you can still sit for the NCLEX even if the school is not accredited by the national league of nursing. the only criteria for sitting for state boards is that the school is "approved" by that state board of nursing. here's a link.
when a new school of nursing starts up, it isn't automatically accredited by the NLN. i believe the time frame for accreditation is that the first graduating class must have a certain percentage of the students graduate and
pass state boards. after the criteria has been met, accreditation is retroactive.
i believe this is how it was explained to me by one of the instructors at the school. don't quote me though. :chuckle
our school is only 11 years old. yes, students took a risk in that first graduating class because the school may not have graduated the numbers needed for accreditation. but our ongoing success rate is 95% (went down this last year because 4 people didn't pass NCLEX on the first try) for the last 11 years with students passing the NCLEX on the first try. passing rate for second try is at 99%.
had accreditation not been granted but the program was approved by the state board of nursing, the students could have still taken the NCLEX. the catch comes when a student wishes to further his/her education by transferring to an accredited school. the training wouldn't transfer.
here's a link for a school that just went through the process:
this one also has a little info on the process: