How Many Times Can You Take the NCLEX?

SimpleNursing Editorial Team Mar 4, 2024
how many times you can take NCLEX title card with nursing student taking notes

Jump to Sections

  1. How soon will you know if you’ve passed the NCLEX?
  2. NCLEX Quick Results
  3. The NCLEX Retake Process
  4. U.S. States with Different NCLEX Retake Policies

When you see or anticipate a failed nursing exit exam result, it’s natural to wonder how many times can you take the NCLEX.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) allows National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) test-takers up to eight retakes per year with a forty-five-day wait period between each test. These extra opportunities can often bring nursing school graduates a sigh of relief. 

It’s not the end of the world if you fail!

However, it’s important to understand that states and Boards of Nursing (BON) often have different rules with their NCLEX examination retake policies and the number of times test-takers can sit for the exam. This means that some states might be stricter than others when it comes to retaking the NCLEX.

How soon will you know if you’ve passed the NCLEX?

When you finish the NCLEX exam, you will not receive your official score immediately. Instead, the test will be sent to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), who will review your results and determine whether you have passed or failed.

So how long does it take to get NCLEX results?

The nursing regulatory body (NRB) for your test generally releases official NCLEX test results approximately six weeks after testing. If you don’t receive your results after this time, though, contact your local nursing regulatory body.

These six weeks can feel like an eternity. Fortunately, many nursing state boards participate in a service that can deliver results much faster.

NCLEX Quick Results

To get results fast, check if your NRB takes part in the Quick Results service. Although these are not official results, you can get an idea of your score within two business days of taking the exam with .

This can help you prepare for your nursing career or learn the requirements for retesting in your state. This service costs $7.95 and is billed only if you can access your test results.

It’s important to understand that even if you receive a passing score, the Quick Results service doesn’t provide eligibility to practice as a registered nurse. To work as a licensed nurse, you’ll need to wait for your official results from your state’s NRB.

If you fail the exam, though, you’ll receive an NCLEX Candidate Performance Report (CPR) that shows areas of strengths and weaknesses in each content area. This report can help steer you in the right direction and help you develop a study plan to increase your chances of passing next time.

Discover key signs you might be failing the NCLEX as you’re taking it.

The NCLEX Retake Process

Both nursing school and the NCLEX exam are demanding, and the passing rate for first-time test-takers shows the rigor of nursing education programs and NCLEX exam questions.

If you fail the exam, you can begin planning a retest right away, including when you receive your unofficial exam report through the Quick Results service.

When planning a retake for either the NCLEX-RN or PN for practical or vocational nursing school graduates, you’ll want to follow these steps:

  1. Get in touch with your state NRB and let them know your plan to retest. Fees for retesting can differ by state.
  2. Visit the Pearson VUE website and pay the re-registration fee.
  3. Stand by for an Authorization to Test (ATT) from your NRB.
  4. Check for local testing centers and testing dates and register for the exam.
  5. Take some time for a refresher, review your Candidate Performance Report, build an NCLEX study plan, and enroll in an NCLEX prep course before the exam date.

How much does it cost to retake the NCLEX?

The registration fee for NCLEX retesting is $200 with Pearson VUE, and there’s a $75 reapplication fee. 

Before paying any registration fees, though, contact your local nursing board and determine your state guidelines and requirements for retesting. The NCSBN provides a full listing of nursing state boards across the United States.

How many times can you change your NCLEX date?

There is no limit to how many times you can reschedule your exam. If you need to change the date, time, or location of your upcoming exam, log into your Pearson account and request at least one full business day before your scheduled test date and time.

How soon can you retake the NCLEX?

You’ll have to wait a minimum of forty-five days between each exam. The nursing regulatory body (NRB) determines how long you must wait.

U.S. States with Different NCLEX Retake Policies

Testing regulations can vary from one state to the next, and they might even have a stricter NCLEX test retake policy for nursing school graduates. It’s a good idea to check with your state’s BON policy regarding exam retakes to help you prepare.

Each state board differs, though, and not all impose strict guidelines for NCLEX retesting. 

Georgia: Georgia requires nursing students to pass the NCLEX within three years of graduation. If a student does not pass the exam upon first attempt, the Board will send an application for reexamination. test-takers must pass the exam within five years of finishing their program

Texas: RN by examination test-takers must pay $139 to the Texas Board of Nursing. A separate examination fee of $200 will also have to be paid to the testing company, Pearson.

The Texas BON allows test-takers to retake the NCLEX exam. However, they must continue to submit an application and pay applicable fees each time. test-takers must pass the exam within four years of graduation. The last application must be made at least 120 days before they become ineligible to take the exam.

California: The application fee for RN by examination is $150. An interim permit or temporary license costs an additional $50. test-takers who fail the California Board exam must re-apply, with an additional fee and a new application.

Florida: Test-takers have three attempts to pass the NCLEX. After that, they must complete a Florida Board of Nursing-approved remedial course to reinstate testing eligibility for a fourth examination.

New York: Nursing test-takers can retest unlimited times and only pay the Pearson VUE NCLEX retake fee. There’s no additional licensure application for the State of New York or other fees.

Michigan: Michigan requires testing applicants to take the NCLEX within two years of graduating. If they fail, they’ll need to wait 45 days before retesting. After failing three times, though, they’ll need to complete a board-approved remediation program before the next retake. test-takers have six attempts to pass in total.

Louisiana: Nursing students can take the NCLEX exam up to four times within two years of graduating from nursing school. After this time, they’ll need to re-enroll in a nursing program before testing again.

Colorado: test-takers are given three testing attempts within three years from the first test date. To take the test a fourth time, they’ll need to petition for a waiver and complete an approved nursing program.

Kansas: test-takers have two years from graduation to pass the exam, after which they’ll need to meet state board requirements and submit a petition for Permission to Retest.

Indiana: Nursing graduates can retest three times before preparing a presentation for the nursing board indicating their serious intent as a candidate prior to renewed eligibility to test a fourth time.

South Carolina: test-takers who fail their exam within a year must complete a remediation program before retesting. By their third testing anniversary, they must enroll in a nursing education program again.

Pass the NCLEX with help from SimpleNursing

After all the time, dedication, and effort put into school, it makes sense that nursing school graduates anxiously await their official test scores. After all, it’s the difference between a nursing license and a retest.

Join SimpleNursing and gain access to everything you need to know, including next gen NCLEX practice questions, to pass the NCLEX exam. This includes hundreds of entertaining videos with tips and tricks for memory retention, over 500 creative cheat sheets, and thousands of real test-prep questions that can help you better prepare for testing day.

Check out the available resources for NCLEX Review with a free trial.

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