Congratulations on graduating from nursing school. But this isn’t yet the end as you have to take the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination)–a professional exam that you need to pass to become a licensed nurse.
Other than that, here’s why you need to take and pass the NCLEX.
1. For Certification Purpose
All nurses in the United States are required to pass the NCLEX to become licensed. The NCLEX ensures that nurses are ready to start a nursing career in the United States of America and Canada. The exam is also used to ascertain that all nurses are prepared and have met a certain level of competency required to deliver quality health care.
The exam doesn’t just assess their theoretical knowledge but also tests their ability to think critically, make sound decisions, and deliver safe healthcare practices to patients. No NCLEX means that one is an unqualified nurse.
2. For Migration Purposes
As a nurse who’s looking to take their career to the USA or Canada, you need to take the NCLEX. Regardless of your nursing certifications and licenses in your home country, you still need to pass the NCLEX before you can practice in the US or Canada. By taking the exam, you give the licensing bodies the assurance that you can treat and attend to patients while handling other clinical affairs.
Taking the NCLEX actually gives you a topnotch opportunity to hold licenses in both your home country and US/Canada, which means that you can practice your nursing profession in your home country and in the US/Canada.
3. Prove Competence To Patients
Taking the NCLEX assures your patients and your proposed place of work that you’re capable. If patients are to trust you with their health/lives, and doctors are to trust you with the lives of their patients, you should be able to prove your self-worth. Only the NCLEX can give you that bragging rights.
This is why you can never become a licensed nurse without taking the NCLEX. Just like you can’t become a barrister at Law just by going to law school, you can’t become a certified nurse by only going to nursing school. Even if you want to set up a small practicing clinic, you still need to pass this exam to show that you know the field.
4. Fulfill the Main Purpose of NCLEX
The main purpose of the NCLEX is to ensure that nursing candidates are prepared for entry-level nursing practice. Passing this exam ensures that nurses understand the protocol and possesses the skills to back up their experiences in the various categories of the nursing profession.
The NCLEX was formulated based on the need to ensure that the graduates being churned out from nursing schools are competent enough to stand the rigors of the nursing profession without putting lives at risk.
This is why only nurses who pass this exam are given license. It’s also the reason why people retake the exam even after failing it the first few times. Students who find it challenging to pass the NCLEX can try using http://dailynclexchallenge.com/ to prepare for the exam. Many nursing students swear by its efficacy to help you ace the NCLEX.
About the NCLEX
Before advancing towards this professional exam, here are some things that candidates need to know about the exam.
The Examination is Two Types
There are two types of NCLEX: the NCLEX-PN (practical nurse) and the NCLEX-RN (registered nurse). The type of NCLEX you’ll take depends on your type and level of nursing education. The former is for those who have a diploma in vocational nursing or practical nursing, while the latter is for those who have either a bachelor’s or an associate’s degree in nursing.
It’s worth noting that both tests are formulated by the same body. They also test similar abilities and knowledge in the candidates.
The Exam’s Areas of Practice
The NCLEX exam is in four major areas:
- Safe and effective care environment: This test the nurse’s ability to control infection, deliver effective care, and maintain a hygienic and safe environment.
- Psycho-social integrity: This part of the exam evaluates your ability to deliver the best mental care as a nurse.
- Health promotion and maintenance: This test your knowledge of preventative healthcare and the promotion of hygienic practices
- Physiological integrity: This area is the largest part of the exam and makes up almost half of the questions. It primarily tests the ability of the student to deliver the right nursing care to patients.
Mode of Application
To take the NCLEX, the state board of nursing must first evaluate the candidate. The state board of nursing can only acknowledge a candidate who has gone through nursing school.
After evaluation, if the state board believes that the individual possesses the required skills and expertise to become a nurse, they’ll put forward the individual for the NCLEX in the state. To confirm the candidate’s status, a letter known Authorization to Take the Test (ATT) letter will be delivered to the student. Only then can such a person register to take the NCLEX.
NCLEX Question Format
Before, all NCLEX questions have multiple choices. However, there are now different formats, although the multiple-choice format still remains the dominant one.
The NCLEX questions contain three tiers. The first level tests students on general knowledge and usually comes in multiple-choice format. The second level showcases questions that have to do with application and analysis. The third level questions, which are also considered the hardest part, test facts, processes, rules, and applications.
Passing one of the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN tests are very important for nurses practicing in the US and Canada. Apart from the certification, it helps prove your competence to employers, fellow employees, and patients. It would also aid your self-belief and self-confidence as well as boost your critical thinking skills.
To know how to prepare for it, it’s essential that you know the basics of the NCLEX. The NCLEX is important because it bridges the gap between being a certified nurse and a nursing student/graduate. If your goal is to pursue a nursing career, you have to take and pass the NCLEX.