They say practice makes perfect, and when you look to the habits of professional athletes, musicians and actors, it’s easy to see why. Psychology writer Malcolm Gladwell once you are a recent graduate of a nursing program in the United States, Canada, or Australia, you’ll need to pass the NCLEX to kickstart your career. Designed to gauge your competency and knowledge before you embark on your professional healthcare journey, the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) comes in two versions. The NCLEX-RN is for registered nurses, while the NCLEX PN is for prospective LPNs (licensed practical nurses). Taking an exam that determines the course of your career can be nerve-wracking. The NCLEX is just one category of healthcare and nursing practice exams that we offer. Browse them all and see how we can help you achieve your career goals and specializations!
What Is on the NCLEX PN?
Before we get into specific tips and tricks that can help your test preparation, let’s go over the content you expect to encounter on the NCLEX PN exam.
For starters, the exam does not have a set number of questions for every test-taker. Instead, it uses computerized adaptive testing (CAT) techniques to adjust to each test taker’s individual performance. While you could end up answering anywhere between 85 to 205 questions, including 25 non-scored questions used to adjust the test for next year’s version, the actual number you have to answer can change. The better you do, the fewer questions you’ll have to answer for the adaptive algorithm to confirm that you’ve passed.
The subject matter on the NCLEX PN includes a large section on creating a safe and effective care environment, another large section on physiological integrity (which covers topics like risk potential reduction, pharmacological therapy, adaptation, and basic care), smaller sections on psychosocial integrity and health promotion/maintenance. These are all topics you’ll need to be intimately familiar with to succeed as a licensed practical nurse
Why Should You Take the NCLEX PN Exam?
Simply put, you need to take the NCLEX PN to become licensed. Without a passing grade, you cannot practice as a licensed practical nurse. The exam is designed, implemented, and assessed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), which is an independent not-for-profit organization of nursing and healthcare regulatory committees. Full licensure is needed if you wish to take that next career step after completing nursing school.
Top 3 Tips for Passing the NCLEX PN
There’s no silver bullet or easy out for this exam. In order to pass, you’ll need to have a firm grasp of all of the test’s content. After all, nursing is often a hectic job that can force you to make important decisions at a moment’s notice. The exam is designed to show that you have internalized the skills and information necessary to provide the best possible care for your patients.
That said, there are a few tips that can help you improve your performance and pass the NCLEX on your first try. Below, you’ll find our top three tips for test-taking success.
Tip #1: Use Practice Tests
The best way to familiarize yourself with diagnostic readiness before the actual exam questions is to answer plenty of NCLEX Practical Nurse practice test questions!
Tip #2: Design Your Own Study Guide
You don’t have to manually design a full study guide for NCSBN exam prep. Instead, use the results from your practice exam to hone in on the areas that are giving you trouble. This should allow you to correct your reasoning as well as fine-tune your personalized NCLEX PN study guide.
Tip #3: De-stress
We know: this is easier said than done. However, there are plenty of meditation apps and online guides for relaxation. There’s no wrong answer when it comes to stress reduction. Whether you need to listen to music, do yoga, or take consistent breaks from studying, your method can work.
Choose activities that you enjoy and perform them intentionally. This doesn’t mean shirking your study habits. Instead, incorporate downtime to simply breathe and enjoy yourself. Though it may seem counterintuitive, finding ways to mitigate your stress is a great way to keep your brain functioning at the highest level.
This is another area in which our practice tests can make a profound difference. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating test day anxiety, especially when the exam you’re taking can affect the next several decades of your career. By working with NCLEX PN practice questions, you gain familiarity with the test material and structure. When test day finally arrives, you’ll feel confident in your ability to pass with flying colors.
Start Your NCLEX PN Preparation Today
Put your best foot forward for your upcoming NCLEX PN exam. Purchase a set of practice NCLEX PN tests from greater academy today to ensure that you pass and score well.