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Capping the Amount of Times You Can Take the NCLEX


I know this is going to be a wildly unpopular post but let me play devils advocate here. Nurses have a huge amount of responsibility in their jobs. Our career requires a high level of intellect, knowledge base, and skill level. That's why its such a respected profession, requires a professional license, and is worth the higher salaries. I think that there should be really high qualifications and expectations in order to gain an RN license. I didn't feel that the NCLEX was really all that difficult. I realize that some excellent nurses are not great test-takers, that some have learning disabilities, and test-anxiety so of course people should get multiple opportunities to pass the exam. But come on needing 10+ times to pass the NCLEX I think is a signal that maybe it isn't for you. There are certainly many other health care options to work in then RN. Do others agree that maybe limiting the amount of times you can take the NCLEX to 5 or maybe even 3 is one way to ensure that people entering into the profession are on the level necessary to represent all nurses well. Would you like a nurse working on you that needed 10+ times to pass that exam? I really don't mean to put anyone down but I think it's a valid discussion for our profession to be taken more seriously...

I agree with you completely, and some states do limit the number of times an individual can sit the NCLEX before having to do some kind of remediation/further study.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I agree -- though I would allow for the possibility of additional re-takes if the person went back to school and got additional education.

I know some really great nurses who failed the exam on their first try and believe that people can learn from that experience and should be given a 2nd chance -- maybe even a 3rd chance. But after that, some additional education should be required. At that point, there is obviously some deficiency that needs to be properly diagnosed and corrected.

Flame away.

I agree, I think 3 shots is fair. In my opinion, more than that indicates some sort of deficit that needs to be addressed before licensure.