How Many Times Can You Take the NCLEX®?
According to the NCSBN website (which is the company that writes the actual NCLEX).
- You can take the NCLEX up to 8 times per year with a 45 day waiting period between each attempt.
- There is no maximum number of attempts
- You must wait 45 days between attempts
- You get 8 attempts per year
Each State Board of Nursing Can Have Separate Rules:
Each state Board of Nursing can have additional standards so it is important to consult your board individually. To find your state board of nursing, just google “STATE NAME board of nursing NCLEX rules”.
For example you can take the NCLEX® in these states as follows:
- Texas: Every 45 days for 4 years . . . then you have to go back to school.
- California: Every 45 days as many times as you want.
- Florida: 3 attempts then you have to go back to school.
- Pennsylvania: Unlimited attempts
- Ohio: Unlimited attempts
- New York: Unlimited attempts
- Canada: 3 attempts maximum
Again . . . you need to verify with your own BON.
Did you know that over 80,000 nursing students FAIL the NCLEX every year!?!?!?!
. . . 80,000+ . . .
Let that sink in for a minute . . .
That’s enough nurses to fully staff 200+ hospitals around the clock. These are nursing students who got accepted to nursing school, graduated and now just have to pass a test . . . yet, they are failing.
We have a problem in nursing education. Why are so many qualified students failing?
Each one of those 80,000+ nursing students who failed the NCLEX . . . ALREADY PASSED NURSING SCHOOL!
Nursing school should be preparing students to become nurses, the NCLEX should measure the future nurses ability to be a nurse . . . and together . . . they should be graduating and licensing MORE nurses.
This is the problem we set out to solve at NURSING.com (in fact we built the entire website around solving that problem).
INTRODUCING: NPQ (Nursing Practice Questions®) NCLEX® Practice Questions
One of the best ways to gain confidence is to see yourself succeeding.
And one of the best ways you can insure success on the NCLEX is to take a TON of NCLEX practice questions . . . and I mean a ton. Like up to 100 a day in the weeks leading up to the test.
Prior to taking the NCLEX myself, I took literally thousands of practice questions. In the final two weeks before the exam, I was taking upwards of 200+ questions per day.
This is why, at NURSING.com, we built one of the largest NCLEX Question Banks on the planet – with over 6,000+ questions on over 21 different categories. You need to take a TON of questions. But here is what you need to do:
- Take 100+ questions
- Read the rationales for each question you got wrong
- Review the content around those questions you got wrong
- Begin to focus your question taking on subjects YOU GOT WRONG
So often, future nurses take questions on subjects they are strong in – it boosts their confidence – but the NCLEX doesn’t want to know your strongest areas – it wants to know if you will be a safe nurse – regardless of what specialty you work in.
To help you with this we have released our massive database of practice questions for you to practice.
It’s called Nursing Practice Questions (NPQ) feel free to give it a try.
NPQ is the largest database of practice NCLEX questions online and built by our team of NCSBN trained NCLEX question writers.
With more than 6,000+ questions with detailed rationales in various nursing categories, it will become your best friend in nursing school. So don’t stress so much over how many times you can take the NCLEX, focus instead on becoming as strong as you can at NCLEX style questions.
Inside Nursing Practice Questions (NPQ): build custom quizzes
When you log into NPQ, you can build extremely customized practice tests to focus on your weak areas, select from 21 different categories, take only SATA questions, and review your performance. Enter the NCLEX with extreme confidence by studying those areas where you are most weak.
Inside Nursing Practice Questions (NPQ): image and video rationales
Rationales inside NPQ are extremely detailed and even include images and videos to help you really understand the topic. When you miss a question, you can really dig into the topic with these visual rationales.
QUESTION: How Soon Should I Take the NCLEX® After Graduating?
Great question, and I’m glad you asked . . .
In THIS STUDY by the NCSBN it was found that the average student takes the NCLEX® just 35 days after graduating from nursing school.
They also noted that there is an inverse correlation between time from graduation and pass rates.
In other words . . . the longer you wait – – – the less likely you will be to pass.
What does this mean to you? Use your time in nursing school to prepare for the monster . . . study throughout the journey. Once you graduate get your ATT and take the beast as soon as you can.
QUESTION: Why Do Students Wait to Take the NCLEX®?
- 25%: Not feeling confident they will pass
- 15%: General test anxiety
- 15%: ATT expired
- 6%: Not feeling they had the time to study
Look at each of those reasons . . . I think they all boil down to CONFIDENCE
In order to feel confident in yourself you need to do two things:
- Put in the time to study and learn all you can
- Move on past failure and let it go
If you put in the work that is required . . . you will feel confident in your ability and the work you have done. As you learn to move past failure you will become free of your past and find the strength to keep moving toward your goal.
You already made it through nursing school . . . DO NOT give up now!
A Quick Word on NCLEX® Pass Rates
86% of first time US educated test takers pass on their first attempt. Your chances of failing are only about 14%. If you do . . who gives a damn. . . get back out there and schedule the test for a second shot.
45% of US educated repeat test takers pass. So you still have a great shot of passing on your second attempt . . . and you know what? If you don’t . . .get back out there and do it again.
Rather than asking: “How many times can you take the NCLEX?”
Try to rephrase that question to: “What can I do to pass the NCLEX on the next attempt?”
At the risk of sounding overly simplified let me just urge you to get your mind in the right place going into the test. The more time you spend being worried about failing the more you are going to second guess yourself. Focus on passing and you will find your entire mindset changed.
My NCLEX Story
I have to be honest . . . I stressed about passing the NCLEX® quite a bit during nursing school!
After all, my wife and I had moved across the country, sold our home, and gotten into an additional $40,000 of student loans for me to go to nursing school . . . how could I not at least THINK about how devastating it would be to fail.
What would happen if I had failed? Was I going to have to redo nursing school? Would all that education be pointless?
We get a TON of emails from students who fail the NCLEX and consider giving up.
In fact, our most popular podcast episode was with Ashley . . . who failed 3 times before passing and getting a job at one of the top hospitals in the country.
Here are just a couple excerpts from emails we get from students struggling to pass: