The National Council Licensure Examination, also known as the NCLEX, is an exam provided to ensure that you are competent and ready to provide safe practice as a nurse.

The NCLEX is nerve-wracking for many reasons. Let’s start off with the fact that it costs $200 every time you take it. You don’t even have a nursing salary yet and they expect you to shell out $200 worth to answer 76-265 questions? Yikes!

Nursing Tips to survive taking the NCLEX

  1. Don’t cram everything in two weeks.
    The recommended study time is 6-8 weeks. The longer you put the NCLEX off, the more you’re digging yourself a hole and overdoing it.
    You can get the FREE nursing calendar of the NCLEX study plan here!
  2. Put real time aside.
    Ask family/friends/babysitter to provide assistance to watch your kids so you can focus.
    Take time away from socializing and celebrate when the NCLEX is over!
    Turn off electronic devices and step away from any distractions so that you can focus.
  3. Answer practice NCLEX questions.
    Do one chapter per day. (Cardiovascular Monday, Respiratory Tuesday, Neurology Wednesday, etc.) Review every single rationale.
  4. Show up early to the NCLEX exam.
    Remove one less stress by not rushing to the exam. Get a nice breakfast, but don’t drink too much before the NCLEX exam. You don’t want to keep going to the bathroom every 15 minutes while you’re taking the NCLEX.
  5. Should you review before the NCLEX?
    I would be a hypocrite if I said I didn’t. I reviewed and passed in 75 questions. I only reviewed the alerts that I wanted to keep fresh in my mind, the labs, and quick pharmacology. Mind you, I was two hours early to my NCLEX. I also was relaxed going into my NCLEX. If reviewing is going to stress you out more, don’t do it.

NCLEX Content Distribution

Subcategory Safe and Effective Care Environment

  • Management of Care 17-23%
  • Safety and Infection Control 9-15%

Health Promotion and Maintenance 6-12%

Psychosocial Integrity 6-12%

Physiological Integrity

  • Basic Care and Comfort 6-12%
  • Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies 12-18% „ Reduction of Risk Potential 9-15%
  • Physiological Adaptation 11-17%


Chart is credited to NCSBN.ORG

Everything is effective April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2019

You can get the entire NCLEX-RN Test Plan here.

You can get the detailed test plan for the NCLEX-RN Candidate version here.

The PN Test Plans are effective April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2020

You can get the 2017 NCLEX-PN Test plan here.

You can get the detailed test plan of the 2017-NCLEX-PN here.