What You Need To Know About the NCLEX

The already high number of Filipino nurses aspiring to work abroad has considerably risen throughout the years. Wanting to enjoy the thrills and dollars working in the US brings, career seekers even find the nursing profession as their gateway in making that dream come true. However, becoming a nurse abroad isn’t as easy as it seems. Like any other professions, a lot is required in order to work as nurses in other countries and included in the long list of requirements is passing the NCLEX.

It’s always in the buzz, taking and passing the NCLEX. We have often heard fellow nurses talking about preparing for that one mighty exam, but what more do we know about this exam other than being the key to the door towards success?

NCLEX or the National Council Licensure Examination is an examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States and under which are two different types: the NCLEX –RN, which is for Registered Nurses and NCLEX-PN, for vocational or Practical Nurses.

When to take it

After that glorious moment of receiving your diploma during graduation, as the sign of your success in surviving years in nursing school, you make take the NCLEX in order to receive your nursing license. With a nursing license granted by the state where you met the requirements, you are now permitted to practice nursing.

Being developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc., nurses are required to pass this exam conducted by Nursing Boards in states and territories of the United States to gain the license as a registered nurse.

What it is about

As examinations like the NCLEX are conducted in order to test the knowledge, skills and abilities of the new graduates necessary for the safe and effective practice of nursing at the entry-level, the exam for the RNs revolves around the five steps in the nursing process including nursing  assessment, analysis, planning, intervention and implementation, and evaluation.

For NCLEX –PN, topics may involve those based on the clients’ needs such as: Safe Effective Care Environment with Management of Care as well as Safety and Infection Control under it; Health Promotion and Maintenance; Psychosocial Integrity; Physiological Integrity which includes Basic Care and Comfort, Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies, Reduction of Risk Potential and Physiological Adaptation.

For NCLEX-RN, topics may revolve around Safe and Effective Care Environment Management of Care which may consist 17-23% of the exam, Safety and Infection Control, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psychosocial Integrity, Physiological Integrity Basic Care and Comfort, Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies Reduction of Risk Potential, and Physiological Adaptation.

The exam utilizes a multiple choice format, with questions that may range from Level 1 (mostly about facts, information and testing the individual’s knowledge and understanding), Level 2 (which is more on analysis and application wherein the individual is required to know specific information and then use it to interpret or analyze the question) to Level 3 (which involves using the individual’s judgment and evaluation and apply the rules, facts, and processes they know to make decisions about what is best for the patient’s care according to a specific situation).

NCLEX is not just any exam. It isn’t like those exams you take just for the sake of grades. By taking the NCLEX, you are actually finally applying everything that you have learned in your four years in nursing school. Here, you will give justice to all your sleepless nights and all other sacrifices. By passing the NCLEX, you do not only show that you are capable of becoming a good nurse, it also shows that you are credible and able enough to be trusted with lives and care for people from all walks of life.

Liane Clores, RN MAN

Currently an Intensive Care Unit nurse, pursuing a degree in Master of Arts in Nursing Major in Nursing Service Administration. Has been a contributor of Student Nurses Quarterly, Vox Populi, The Hillside Echo and the Voice of Nightingale publications. Other experience include: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Obstetric, Emergency and Recovery Room Nursing.

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