How Long After Nursing School To Take NCLEX (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After 3 years

NCLEX is the licensure examination conducted by the national medical council. It is the examination via which nurse trainees are prepared for working in the field. This test is used to test whether a trainee is suitable to start her professional journey as a nurse on duty. It is not alike the tests taken by the nurse trainees during the period of their graduation. The test, its pattern, its level of difficulty are quite different from those exams. The examination not only demands theoretical knowledge.

To clear this exam, the trainee needs to have proper analytical skills to analyze the theoretical knowledge gained during graduation. Not just this, the trainee undertaking this exam also needs to possess great thinking skills to go through the exam with flying colors.

How Long After Nursing School To Take NCLEX

How Long After Nursing School To Take NCLEX?

Minimum3 years
Maximum5 years

There are various streams of study in the field of nursing. But, the NCLEX exam is an integrated examination of all the types of courses ranging from medical to the obstetric field. The trainee undertaking this exam needs to have a basic overview of all the fields to be successful. The questions are asked in various formats ranging from MCQs to filling the blanks. The trainee who has gained sufficient knowledge about all the fields of study in nursing science can easily go through this examination.

The test is conducted as a computer test where questions are set according to an average student’s level. The difficulty level of the test goes on increasing as the trainee starts answering the questions easily within a short time. The questions are mainly set to suit the needs of providing the best services to the client. This revolves around two key concepts, management, and care, infection control and safety.

The questions related to management and safety form about 25% of the total number of questions. The subtopics under this topic include concepts of management and care, rights of the client, improvement of quality of services, legal permissions and duties, the establishment of priorities, etc. These are the basic nursing topics that are generally known to all the trainees. One should have a proper foundation of these basic topics.

Nursing School

The questions related to infection control and safety forms about 20% of the total number of questions. Questions related to hazard and disaster management, proper precautions and measures, etc are asked in this section. It is quite difficult in terms of success rate and other factors. Hence, it is best to take proper precautions to prepare thoroughly for the best before going for the exam. One should even prepare adequately for the exam with mock tests and papers.

Why Should One Wait So Long To Take NCLEX After Nursing School?

After completion of the exam, the trainee receives the certification within 8 weeks after the examination. After the completion of training at nursing school, the trainee needs to wait for at least 3 years before deciding to undertake the examination. However, if the candidate cannot pass the examination at one go, he/she can undertake more attempts following the time gap of 45 months. There are even children who take about 8 attempts in a year.

The level of questions keeps getting tougher until one fails. Proper preparation can only help one passing through the examination process. For this, one needs to spend enough time preparing for the exam. Some students take years to prepare for this exam. Maintaining constant preparation is even necessary. Hence, an adequate amount of preparation is to be done within 3 years after graduation.

There are certain rules which one must stick to for being qualified for reappearing the examination. All countries have various rules depending on their needs and demands. The number of times an individual can reappear in the examination also varies depending on the country.


It is advised to the trainee to be well knowledged about the rules and regulations prevalent in the country because these rules are updated timely. In cases of trainees who are unable to clear the examination at one go, they receive some sort of assessment of results. The assessment indicates the areas the trainee should focus on. While preparing to reappear for the examination, one should prepare well focusing on the key areas of improvement. This can increase the chances of clearing the examination during the second chance.


The nursing schools train the students to become nurse trainees. But the examination evaluates their actual knowledge gained during education at the nursing schools. This is why not all individuals can clear the examination. One should go through the syllabus thoroughly. Having the syllabus in mind solves half of the problem. Then, one can start preparing for the areas in which he/she excels. This should be completed within a short time.

After that, one should focus on areas he is not sure about. Enough practice of questions and mock tests is even necessary. Proper preparation can assist one go through the exam easily.


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