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

Exact Answer: After 4 to 6 weeks

National Council Licensure Examination, generally 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.

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.


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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