NCLEX - an overview

What is NCLEX?
NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) is an examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States. It has been developed and conducted by NCSBN (National Council of State Boards of Nursing) Inc.
There are two types of exams - the NCLEX-RN and the NCLEX-PN.
NCLEX-RN is for registered nurses and the NCLEX-PN is for vocational/practical nurses.
NCLEX examinations are brought to you in a computerized adaptive testing (CAT) format. They are presently administered by Pearson VUE, at their network of Pearson Professional Centers (PPC).

What is NCLEX-RN?
NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination - Registered Nurse) is an exam that all Boards of Nursing in states and territories of the United States require candidates to pass. This qualification is necessary for licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN).


NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination - Practical Nurse). Passing the exam is required of candidates for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) by all US state and territorial Boards of Nursing.

What is the syllabus/test plan of this exam?
NCSBN has developed a test plan which serves as a guide for examination development as well as candidate preparation. It provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the licensing examination.

NCLEX - RN exams are based on this test plan.

Bloom's Taxonomy
Bloom’s Taxonomy is used as a basis for writing and coding questions for the NCLEX RN. The various levels are Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, and Analysis. These are arranged in a hierarchy from less to more complex. The majority of questions in NCLEX RN are written at the Application or higher levels. This would require more complex thought processing.

Client Needs
The content of the test plan is organized into four major Client Needs categories. Two of the four categories are divided into subcategories:

Client Needs for NCLEX RN

Client Needs Percentage of Items from Each Category/Subcategory
Safe and Effective Care Environment:
  Management of Care
  Safety and Infection Control
Health Promotion and Maintenance:
Psychosocial Integrity:
Physiological Integrity:
  Basic Care and Comfort
  Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
  Reduction of Risk Potential
  Physiological Adaptation
 
16-22%
8-14%
6-12%
6-12%
 
6-12%
13-19%
10-16%
11-17%
Client Needs Percentage of Items from Each Category/Subcategory
Safe and Effective Care Environment:
  Coordinated Care
  Safety and Infection Control
Health Promotion and Maintenance:
Psychosocial Integrity:
Physiological Integrity:
  Basic Care and Comfort
  Pharmacological Therapies
  Reduction of Risk Potential
  Physiological Adaptation
 
13-19%
11-17%
7-13%
7-13%
 
9-15%
11-17%
9-15%
9-15%

Integrated Processes

The following processes are fundamental to the practice of nursing and are integrated throughout the Client Needs categories and subcategories:

Nursing Process

This is a scientific, clinical reasoning approach to client care, that includes assessment, analysis, planning, implementation and evaluation.

Caring

This refers to the interaction of the nurse and the client in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. In this collaborative environment, the nurse provides encouragement, hope, support and compassion to help achieve desired outcomes.

Communication and Documentation

This refers to verbal and nonverbal interactions between the nurse and the client, the client's significant others and other members of the health care team. Events and activities associated with client care are validated in written and/or electronic records. These reflect standards of practice and accountability in the provision of care.

Teaching/Learning

This refers to the facilitation of the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes that would promote a change in behavior. Read more about NCLEX




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