How Long Does it Take to Get NCLEX Results?

waiting for results

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After years of nursing school and months of studying, you’re finally taking your NCLEX! As any nursing student knows, the National Council Licensure Examination (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. 

One of the most difficult things about the NCLEX, however, is the agonizing wait once you’ve taken it. The implication of your NCLEX results are huge, with everything you’ve worked for over the last several years culminating into the results of one test. Many nursing students wonder how long it takes to get NCLEX results and how they can get their NCLEX results as quickly as possible. The short answer is that official results take about 6 weeks. 

Why Does it Matter?

When considering how long it takes to get NCLEX results, some people may wonder why it matters. There are really two important considerations to understanding why the timeliness of having your NCLEX score available actually matters. 

Peace of Mind

Nursing school is stressful. It seems like there is always another assignment, another clinical rotation to prepare for, and another care plan to write. Once you’ve finished nursing school and successfully graduated, the stress is still there in the form of NCLEX prep. All of nursing school is preparing you to pass the NCLEX, and this test 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.

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 be 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 Get Your NCLEX Results as Quickly as Possible

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

Official Results

Your official NCLEX results will be sent to you through the regulatory body that you applied to your nursing license through. 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 you with are the only way to get official NCLEX results that will ultimately authorize you to practice nursing.

The time it takes to get official NCLEX results varies depending on the specific board of nursing, but will normally be about six weeks. There is not usually a way to speed this process up or find out your official NCLEX score sooner.

Unofficial 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 arrises about cheating or other unethical behavior during the exam.

Other Methods

One very unofficial method that is purported to work, but is much less reliable and not recommenced by any official sources, is attempting to sign up for the NCLEX after taking it. Some sources believe that the testing program is set up so that you can only sign up for the NCLEX a second time if you haven’t passed and that being unable to sign up again means that you have passed. This obviously isn’t an ideal way to tell if you have passed or not, but could theoretically give you an indication.

What to Do While Waiting 

Even if you have decided to get your unofficial results in two days, it can be nerve wracking waiting. 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 time of studying 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 that 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 as you wait for some of the most important news in your life. Doing something distracting can help you not to think about the wait and help time to pass a little quicker. The best way to distract yourself will be different for everyone, but choosing something that takes your mind off the wait is the goal.

Plan Your Next Career Steps

If you’ve taken your NCLEX and are waiting for your results, a great thing to do while you wait is 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 put your newly-found free time to use.

If you are getting ready to take your NCLEX, you are almost done your journey of becoming a nurse! SimpleNursing can help you get over the finish line. Join the over one million students that we have helped to achieve a 96% NCLEX pass rate and check out our NCLEX preparation materials today.