How Different is the PN-NCLEX From the RN-NCLEX?

  1. I'm wondering because I'm just finishing up my 3rd semester of 4 in an ADN program. We've obviously been focussing our learning to the RN-NCLEX. I'm thinking of taking the PN-NCLEX on a whim, as we are eligable after completion of 3rd semester. However, virtually NOTHING has been said to us about the PN-NCLEX other than a small note telling us we're eligable on a bulletin board at school. I'm thinking it would be good practice for me in preparation for the RN-NCLEX. (Yes, I know it costs about $190 to take it.) How different are the questions for the PN vs. The RN test?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   ann945n
    I have been wondering this myself since I am in the same position you are, I can take it this summer if i want before i finish up my last semester.
  4. by   fultzymom
    I think that the RN questions required more knowledge of delegation, which patient would you see first, prioritizing, ect. I had some medication questions that I had not heard of. In general it was a lot harder than the PN boards were. I walked out of the RN boards crying my eyes out because I knew there was no way that I could have passed that test. I felt generally ok with the PN boards. It could be practice though for how the test works, practice questions, ect. A lot of money though for practice.
  5. by   tutored
    fultzymom, dd you pass?
  6. by   fultzymom
    Quote from tutored
    fultzymom, dd you pass?
    I did pass :hatparty: et have been working for about 3 years now in LTC as the RN Supervisor et now I do MDS.
  7. by   tutored
    congratulations! (Late!) (I'm scheduled to graduate at the end of this year)....every nurse I've talked to so far felt at the end of the NCLEX that they failed it!
  8. by   crissrn27
    Everyone, I think, feels like they failed the NCLEX right after. I took LPN NCLEX and RN NCLEX a few months later and I found that PN test had a lot of skills type questions and RN had more critical thinking, delegation type stuff. But that was a while ago!
  9. by   Myxel67
    My favorite med-surg teacher advised us not to take the LPN exam. She said it was geared more to how rather than why and could make the NCLEX more difficult since it takes a different mindset. I followed her advice and found the NCLEX to be a piece of cake. I know people hate to hear that, but after all the poorly written confusing exams I took in nursing school, the NCLEX questions seemed clear, straightforward, and easy.
  10. by   suzanne4
    The scope of practice covered in each exam is quite different. They both use different books for the reviews. I still do not advise anyone to take the PN exam if they are going to be done with their RN program in the next year or less than that.

    Reasoning why:

    Skill sets are different for the RN, and you will get more experience doing an externship or a summer preceptorship under an RN than as the LPN. You also must complete an orientation as the LPN, before you can start working as an LPN. Some facilities have orientations that are a month of more and they are not going to want to put someone thru that if they are not going to be staying in that position.

    Many hospitals are no longer hiring LPNs/LVNs, so you will be in a nursing home and the orientations are not usually what they need to be.

    Best experience that you can get is in an actual program that was designed for student externs, usually a specialty area, and that gives you a headstart on getting a job offer there, if you want it. You will already be familiar with the facility, as well as the manager. Have seen many new grads get positions in ER, ICU this way over the other candidates.

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    It is not just the license fee that you need to pay for, but also for the exam itself. All told, usually about $400. And you can usually get about the same pay as a nurse extern as you do as a new grad PN that is just starting.
  11. by   scrubsnhugsRN
    My program required me to take my LPN boards prior to going through the RN school year. The PN boards was not horrible, the Rn nclex was very hard ugh.....thank god it is over!
  12. by   kukukajoo
    Quote from suzanne4
    The scope of practice covered in each exam is quite different. They both use different books for the reviews. I still do not advise anyone to take the PN exam if they are going to be done with their RN program in the next year or less than that.

    Reasoning why:

    Skill sets are different for the RN, and you will get more experience doing an externship or a summer preceptorship under an RN than as the LPN. You also must complete an orientation as the LPN, before you can start working as an LPN. Some facilities have orientations that are a month of more and they are not going to want to put someone thru that if they are not going to be staying in that position.

    Many hospitals are no longer hiring LPNs/LVNs, so you will be in a nursing home and the orientations are not usually what they need to be.

    Best experience that you can get is in an actual program that was designed for student externs, usually a specialty area, and that gives you a headstart on getting a job offer there, if you want it. You will already be familiar with the facility, as well as the manager. Have seen many new grads get positions in ER, ICU this way over the other candidates.

    --------------------
    It is not just the license fee that you need to pay for, but also for the exam itself. All told, usually about $400. And you can usually get about the same pay as a nurse extern as you do as a new grad PN that is just starting.
    Extern programs here in NH pay less than half the salary of a LPN position and all hospitals in this area use LPN's as well.

    Another option our instructor told us about: get your GPN but don't set for the test. You can work all summer and in 120 days it will just expire and then you will be back in school.

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