How Long Does it Take to Get NCLEX Results?

SimpleNursing Editorial Team Mar 9, 2022
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After years of nursing school and months of studying, you’re finally taking your National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)! But how long does it take to get NCLEX results? The short answer is that results take about six weeks. But you can get unofficial results more quickly.

Jump to Sections

  1. How long do NCLEX results take?
  2. Why Do NCLEX Results Matter?
  3. How to Check NCLEX Results – Quickly
  4. What to Do While Waiting for NCLEX Results
  5. NCLEX Results on Hold: What to Do

As any nursing student knows, the NCLEX is the last, and perhaps most daunting, step in your nursing education. After the NCLEX, no more academic requirements stand between you and a nursing license. 

However, one of the most difficult things about the NCLEX is the agonizing wait once you’ve taken it. The implication of your NCLEX results is huge, with everything you’ve worked for over the last several years culminating in one test result. 

Many nursing students wonder how they can get their NCLEX results as quickly as possible.

How long do NCLEX results take?

The time it takes to receive NCLEX results varies depending on the state board of nursing. Typically, it takes around six weeks to receive official results after taking the NCLEX exam.

Why Do NCLEX Results Matter?

Some people may wonder why it matters when considering how long it takes to get NCLEX results. However, there are two important considerations to understanding why the timeliness of having your NCLEX score available matters. 

  1. Peace of Mind

Nursing school is stressful. There is always another assignment, clinical rotation, and care plan. Once you’ve finished nursing school and successfully graduated, the stress is still in the form of NCLEX prep. All of nursing school is preparing you to pass the NCLEX, and this is the final step in becoming a nurse.

Knowing that you’ve passed the NCLEX means that it is officially over. You are finally a nurse and can relax, knowing that you no longer have to worry about studying and can finally focus on starting your nursing career. The peace of mind that knowing your NCLEX score as quickly as possible can provide is invaluable.

  1. Career Planning

On the practical side, knowing your NCLEX results quickly makes it easier to plan your next steps as you begin your nursing career. Some people may have a job offer that is contingent on passing the NCLEX or waiting to pass the NCLEX to begin their job search. 

Either way, knowing your NCLEX scores as soon as possible is important for career planning.

How to Check NCLEX Results – Quickly

Technically, the only way to officially get your NCLEX results is from the regulatory body through which you applied for licensure. There are, however, unofficial ways to get your results more quickly as well.

NCLEX Official Results

Your official NCLEX results will be sent to you through the regulatory body through which you applied for your nursing license. This will almost always be the state board of nursing of the state that you applied to practice in. 

The results that your state board of nursing provides are the only way to get official NCLEX results that ultimately authorize you to practice nursing.

The time it takes to get official NCLEX results vary depending on the specific board of nursing, but it will normally be about six weeks. Unfortunately, there isn’t usually a way to speed this process up or find out your official NCLEX score sooner.

Read here to learn about official changes coming in 2023 for the NCLEX.

NCLEX Unofficial Results (Including NCLEX Quick Results)

While your official NCLEX results will take several weeks to be available, you can often get unofficial NCLEX results much more quickly for a small fee. Using the NCLEX Quick Results Service, you can access these results in two business days for $7.95. 

Your unofficial results come directly from the testing center after your exam scores have been both checked by the computer program and verified by a person. If these unofficial NCLEX results indicate that you have passed, they are not likely to change unless some question arises about cheating or other unethical behavior during the exam.

Are NCLEX quick results accurate?

Yes, NCLEX quick results are considered to be accurate. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) offers candidates the option to purchase their NCLEX quick results forty-eight business hours after taking the exam. The Quick Results provide candidates with their pass or fail status.

It’s important to note that the NCLEX quick results are not official results and can’t be used as evidence of licensure. 

Can unofficial NCLEX results change?

In rare cases, there may be errors in the unofficial results due to technical issues or other factors. However, the chances of the unofficial results changing are low.

It’s important to wait for the official results from your state board of nursing before making any decisions regarding licensure or employment. However, if you have any concerns or questions about your NCLEX results, you should contact your state board of nursing for further guidance.

What to Do While Waiting for NCLEX Results

Waiting can be nerve-wracking even if you have decided to get your unofficial results in two days. There are some things that you can do, however, to make the wait more bearable.

Take a Break

If you’ve just taken your NCLEX, your studying time is over for now. The idea that there is no more studying to do will seem very weird after years of constantly doing schoolwork or studying, but you deserve a break. Now is the time to reward yourself for all the hard work you have put in getting to the point where you have finally taken the NCLEX. 

Distract Yourself

If you have decided to get your unofficial results, the good news is that you will not have to wait long – only two business days. The bad news is that these two days could drag on as you wait for some of the most important news in your life. 

Doing something distracting can help you not think about the wait and help the time pass more quickly. The best way to distract yourself will be different for everyone, but choosing something that takes your mind off the wait is the goal.

NCLEX Results on Hold: What to Do

If your NCLEX results are on hold, it’s important to first contact your state board of nursing to find out why your results are being held. There could be a variety of reasons why this is happening, such as a missing or incomplete application, issues with your background check, or concerns about your exam results.

Once you know the reason for the hold, you can take steps to resolve the issue. Your state board of nursing will be able to guide what you need to do to address any concerns or issues.

It’s also important to be patient and follow up with your state board of nursing regularly to check on the status of your results. In some cases, it may take several weeks or even months to resolve issues and receive your NCLEX results.

Plan Your Next Career Steps with Us

If you’ve taken your NCLEX and are waiting for your results, a great thing to do while you wait is to plan your next career steps. Researching potential nursing jobs and applying to those that appeal to you is a great way to distract yourself and use your newly-found free time.

If you are getting ready to take your NCLEX, you are almost done with your journey of becoming a nurse. SimpleNursing can help you get over the finish line. 

Join the over one million students and check out our NCLEX prep materials today.

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