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How Many Times Can I Fail the NCLEX®? (plus practice questions)

how many times can i take the nclex

Struggling in nursing school? will skyrocket your grades 🚀

Did you know that over 80,000 nursing students FAIL the NCLEX every year!?!?!?!


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?

This is the problem we set out to solve at NRSNG (in fact we built NRSNG Academy around solving that problem).

One of the best ways you can insure success is to take a TON of NCLEX questions . . . and I mean a ton.  Like up to 50-100 a day in the weeks leading up to the test.

NPQ (Nursing Practice Questions™)

NPQ is the largest database of practice NCLEX questions online and built by our team of NCSBN trained NCLEX question writers.

With more than 4,500+ questions with detailed rationales in various nursing categories it will become your best friend in nursing school.

Try NPQ for Free

My 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:

how many times can i fail the nclex


what is the limit for taking the nclex maximum attempts 2016-01-09 13-59-12 how did you pass the nclex


RELATED ARTICLE: Ep47: How to Dissect an NCLEX® Question


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

A quick note:

Each state Board of Nursing can have additional standards so it is important to consult your board individually.  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 you own BON.

How Soon Should I Take the NCLEX® After Graduating?

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.

Why Do Students Wait to Take the NCLEX®?

There are basically main 4 reasons that nursing students delay taking the NCLEX®.  According to this study they are:

  • 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:

  1. Put in the time to study and learn all you can
  2. 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!


RELATED ARTICLE: Ep151: What I Learned Failing the NCLEX® 3 Times (RN . . . More Than an Abbreviation)


NCLEX® Practice Questions

One of the best ways to gain confidence is to see yourself succeeding.

When it comes to the beast . . . the best way to see your self succeed is to take as many practice questions as you can get your hands on.

To help you with this we have released our massive datebase of practice questions for you to practice.

It’s called Nursing Practice Questsions (NPQ) feel free to give it a try.

Try NPQ for Free

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 word about failing the more you are going to second guess yourself.  Focus on passing and you will find your entire mindset changed.


don't give up on nursing school

I Want to Hear from You!

Are you feeling defeated?  Reach out to us . . . let us know whats going on.

Leave a comment below or on one of our social media accounts:

Facebook/YouTube/Instagram: @nrsng

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