Are you an Australian nurse or nursing student preparing to take the NCLEX-RN Exam?
If you’re freaking out and have a tonne of questions, stop stressing!
We’re here to help! Read our ultimate guide to everything you need to know about the NCLEX-RN Exam!
What is the NCLEX-RN Exam?
NCLEX stands for National Council Licensure Examination, and RN stands for registered nurse. The NCLEX-RN Exam is a standardised test that assesses your knowledge and skills as a registered nurse. It’s designed to test your ability to provide safe and effective care to patients in various healthcare settings.
For anyone looking to pursue a nursing career in Australia, you’ll one day have to complete the NCLEX-RN Exam.
Is the NCLEX-RN Exam Mandatory in Australia?
Yes, the NCLEX-RN Exam is mandatory if you want to become a registered nurse in Australia. It is a requirement of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), which is responsible for the registration and accreditation of healthcare professionals in Australia.
When Do You Need to Complete the NCLEX-RN Exam?
How Do You Register for the NCLEX-RN Exam?
- To apply for the NCLEX-RN Exam, you need to register with Pearson VUE, which is the company that administers the exam.
- You can register online or by phone, but be prepared to provide some basic information about yourself, including your name, address, and nursing qualifications.
- Once you have successfully registered, you will be required to pay the exam fee and schedule your exam date and location. The fee for the NCLEX-RN Exam is currently $300 AUD.
- Important note: there are no refunds for the NCLEX-RN Exam, so make sure you’re confident you can attend the date and place that you book.
What Questions are in the NCLEX-RN Exam?
For those who hate writing in exams, you’ll be glad to know the NCLEX-RN Exam consists of only multiple-choice questions!
What many people find unusual is that the length of the exam can differ, with a range of 75-265 questions. The questions are designed to test your knowledge and skills in four key areas of nursing, including:
- Safe and effective care environment
- Management of care
- Safety and infection control
- Health promotion and maintenance
- Psychosocial integrity
- Physiological integrity
- Basic care and comfort
- Pharmacological and parenteral therapies
- Reduction of risk potential
- Physiological adaptation
As you can see, the NCLEX-RN Exam requires a wide variety of nursing-specific knowledge and critical thinking skills.
Another thing you may find unusual about the exam is that the questions are computer-adaptive. This means the difficulty level of the questions will be adjusted based on your answers.
If you answer a question correctly, the next question will be slightly more difficult, and if you answer a question incorrectly, the next question will be slightly easier. This helps tailor the test to showcase your true ability.
Because harder questions theoretically take longer to complete, a harder exam may have fewer questions, but all exams can only go for a maximum of six hours.
How Should You Prepare for the NCLEX-RN Exam?
We don’t blame you for being nervous about the NCLEX-RN Exam. It’s perfectly normal! But with the right approach, you can increase your chances of success and walk in feeling confident. Here are some tips on how to prepare for the exam.
1. Learn the Format
Familiarise yourself with the format of the exam. The NCLEX-RN Exam is based on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) test plan, which outlines the content areas that will be covered in the exam.
Knowing what to expect when it’s time to turn that first page will give you a huge advantage because you’ll save time having to orient yourself with the exam format.
2. Use Review Materials
There are many review materials available to help you prepare for the NCLEX-RN Exam, including textbooks, review courses, and practice tests. Choose materials that are reputable and that have been recommended by other nurses or nursing students.
The more practice questions you do, the more comfortable you will be with the types of questions that will be asked. Practice questions will also help you identify areas where you need to improve.
4. Develop a Study Plan
Create a study plan that outlines your study schedule, the materials you will use, and the topics you need to review. Stick to your study plan and stay focused.
Also, whatever you do, avoid cramming at all costs. The topics are too broad for you to absorb all the information in the days before the exam. Instead, start studying a long way out and only book the exam when you feel ready.
5. Join a Study Group
If you struggle to keep yourself accountable to an individual study plan, joining a study group can be a great way to prepare for the NCLEX-RN Exam. You can share study materials, discuss difficult concepts, and receive support and encouragement from other nursing students or nurses.
Just be wary of your personality type. If studying with others is more likely to lead to socialising than learning, you might find it easier to study alone.
6. Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of your physical and mental health is important when preparing for the NCLEX-RN Exam. Make sure you get enough sleep, exercise, and eat a healthy diet.
7. Stay Positive
Anxiety is a normal reaction to an important exam. Being a nurse is worth it, and a healthy fear of failing the exam is expected. Just don’t let your nervousness and stress reach unhealthy levels.
Always try to stay positive and confident. Remember, you have worked hard to get to this point, and you have the knowledge and skills to succeed. You’ve got this!
8. Be Prepared on Exam Day
Arrive early, bring a good pen or pencil, and if you aren’t sure how long it will take to get to the exam venue, try doing a test drive the day before.
Also consider the driving conditions you’ll face on the day, like school zones or peak traffic. There’s nothing worse than walking into an exam after stressing about being late!
Have You Considered a Nursing Agency after You Pass?
Nurses Now is a nursing agency that prides itself on our incredible team and the outstanding care they provide.
If you’re about to become a registered nurse, there is no more exciting place to work than for a leading nursing agency.
We offer opportunities to help in the places where you are most needed and to learn skills across different teams and workplaces. If you, or someone you know, would be a good fit, we’re always looking for new nurses to join our family.