How Long After NCLEX Can You Work (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After 4 to 6 weeks

National Council Licensure Examination, known as NCLEX, contains two tests to practice as a standardized nurse either as an LPN or as RN. It is necessary to pursue a respective nursing degree and any of the NCLEX exams to receive the license to practice. 

The NCLEX exam tests the ability and knowledge of candidates required for the nurse to meet the requirements of the clients. The NCLEX-PN evaluates the practical nurses whereas NCLEX-RN examines the nursing candidates. These two tests contain almost the same criteria with little differences. Once you pass the test, you will be able to acquire your dream job within a short period. 

How Long After NCLEX Can You Work

How Long After NCLEX Can You Work?

The program for a nurse may vary from each state and region. In the case of the United States, Students should pursue any one of the nursing programs which is accredited. The next step would be to attend and pass the NCLEX exam to obtain the license of US to start practice. These can be pursued in various ways and the time required varies from one another.

Depending on the way you choose to practice as a nurse, the period ranges from two to five years which may extend according to the procedure of your state. If you pass the NCLEX test, you will be recognized as a nurse eligible to practice in the state. You will receive a printed nursing license if you have attained the passing criteria in NCLEX, after 6 weeks of results.

In case, you have any other license and you are currently employed with the help of other licenses, you can expect to qualify as a Graduate Nurse with a very small amount of increase in pay until you receive your printed RN license. If you have failed in the first attempt, need not worry because according to the official NCSBN announcement, you may opt for an exam up to 8 times a year.

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The gap limit between each attempt should be at least 45 days. You may also have an option of viewing your results after 2 days of the exam, only if your respective state is taking part in the Quick Results Service of Pearson VUE. But the result will be considered unofficial and in few states, you will not be able to practice as a nurse through this result.

StatesTime taken to issue the license
Florida1-3 days
California5 days
Texas After online verification
Maryland Board of Nursing10 days
NH Board of Nursing4 days

Why Does It Take That Long To Work After NCLEX?

Some of the employers offer work only after receiving the official hardcopy of the license which takes four to six weeks to issue after passing the exam. Whereas few employers accept the currently active license being verified by the Nursing Board of directory and once you receive your RN license, it should be submitted without fail to the employer.

It takes nearly six weeks to get the official results. The reason behind this is, the results are verified twice and the process varies from other standardized qualified tests. It is processed twice by the computer at the respective center and also by the Pearson VUE because of the quality control. You may contact Nursing Regulatory Body if you have not received your official result, even after six weeks of the exam.

Pearson VUE allows getting the unofficial results after 48 hours of the exam, only in few states. Locations like Delaware, Virginia, Alabama, New Hampshire, and California are not allowed for quick access of results. Most students wait for long after pursuing graduation to take the exam, because of unhealthy preparation. But the thumb rule is, the longer you wait to take the exam, the fewer chances are to pass the exam in a single attempt.


Try to appear for the exam as soon as you complete your graduation. And it would be easier if you take the exam before involving in another job as a graduate nurse. You may not get your dream job as soon as you pass your NCLEX exam, but it is very much important to gain the experience to attain the dream job. Most hospitals offer good training programs to transmit yourself from a student to a nurse.

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In case, your score does not meet the passing criteria, you will get an NCLEX Candidate Performance Report. It will contain the elaborate result of your performance in all the areas. Candidates can make use of it to prepare for further attempts immediately after 45 days of the previous attempt.

It is not easy to work as a nurse; it may also involve stress along with fun. Initially, you may feel challenged to practice as a nurse, but you will be getting enough training from your respective hospital, which will help you to set yourself as a professional from a student. 



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. The insight into the reasons behind the waiting period for obtaining the official license results is quite enlightening. It’s helpful to understand the verification process and the timelines involved.

    1. I completely agree. Understanding the verification process and the reasons for the waiting period is crucial for aspiring nurses.

    2. The detailed explanation provides valuable insight into the entire process, which aspiring nurses should be well-informed about.

  2. This is an incredibly informative article about the NCLEX exam and the process involved in obtaining the license to practice as a nurse. I appreciate the detailed information provided.

    1. I agree, this article provides a comprehensive overview of the entire process and various important details.

  3. The details regarding the consequences of not meeting the passing criteria for the NCLEX exam are presented in a clear and informative manner. It’s very helpful for aspiring nurses to understand the potential outcomes.

  4. The process of obtaining a nursing license and the associated waiting time for results seems overly excessive and burdensome. It could be streamlined for the benefit of aspiring nurses.

    1. I can understand your concern, but the thoroughness of the process is necessary to ensure the competence and qualifications of nurses entering the workforce.

  5. It’s unfortunate that the waiting period for receiving the official results and license is so long, especially when aspiring nurses are eager to start working and gaining experience.

    1. The timeline for obtaining the license should definitely be streamlined to minimize the waiting period while ensuring the quality of nurses entering the workforce.

    2. I share the same sentiment. It can be frustrating for those who are eager to begin their nursing careers.

  6. It’s interesting to learn about the importance of gaining experience before securing a dream job as a nurse. This article provides valuable guidance for aspiring nurses.

    1. Yes, the emphasis on gaining experience and valuable training programs to transition from a student to a nurse is beneficial advice for those pursuing careers in nursing.

  7. The emphasis on timely exam preparation and avoiding delays in taking the NCLEX exam is a valuable point that aspiring nurses should take to heart. It highlights the importance of timely action in pursuing a nursing career.

    1. Absolutely, the article emphasizes the significance of timely exam preparation for aspiring nurses to achieve successful outcomes.

    2. The advice to take the exam soon after graduation is practical and sensible for aspiring nurses who aspire to gain their license and enter the workforce swiftly.

  8. The detailed explanation of the timelines for issuing the license in different states is very enlightening. It provides clarity on the variations from state to state.

    1. Indeed, it’s important to be aware of the specific timelines in different states for obtaining the nursing license.

  9. The comprehensive information provided about the NCLEX exam and the subsequent process of obtaining the nursing license is greatly appreciated.

  10. The process of obtaining the nursing license is quite extensive, and the waiting period for results and the official license is understandably concerning for aspiring nurses.

    1. Indeed, the waiting period poses a challenge for aspiring nurses eager to begin their careers. It’s a valid area for consideration in improving the process.

    2. The article sheds light on the complexities and timelines involved in obtaining the nursing license, providing aspiring nurses with valuable insights.

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