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.

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.

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 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) 

RN Test Plans

EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 2016 THROUGH MARCH 31, 2019

Published Date: 2015
Topic: NCLEX Examinations

The NCLEX test plan provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the exam. The test plan also serves as a guide for both exam development and candidate preparation. 

The 2016 NCLEX-RN Test Plan is effective April 1, 2016.

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Published Date: 2016
Topic: NCLEX Examinations

The NCLEX examination test plan provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the examination. The test plan also serves as a guide for both examination development and candidate preparation.

The 2016 NCLEX-RN Detailed Test Plan for Candidates is effective April 1, 2016.

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

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Published Date: 2016
Topic: NCLEX Examinations

The NCLEX examination test plan provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the examination. The test plan also serves as a guide for both examination development and candidate preparation.

The NCLEX-RN Detailed Test Plan for Educators is effective April 1, 2016.

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

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PN Test Plans

Effective April 1, 2014 through March 31, 2017

Published Date: 2014
Topic: NCLEX Examinations

2014 NCLEX-PN Test Plan

The NCLEX examination test plan provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the examination. The test plan also serves as a guide for both examination development and candidate preparation.

The 2014 NCLEX-PN Test Plan is effective April 1, 2014.

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Published Date: 2014
Topic: NCLEX Examinations

 2014 NCLEX-PN Detailed Test Plan - Candidate Version

 The NCLEX examination test plan provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the examination. The test plan also serves as a guide for both examination development and candidate preparation.

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Published Date: 2013
Topic: NCLEX Examinations

 2014 NCLEX-PN Detailed Test Plan - Educator Version

The NCLEX examination test plan provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the examination. The test plan also serves as a guide for both examination development and candidate preparation. 

Download PDF

New! Effective April 1, 2017

Published Date: 2016
Topic: NCLEX Examinations

The NCLEX test plan provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the exam. The test plan also serves as a guide for both exam development and candidate preparation.

Download PDF