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

The NCLEX-RN test plan provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the exam. It serves as a guide for both exam development and candidate preparation. The test plan links along with descriptions of each version are provided below.

2016 NCLEX-RN Basic Test Plan

The basic NCLEX-RN test plan includes an overview of the content categories along with details about the administration of the exam.

2016 NCLEX-RN Detailed Test Plan - Candidate Version

The candidate version of the NCLEX-RN examination test plan includes an in-depth overview of the content categories along with details about the administration of the exam. 

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

2016 NCLEX-RN Detailed Test Plan - Educator Version

The educator version of the NCLEX-RN examination test plan includes an in-depth overview of the content categories along with details about the administration of the exam as well as NCLEX-style item writing exercises and case scenario examples.

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

PN Test Plans

EFFECTIVE APRIL 1, 2017 THROUGH MARCH 31, 2020

The NCLEX-PN test plan provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the exam. It serves as a guide for both exam development and candidate preparation. The test plan links along with descriptions of each version are provided below.

2017 NCLEX-PN Test Plan

The NCLEX-PN test plan includes an overview of the content categories along with details about the administration of the exam.

2017 NCLEX-PN Detailed Test Plan

The detailed version of the NCLEX-PN examination test plan includes an in-depth overview of the content categories along with details about the administration of the exam as well as NCLEX-style item writing exercises and case scenario examples.