NCLEX-RN Test Plan: A guide for registered nurses

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN®) has published the "2010 NCLEX-RN® Detailed Test Plan" and has posted it to its Web site at

Entry into the practice of nursing is regulated by the licensing authorities within each of the NCSBN member board jurisdictions (state, commonwealth and territorial boards of nursing). To ensure public protection, each jurisdiction requires candidates to pass an examination that measures the competencies needed to perform safely and effectively as a newly licensed, entry-level registered nurse (RN). NCSBN develops the licensure examination, the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®), which is used by member board jurisdictions to assist in making licensure decisions.

The purpose of this document, which is offered in both an Item Writer/Item Reviewer/Nurse Educator version and a Candidate version, is to serve as a guide for both examination development and candidate preparation. Based on the test plans, each unique NCLEX-RN Examination reflects the knowledge, skills and abilities essential for the prospective RN to meet the needs of clients requiring the promotion, maintenance and restoration of health.

The NCLEX-RN Test Plan is evaluated every three years and changes are made based on empirical data from a practice analysis, expert judgment and feedback from member boards. The test plan was approved by the NCSBN Delegate Assembly in August and will go into effect on April 1, 2010.

In addition to the NCLEX-RN Examination, NCSBN also develops and administers the National Council Licensure Examination for Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (NCLEX-PN®). A total of more than 250,000 NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN Examinations are administered each year to individuals in its member board jurisdictions and at testing sites in 11 countries.



Posted in: Healthcare News




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