RB, and will be forwarded to the candidate approximately six weeks after completion of the exam.

The National Council Licensure Examination is an important step to obtaining your nursing license and beginning your career. To register for your NCLEX and begin on your NCLEX questions, please visit https://www.ncsbn.org/nclex-application-and-registration.htm.

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