Test Plans

You are encouraged to review the NCLEX test plans before your exam appointment. The test plans serve as blue prints to outline the content to be tested and guide the item writing process.

Watch the NCLEX Webinar on the NCLEX Test Plans.

Purpose of the Detailed Test Plans

  1. Guide candidates preparing for the exam
  2. Inform the direction for item development
  3. Facilitate classification of exam items
The basic test plans and detailed test plans for the NCLEX-RN and PN can be found below. These are updated every three years to reflect current, entry-level nursing competency. The basic version of the test plan is an overview of approved content distribution. The basic test plan is included in the detailed version of the test plan. 

The Detailed Test Plan also includes:

  1. Definition of each Client Needs Categories
  2. Nursing activity statements
  3. Detailed content examples
  4. Sample NCLEX items
  5. Item writing guide (educator version) 
Effective April 1, 2013 through March 31, 2016:

2013 NCLEX-RN Test Plan - Basic
Français*
2013 NCLEX-RN Detailed Test Plan - Candidate
Français*
2013 NCLEX-RN Detailed Test Plan - Educator
Français*

*Dans cette publication, le masculin est employé sans préjudice afin d’alléger le texte.

Effective April 1, 2014 through March 31, 2017: