Can I Take the NCLEX Before I Graduate?

The NCLEX, or National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, is a comprehensive exam designed to test the core competencies required to practice as a registered nurse (RN). By passing the NCLEX, you will gain licensure from the state board of nursing and can practice as a nurse.

But can you apply for NCLEX while still in nursing school? The answer is no! You can’t take the NCLEX without graduation. You have to pass a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) or (ADN, AAS, ASN) associate degree program.

This article will provide information on NCLEX eligibility and tips on how best to prepare for this challenging exam.

NCLEX Requirements & Eligibility

To be eligible for the NCLEX, you must first meet specific requirements. These include:

  • Completion of an approved nursing program from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Passing any required NCLEX-RN prerequisite examinations, such as the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-APRN.
  • Receipt of an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter from the state board of nursing you wish to practice in.
  • Payment of the exam fee, typically around $200 for NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN exams.

Once you have met these requirements, you can apply to take the NCLEX at any time during nursing school. However, it is essential to note that you must complete all of your preceptorships and nursing coursework before being eligible to take the NCLEX.

Preparation for NCLEX During Nursing School

It would be best to prepare early to ensure you are ready to take the NCLEX. Here are some helpful tips on how best to prepare while still in nursing school:

  • Build a strong foundation by taking the time to thoroughly understand your course material and get plenty of practice with NCLEX-style questions.
  • Utilize NCLEX review courses or study materials geared explicitly towards NCLEX preparation.
  • Make sure to give yourself enough time to study. NCLEX preparation takes dedication, and you must give yourself the time to understand the material.
  • Engage in practice tests and review sessions with peers or mentors who can provide guidance and feedback.
  • Make sure to get plenty of rest before taking the NCLEX. Being well-rested will help you stay focused during the exam.

Final Thoughts

Taking NCLEX during nursing school is possible and can be a great way to get a head start in your career as an RN. However, it is essential that you thoroughly prepare for the NCLEX beforehand. By following these tips and using resources like NCLEX review courses or NCLEX practice tests, you can ensure that you are ready to excel on this all-important exam.

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