NCLEX Exam Cost & Payment: Cost Breakdown For 2024

Are you wondering about the NCLEX exam cost? In this guide, I’ll dive deep into this topic. We’ll chat about everything from registration fees to how you can pay and any other expenses you might encounter. 

This guide is all about helping you understand the financial side of things to plan and minimize surprises. Keep scrolling!

Type of FeeU.S. LicensureAustralian LicensureCanadian Registration/Licensure
Registration FeeUSD 200USD 200CAD 360 
Additional Scheduling FeeUSD 150
Change Regulatory Body FeeUSD 50Not ApplicableUSD 50
Change Exam Type FeeUSD 50Not ApplicableNot Applicable
Change Exam Language FeeNot ApplicableNot ApplicableUSD 50
Overall fee & payment for NCLEX

NCLEX Exam Cost

Generally, the registration fee for the NCLEX is around USD 200 (for US and Australian licensures) to USD 360, with additional costs for international scheduling, change of exam type & language, and change of regulatory body. 

These fees ensure the smooth administration of the exam and cover administrative expenses associated with registration, scheduling, and processing of exam results. Let’s break them down!

1. Registration Fee

The NCLEX Registration Fee changes depending on where you’re trying to get your nursing license. 

For people aiming for US licensure, the fee is  USD 200. This covers the cost of signing up for the exam, which is the same for candidates going for Australian licensure.

However, if you’re seeking Canadian licensure, it’s a bit pricier at CAD 360, not including local taxes.

research for nclex fee

2. International Fee

The NCLEX international fee is USD 150. This fee is for people who need to take the NCLEX in a country outside the United States, Canada, and Australia.

This fee includes renting the testing center, paying people to supervise the exam, and ensuring everything runs smoothly for test takers.

If you’re outside the main testing countries and want to schedule your NCLEX, you must pay this fee on top of the regular registration fee. 

3. Change Regulatory Body Fee

The Change Regulatory Body Fee is for candidates who switch their chosen nursing regulatory body after registering for the NCLEX. 

If you’re aiming for US licensure, this fee is USD 50. It’s the same for those getting Canadian licensure. Yet, candidates going for Australian licensure don’t have to pay this fee. This fee helps cover the costs of processing changes to your regulatory body choice. 

Let’s say you originally picked one regulatory body but later decided to change to another. In that case, you’d pay this fee to update your information and ensure your exam results go to the right place.

regist nclex test

4. Change Exam Type Fee

If you originally registered to take the NCLEX-RN but later decided you wanted to take the NCLEX-PN instead, you’d have to pay this fee to make the switch.

For candidates getting U.S. licensure, this fee is USD 50. However, this fee doesn’t apply to candidates seeking licensure in Canada or Australia.

5. Change Exam Language Fee

This fee is relevant for candidates who need to switch the language of their exam after registering. This fee varies depending on the country where you get licensure. 

The fee is USD 50 for candidates getting Canadian licensure, while it doesn’t apply to candidates in the United States or Australia.

For example, you initially registered for the NCLEX in English but later realized you’d prefer to take it in French. In that case, you’d need to pay this fee to make the switch.

Factors Affecting NCLEX Exam Costs

checklist cost

Factors influencing NCLEX costs can vary based on multiple factors such as location, preparation resources, and considerations for retake attempts. These elements are essential as you plan and budget for your NCLEX journey.

Location

The cost of the NCLEX exam differs depending on where candidates intend to take the exam. 

As I mentioned, registering for the exam in the US costs around USD 200. Additional charges may apply if candidates need to change their exam type or language post-registration, with each change costing approximately USD 50. Thus, the total cost for US licensure could be approximately USD 250.

In Canada, the registration fee for the exam is usually around CAD 360. Candidates may also incur extra charges of around USD 50 for each change in exam type or language, resulting in a total cost of approximately CAD 410.

International candidates outside the US or Canada typically face a base registration fee of about USD 150. 

Additional expenses for changes in exam type or language may apply. Moreover, candidates may need to account for supplementary costs such as travel and accommodation expenses.

Preparation Resources

The NCLEX exam preparation resources’ costs can significantly impact candidates’ overall expenses.

You may invest in study materials like textbooks, review guides, and online resources. Prices for study materials can range from USD 50 to USD 300 or more, depending on the type and quality of resources.

Many candidates opt for review courses offered by educational institutions or private providers to enhance their exam readiness. Review courses may cost anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars, depending on duration, content, and provider.

Besides, you may use practice exams and question banks. While some resources offer free practice questions, others may charge fees ranging from USD 50 to USD 200 for comprehensive question banks and simulated exams.

Retake Considerations

You must also consider the potential costs associated with retaking the exam. Each retake of the exam requires you to pay the registration fee again, which could be USD 200 or more.

Also, you may need to invest in extra preparation resources or review courses for retake attempts to address areas of weakness and improve your chances of success. 

Lastly, failing this exam can lead to delays in obtaining licensure, resulting in potential lost income and career opportunities. 

So, you should consider the financial implications of prolonged delays in licensure and factor this into your overall exam cost.

How To Pay NCLEX Fees?

charge fee

To pay NCLEX fees, you can follow a straightforward process outlined by the NCLEX website. You have the option to register online or over the phone. 

If registering over the phone, ensure you have an email account and a valid debit/credit/prepaid card ready for payment. You must ensure you have the necessary funds available to complete the transaction.

Once payment is successfully processed, you will receive confirmation of your exam registration. You should carefully review the confirmation details to ensure accuracy.

Refunds Policy

The NCLEX has a strict refund policy that states there will be no refunds of registration fees under any circumstances. 

This policy applies to various situations, including duplicate registrations, rescheduling failure or cancellation outside 24 hours (business hours), and appearing failure for the exam. 

Firstly, you’re not allowed to have more than an inactive application for an exam. So, if you inadvertently register for the exam multiple times, you will not receive a refund for the duplicate registration fees.

Secondly, failure to reschedule or cancel an exam outside of 24 hours before the scheduled appointment time will result in the forfeiture of the registration fees. So, you must properly manage your exam appointments and provide adequate notice for any changes.

Additionally, if you fail to appear for your scheduled exam, you will not be eligible for a refund of the registration fees. Furthermore, the refund policy extends to the international fee, stating that there are no refunds of this fee.

Source: NCLEX

Tips To Minimize NCLEX Exam Costs

cost

If you want to manage your budget efficiently while pursuing licensure, here are my tips:

  • Start planning for the exam well in advance to avoid last-minute expenses, research registration fees, study material costs, and other associated expenses to create a comprehensive budget.
  • Take advantage of free or low-cost NCLEX preparation resources available online. Look for free practice questions, study guides, and review materials to supplement your study plan without spending extra money.
  • Instead of purchasing expensive study materials, consider borrowing textbooks and review guides from friends, classmates, or local libraries. 
  • If you’re considering enrolling in a review course, compare prices from different providers to find the most cost-effective option. Look for discounts, promotions, or group rates that may help lower the overall cost of the course. 
  • Prioritize areas of weakness, utilize active learning techniques, and set realistic study goals to make the most of your study time.

Aim to pass the NCLEX on your first attempt to avoid the costs associated with retakes. Invest time and effort into thorough preparation to maximize your chances of success the first time around.

Wrap Up

Getting a handle on the NCLEX exam cost and how to pay for it is super important for anyone looking to become a nurse. With this guide, I’ve covered all the bases. 

Remember, planning financially is essential; now that you’ve got the lowdown, you’re ready to tackle the NCLEX confidently!