COVID-19 Impact to NCLEX Candidates

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NCSBN introduced several carefully evaluated and tested modifications to the NCLEX examinations. These modifications expired on Sept. 30, 2020. Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, both NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN exams will retain some of the characteristics of the modified exam. The difficulty levels and passing standards of the exams have not changed. 
     
    The modifications effective Oct. 1, include:

    • Pretest items have been reintroduced. Each candidate will get 15 pretest items in their exam.
    • Due to the addition of the 15 pretest items, the minimum length exam is 75 items and the maximum length exam is 145 items.
    • Maximum examination time is five hours.
    • The voluntary Next Generation NCLEX Special Research Section has been reintroduced.
    • The NCLEX Tutorial has been replaced with a general guide and test taking tips.

    A more detailed explanation of the modifications can be found here and an overview presentation can be viewed here.

    FAQs for NCLEX Candidates

  • Why was my NCLEX appointment un-scheduled?

    In order to comply with local health and government social distancing measures, Pearson VUE has had to unschedule some NCLEX appointments. Please log into your Pearson VUE account  as soon as possible to re-schedule your appointment for the next available date/time. Please note that candidates are able to take the NCLEX at any test center, regardless of the nursing regulatory body they are applying to for licensure/registration.

  • How can I schedule/re-schedule my NCLEX appointment?

    Candidates should log into their  Pearson VUE account to schedule/reschedule their NCLEX appointment. It is encouraged that candidates log into their account for updated availability as appointments are often being added. Candidates can re-schedule their appointments as many times necessary so long as it is one full business day before the scheduled date and time. Any questions can be directed to nclexinfo@ncbsn.org 

  • Which test centers are open?

    Candidates should log into their Pearson VUE account to find test center locations and availability.

  • Can I take any breaks?

    Yes. Candidates will still be given the opportunity to take scheduled breaks after 2 hours and again after 3 and a half hours of examination time, as well as any unscheduled breaks. Please note that all breaks count against testing time.

  • When will I receive my results?

    NCLEX results are only available from nursing regulatory bodies (NRBs). Please contact your NRB with questions regarding your NCLEX results.

  • Am I required to wear a face mask?

    Yes, NCLEX candidates are required to bring and wear their own face mask during the entire testing appointment at Pearson VUE test centers. Candidates risk being turned away if they do not bring and wear a mask while at the test center. Candidates will be asked to briefly remove the mask during the check-in process to take the required candidate photo. Please consult Pearson VUE’s COVID-19 Webpage for more testing center details.  

  • Will there be a delay in receiving my Authorization to Test (ATT)?

    Nursing Regulatory Bodies (NRBs) continue to process new applications and approve candidates to test who are eligible. ATTs have been extended for those impacted and are currently valid for 6 months or more. For any questions regarding your ATT, please contact your NRB.

  • Can I still request accommodations for my NCLEX?

    Yes. Candidates should continue to request NCLEX testing accommodations with their Nursing Regulatory Body. It is important to note that candidates with testing accommodations requiring assistive personal (i.e. reader, records, sign language interpreter) will experience delays and limits in availability, in order to comply with social distancing measures imposed by the federal, state and local governments. Extra time accommodations will continue to be applied to the exam. For instance, requesting extra time (1-hour, 2-hour, 3-hour) will be added to the five-hour NCLEX.  Extra Time - Double Time 2 Days means that the exam will be administered for ten hours over two consecutive days. The first day appointment will allot for a five-hour exam administration and the second day appointment will also allot for a five-hour exam administration.

  • What if my identification (ID) has expired and I am unable to have it renewed, can I still test?

    If your expired ID meets all other acceptable ID criteria, meaning it is government-issued, contains your name (in Roman characters), recent photograph and signature, you will be accepted to test.

  • Due to the higher volumes of calls and email inquiries, please consult Pearson VUE’s COVID-19 webpage and this page frequently, as both are continuously updated with the latest information.

    For any other NCLEX questions/concerns, you may contact NCSBN at nclexinfo@ncsbn.org.

    FAQs for Educators and Nursing Regulatory Bodies (NRBs)

  • What should NRBs do with new registrants?

    NRBs should continue to process new applications and approve candidates to test who are eligible.

  • Will candidates be able to test in a safe environment?

    Pearson VUE is following government guidelines for social distancing and limiting the number of individuals, including staff, in the test center at any time. As a result of these measures, appointment availability is limited. NCSBN has worked with Pearson VUE to increase availability while maintaining  imperative health and safety factors, including the availability of cleaning supplies and proper staffing. Please watch the NCLEX: Testing Availability Webinar for more details about the work to increase availability.

  • Is there information I should share with my students and/or candidates?

    Yes, please have them visit PearsonVUE.com as well as this FAQ page as they will have the most updated information related to the NCLEX testing centers.

  • How should the NRBs process candidates with testing accommodations?

    Nursing Regulatory Bodies should continue to process NCLEX testing accommodations for candidates who request them. It is important to note that candidates with testing accommodations requiring assistive personal (i.e. reader, records, sign language interpreter) will experience delays and limits in availability, in order to comply with social distancing measures imposed by the federal, state and local governments.

    All other testing accommodations will be processed as normal, as detailed in chapter 3 of the Member Board Manual. For example, an NCLEX candidate requesting extra time (1-hour, 2-hour, 3-hour) will be granted the extra time to the five-hour NCLEX. Extra Time - Double Time 2 Days, will be administered for 10 hours over two consecutive days. The first day appointment will allot for a five-hour exam administration and the second day appointment will also allot for a five-hour exam administration. 

  • If candidates are unable to renew their identification (ID), will they be able to test with an expired ID?

    If the candidate’s expired ID meets all other acceptable ID criteria, meaning it is government-issued, contains their name (in Roman characters), recent photograph and signature, the candidate will be accepted to test. A case will be made at the test site to document the expired ID presented. The case is viewable to NCSBN and the nursing regulatory body through the NCLEX Admin site.

  • How can NRBs see which test centers are open?

    NRBs can use the “Seat Availability Search” link in the NCLEX Admin website to view testing availability. For any NRB specific concerns/questions, please contact Exams Operations at  ExamsIR@ncsbn.org

  • NCSBN will continue to update this FAQ page and communicate pertinent information to Nursing Regulatory Bodies and Nursing Programs. For any NRB specific concerns/questions, please contact Exams Operations at ExamsIR@ncsbn.org