If one of your long-term goals is to secure a nursing job in the U.S., then passing the NCLEX Exam should definitely top your list of future priorities. Also known as the National Council Licensure Examination, NCLEX-RN is administered by state boards of nursing to ensure that only those U.S.-educated and foreign-trained nurses who possess desirable knowledge and skills are qualified to join the nursing workforce.
If you graduated from a nursing school in the U.S., you can start the registration process months before the graduation rites but if you are a Filipino or a foreign nurse, the application process is a little more tedious. And with thousands of applicants now vying for a nursing position, some state boards like the California Board of Registered Nursing (CaBRN) have implemented stricter rules as a means of population control.
NCLEX-RN can be quite overwhelming for some but with the right guidance, every step of the way will be a breeze. Here are the five frequently asked questions about the NCLEX-RN:
What are the requirements for the NCLEX-RN exam?
Although prerequisites for the NCLEX exam vary from one state board of Nursing to another, three of the general requirements include:
- Obtaining Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) certification
- Taking an English proficiency examination
- Obtaining official review of credentials (i.e. review of nursing education)
Please keep in mind that not all states accept nurses coming from countries other than the U.S. As a matter of fact, any person without U.S. Social Security Number has been deemed ineligible to take the exam in other states. In the end, the success of the application will highly depend on the applicant’s effort to research about the target state’s NCLEX policies and requirements beforehand.For specific data and contact numbers of different state boards of nursing, you can bookmark this link: https://www.ncsbn.org/contactbon.htm
How do I register for the NCLEX-RN exam?
According to the National Council of State Board of Nursing (NCSB), regardless if you’re a foreign-trained nurse or a graduate from a nursing school in the U.S., the registration process for the NCLEX-RN requires two steps:
- Contact your board of nursing and request a licensure application.
- You will pay a licensing fee to the board of nursing along with the submission of your application materials.
- Licensure applications must be obtained from the board of nursing in the state/jurisdiction where you are seeking licensure, as requirements vary from board to board.
- Obtain a copy of the online NCLEX® Candidate Bulletin or by calling the board of nursing.
- Register with Pearson VUE (the testing vendor) using one of the following methods:
- Online – Visit http://www.pearsonvue.com/nclex and choose one of two payment options: credit card or certified check/cashiers check /money order. (When registering online using the pay by certified check/cashiers check /money order option, you will need access to a printer).
- Phone – Call Pearson VUE NCLEX Candidate Services at 866.496.2539 and pay the $200 by credit card.
- Mail – Obtain a registration form from you.
On the other hand, employer or an agency can also register and pay on behalf of the applicant as long as proper notification in the form of a post-it note is also enclosed within the envelope containing the check and the NCLEX registration form. This will be sent to the address designated for the NCLEX Workforce Program. Once your payment and application have been approved by Pearson Vue, they will send you an Authorization to Test (ATT) which is valid for an average of 90 days.
Where can I take the NCLEX-RN exam?
Qualified applicants can now take the NCLEX-RN Exam in the Philippines, thanks to the Pearson Professional Testing Centers that have been established outside the U.S. to make it more convenient for interested applicants.To search for specific Pearson testing centers, you can also try to visit their website: www.pearsonvue.com/nclex
When will I get the results?
Most of the state boards of nursing currently use the Quick Results Service to let their applicants access the test results as early as 2 to 3 days after the actual examination. However, the official results can only be released to the applicant via mail almost one month after the examination. If an applicant failed the test, he/she should wait at least 45 to 90 days before applying again.
Is NCLEX Exam still popular among Filipino nurses?
These past couple of years have witnessed a lot of drastic changes in NCLEX policies and nursing demands. For this reason, a lot of Filipino nurses have put their plan of taking the NCLEX exam to the back seat for now. As a matter of fact, last year witnessed a 42% drop in the number of local nurses taking the international certification exam. For more of this report, check out this article: Filipino Nurses seeking Job in the US drop 42% in 2011