Do LPNs Take The NCLEX? A Short Answer

Yes! Like all nurses, LPNs must take the NCLEX-PN (a test version specifically designed for them) to become licensed. 
nclex candidates

Are you considering a career as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)? Are you wondering: “Do LPNs take the NCLEX?” As someone who has explored the intricacies of the nursing profession, I had this question when I first started, too. 

In this post, I will break down this commonly asked question and unravel the answer. Dive in now to get more details!

What Are LPNs? 

LPNs stand for Licensed Practical Nurses. They are also known as Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) in some states. They are professionals who provide basic nursing care under the supervision of RNs (Registered Nurses) or doctors. 

Their duties often include administering medication, taking vital signs, changing dressings, and assisting with personal hygiene. LPNs may work in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, physicians’ offices, extended care facilities, and private healthcare homes. 

Do LPNs Take The NCLEX?

The short answer is yes! LPNs have to take the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX Practical Nurse, a version of the NCLEX designed explicitly for practical nurses.

This exam tests the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for effective and safe entry-level nursing practice. This exam is administered by NCSBN (the National Council of State Boards of Nursing). 

Once you have completed your LPN training program, you are eligible for the NCLEX-PN. You must pass this exam to obtain licensure and practice as an LPN. 

I have successfully passed this exam, and I want to share my experience to help you understand the NCLEX better. 

The Format Of The NCLEX For LPNs

The NCLEX for LPNs (or NCLEX-PN) is a computer-adaptive test that adjusts to the test taker’s ability, so each exam is unique. 

The exam varies in length, from 85 to 205 questions. The test covers four major areas:

  • Health Promotion and Maintenance
  • Physiological Integrity
  • Psychosocial Integrity
  • Safe and Effective Care Environment. 
Exam format

The Process For LPNs Taking The NCLEX

If LPNs want to take the NCLEX, they must complete a state-approved practical nursing program

Next, they must apply for licensure with their state board of nursing, register for the NCLEX with Pearson VUE, and then schedule their exam. On the exam day, test-takers must answer questions on a computer within 5 hours. 

Questions On The NCLEX For LPNs

The NCLEX-PN consists of multiple-choice questions, ordered responses, fill-in-the-blank, and calculations. 

The difficulty of the questions adjusts based on the candidate’s performance throughout the test. The questions are designed to assess the candidate’s ability to apply knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the above mentioned four areas. 

Requirements For LPNs To Take NCLEX

To sit for NCLEX-PN, you must complete a state-approved practical nursing program. The specific prerequisites for these programs may vary by state and institution but typically include:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent.
  • A background check.
  • Specific prerequisite courses in physiology and anatomy. 

Once the nursing program is completed, you must apply for licensure with your state board of nursing, determining your eligibility for the NCLEX.

Requirements to take the NCLEX

Importance Of LPNs Taking The NCLEX

Taking the NCLEX is a requisite step towards becoming an LPN. It’s a standard measure to ensure you have the requisite skills and knowledge to provide safe and effective care. 

As an LPN, you must pass the NCLEX-PN to demonstrate your competence. This step also opens the door to a rewarding career in nursing. 

How To Pass The NCLEX As An LPN?

The NCLEX exam may be daunting for first-time test takers. So, I would like to share my strategies to help you prepare and pass the exam.

1. Understand The NCLEX Test 

As shared above, the test uses a unique computer-adaptive testing model, adjusting the difficulty of the questions based on your previous answers. Familiarize yourself with this format and understand the categories of questions you will solve in the test. 

2. Stay Focused

You may easily get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of information to study. So, prioritize your studies and avoid distractions. Remember, the goal is to understand and retain information, not just skim through it. 

3. Apply Memorization Techniques

Techniques like visualization, association, and repetition can aid in retaining complex medical terminologies and procedures. Moreover, mnemonic devices are helpful in nursing studies and your NCLEX preparation. 

4. Follow A Schedule

I recommend creating a study schedule that allocates time for each subject area, rest, and revision. You must stick to this schedule religiously. It also helps you reduce stress and increase productivity. 

5. Learn The Materials

The NCLEX tests critical thinking and decision-making skills, not just factual recall. So, you must understand the topics rather than apply rote memorization. 

6. Practice Questions

Regularly attempting practice questions can help you familiarize yourself with the exam format and improve your time management skills.

7. Join A Study Group

A study group provides a platform to discuss complex topics, helping you learn from other perspectives and gain moral support. 

8. Use Test-Prep Resources

You can use online and offline test-prep resources like NCLEX review books, online courses, and practice tests. These resources provide targeted guidance and simulated exam experience in your preparation.

Study strategies

The Bottom Line

Do LPNs take the NCLEX? Yes! Like all nurses, LPNs must take the NCLEX-PN (a test version specifically designed for them) to become licensed. 

Are you preparing for this exam? Share your challenges with me in the comments below! I’m here to support you on your journey to becoming an LPN.