The NCLEX or the National Council Licensure Examination is the nationwide licensure examination for nurses in the USA and Canada. It is developed and administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc.
To ensure licensed nurses are at par with the standards required to protect public health, there are exams for registered nurses and practical nurses depending on the level of education.
In order to comply with social distancing measures imposed by local health and government authorities, Pearson VUE had to unschedule some NCLEX appointments.
This may have caused some alarm to aspiring nurses in the USA and Canada, but here’s a guide for your next steps.
Rescheduling Your NCLEX Exam
While the demand for health professionals continues to grow because of this pandemic, NCLEX testing has been interrupted to ensure the health and safety of candidates. Frontliners are already at risk due to the pandemic and they aim to curb the spread with these safety measures.
NCSBN is working with Pearson VUE to reopen some test centers for licensure exams in critical healthcare fields to meet the increasing demand for professionals.
They also prepared an FAQ to answer any and all concerns regarding the NCLEX.
If you received an email that your NCLEX Exam has been unscheduled, don’t panic. Your Authorization To Test has also been extended for another six months!
Log into your Pearson VUE account as soon as possible to reschedule your appointment for the next available time or date. Regardless of the nursing regulatory body you wish to apply or register for, you can take your exam at any test center closest to you.
You can find which test centers and schedules are available when you log into your Pearson VUE account. Due to the high volume of emails and calls the NCSBN is receiving, it’s better to check the web page.
How COVID-19 Will Affect the NCLEX
First and foremost, candidates will be required to bring and wear their own face masks to the testing center. You must keep it on for the entire duration of your testing appointment but you will be asked to remove it briefly during the check-in process to take the required candidate photo.
Candidates may risk getting turned away if they do not have masks upon arrival.
As standard, candidates will still be given the opportunity to take scheduled breaks. One is after two hours and again after three hours, plus any unscheduled breaks. However, all breaks count against testing time so plan your breaks accordingly!
In order to maximize the number of candidates testing per day, the exam has been modified to be shorter. It has been thoroughly tested so it’s not more difficult than the standard exam and candidates are tested fairly.
If you require any accommodations for your NCLEX, you may continue to request it with your NRB. However, there may be delays and limits in availability for those who require personal assistance (i.e. reader, records, sign language interpreter) in order to comply with social distancing measures imposed by the government. Extra time accommodations will still be available.
In the event that your identification (ID) has expired and you have no other means to renew it at this time, you will be accepted to test if it meets the following criteria: government-issued, has your name in Roman characters, and with recent photograph and signature.
Nursing Regulatory Bodies will continue to process and approve any applications for their ATT or Authorization to Test. The release date for results also depends upon them, so make sure to contact the NRB for the state or territory you are applying for.