Is the RN NCLEX Harder Than the LPN NCLEX? Personal Sharing

Explore the intensity of RN NCLEX vs LPN NCLEX - find out which nursing exam poses the greater challenge and why the RN NCLEX often takes the lead.

Ready to become a nurse? You’ll need to pass the NCLEX first.

Let’s break it down: there’s the NCLEX-RN for future registered nurses and the NCLEX-PN for practical nurses. Knowing the difference can help you study better and make smart choices for your career. We’re here to show you how these tests compare and share tips to help you get ready. If you’re wondering about these nursing exams, we’ve got your back!

Comparative Analysis

NCLEX-RN vs. NCLEX-PN: What’s Different?

Let’s look at how these two exams stack up side by side:

FocusFor registered nursesFor practical nurses
Length75-265 questions85-205 questions
TimeUp to 6 hoursUp to 5 hours
What’s on it?More complex careEveryday nursing tasks
ScenariosTricky casesDirect care situations

We see that the NCLEX-RN covers more ground, asking nurses to make tough calls. The NCLEX-PN is more about the nursing jobs you’ll do day in, day out.

How Exam Difficulty Shapes Your Nursing Future

Passing the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN can set you on different nursing paths. Nail the RN test, and you might head into specialties or leadership. Ace the PN exam, and you’re looking at hands-on care in places like nursing homes or clinics.

Your choice matters because it opens different doors for your future in nursing.

Will Milton

Getting You Ready for the Job

Both the RN and PN tests prep you for the real nursing world. The RN exam gets you ready for big responsibilities, while the PN test makes sure you’re up to speed with day-to-day patient care. They keep the exams fresh, so you know you’re learning what you need to take great care of your patients.

Is the LPN NCLEX Harder Than the RN?

Image source: Zippia

Hey there! If you’re wondering about the nurse tests, you’re not alone. We’ve looked at both the RN and LPN exams to help you out.

What’s on the Tests?

The RN test has more questions and you get more time. You might answer from 75 up to 265 questions, and it could take six hours. For the LPN test, you’ll see between 85 to 205 questions and have five hours max.

Both tests get harder or easier as you answer questions.

Which Exam is Trickier?

The RN exam asks about tougher stuff. You’ve got to know about leading a team and taking care of sick people in more serious ways. The LPN exam sticks to the everyday nurse jobs. For the RN, you’ll need to really think through some tough situations.

What’s Special About the LPN Test?

The NCLEX-PN checks if you know your stuff for jobs that LPNs usually do. You’ve got to know how to take care of patients and work with doctors and nurses. The test makes sure you can handle the real deal at work.

Passing the Tests

More people pass the LPN test on the first try than the RN test. About 88 out of 100 folks pass the RN exam, and around 86 out of 100 pass the LPN. These numbers change a bit every year though.

What Do Nurses Say?

Nurses who took both say the RN one is the big challenge. Teachers agree, telling us you’ve got to hit the books hard for the RN exam.

Some people who just took the LPN test say it’s pretty tough. It’s all about how much you studied and if you know what LPNs do at work. If you hit the books and understand the job, you’ll have a better shot at passing.

The RN exam does seem a bit tougher because it covers more and digs deeper. But don’t sweat it! Study well and you can nail either test.

Dr. Cheryl Ross

Do RNs and LPNs take the same NCLEX?


We get asked a lot if RNs and LPNs sit for the same nursing exam. The short answer is no, they don’t. RNs have their own test, the NCLEX-RN, and LPNs take the NCLEX-PN. These exams are like two different keys, each unlocking its own door to a nursing career.

You can read more information in Do LPN and RN Take the Same NCLEX?

Our goal is to make things clear for you. We want you to feel ready and excited to take on whichever nursing exam fits your dream job!

How hard is it to pass the LPN NCLEX exam?

Source: NCLEX website

Let’s get right to it—you want to know if the LPN NCLEX exam is tough. In plain talk, about 7 out of 10 folks pass on their first try. But it’s not the same for everyone, and it can change based on where you live and where you studied.

Good study habits make a big difference. If you hit the books regularly and use the right study guides, you’re on a good track. Knowing how to take a test is also a big deal. If you can keep cool and manage your time well, you’re more likely to do better. And don’t let nerves get the best of you—staying chill can help a lot.

My experiences: the LPN NCLEX might seem tough, but if you keep at it and use the right tools, you can totally pass. Keep your head in the game, use these tricks, and you’ll be set to ace it.

What is the hardest nursing exam?

Many folks in the nursing world say the test for Registered Nurses, the RN NCLEX, is a real beast. But hold on, there’s more to the story.

Some tests, like those for nurse specialists who work in surgery or with heart patients, are super tough, too. These exams are like climbing a mountain – they need a lot of brain power and know-how.

So, how do we figure out which one’s the toughest? We look at things like how many people pass, what the test asks you to know, and how tricky the questions are. But hey, what’s tough for you might not be for someone else. It’s all about what clicks in your brain and how you’ve been practicing.

Speaking of practice, that’s the secret sauce. Knowing what you’re good at and what you need to work on can make any test feel less scary. Making a study plan that fits you like your favorite pair of sneakers can really help you nail it. For some, the RN NCLEX might seem harder because it covers a lot of ground, but if you’re going for the LPN test, you’ve got your own mountains to climb.


The RN NCLEX and the LPN NCLEX both test important nursing skills. Yet, they are not the same test. They each have their own tough parts. We found that the RN NCLEX might seem harder because it covers more topics. But the LPN NCLEX also has its own tricky areas, especially for practical nursing.

As we answer the big question, it’s not just about which test is harder. It’s about the different skills RNs and LPNs need. Remember, every nursing student is unique. What one finds tough, another might not. It’s all about how you get ready for the test and how well you know the stuff.