ielts or NCLEX first?

World International Nursing Q/A


I'm a recent graduate, and I already passed the 2008 PNLE. I am planning to start taking other tests but I am thinking what do take first.

Some of my batchmates are taking the NCLEX and others, IELTS first.

Any suggestions? Which is more difficult ielts or NCLEX?

20 Answers


36 Posts

If you have options to go to countries other other than US, it would be advisable to take IELTS first.

But if your target is really US, then take the NCLEX first.

Why? Because in countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand, IELTS is the initial requirement for you application to processed. In the US, it's the NCLEX.


52 Posts

Based on my experience, you should take NCLEX first, because it is more difficult - which would require you more time to review. IELTS only has a 2-year validity and it might expire while you're reviewing/waiting for your eligibility/waiting for CGFNS issue the CES. But if you're targeting other countries, other than US, go for IELTS first.

Don't apply for California state as initial licensure though, because it only gives a 3-year validity for your NCLEX result unless you give them a Social Security Number (which is next to IMPOSSIBLE due to retrogression).

Hope this helps.


309 Posts

Specializes in medical surgical nursing, MAN-MSN.

Personally the NCLEX-RN was more difficult compared to the ielts.

Why not take the ielts since you have more choices on what country to apply to, just make sure your OBS is 7.

Then get your clinical experience.

IELTS is definitely easier than the NCLEX. I would recommend to focus on your NCLEX review first, while the knowledge is still fresh.


203 Posts

Specializes in Medical-Surgical, Orthopedics.

I would suggest you take the nclex first because ielts has only a two year validity from the time you took while nclex will not expire when you'll apply in state that does not need a SS number to be issued a license.


80 Posts

I did my NCLEX first, then after a month, the IELTS. I passed both.


5 Posts

I suggest that you take your NCLEX first since ielts result expires after 2 years. One at a time to attain your goal.


28 Posts

Well, if you take the ielts first, and get an OBS of all 7, it will give you more options other than US. Such as NZ, AUS, etc.

It also costs less than NCLEX, and is not too long of a process. It will also test if you're really up to work in US, since there are certain ielts scores you need to get.

If you passed the NCLEX, it won't be of use if you can't even get a passing ielts OBS.

If you really want to take NCLEX, because you have already the money and you're fresh from a review class, its your call. It will take some time to process it depending on what state you want to take it from. Good luck!


28 Posts

If you have the money then, and well prepared to take the Nclex.. it's youre' call....remmember it will take sometime to process while... taking the ielts won't be too long and less it would bring you more options other than the US, if you get an OBS of 7... to countries like NZ,,,...Good luck!!!

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

I would go for the English exams first, especially now. This will at least give you the one of the requirements that are needed to go to another country to work.

Even if you pass the NCLEX exam now, you are looking at more than five years before you will have a chance at a green card. It is not going to make any difference if you write the exam in a few months or next year. Things are very tight in the US now, going to be almost impossible to find an employer at this time. English skills should be perfect as well when applying for a job, best to get the English done first.

A year ago things were quite different than they are now. Have you also written and passed the NLE? That is going to be needed by many states as well as every other foreign country wants to see proof of passing and you did not mention that.

Best of luck to you.


20 Posts

I agree, if you're going to the US, then take nclex first because most of the states don't require ielts as long as you come from a school where the language taught was in english and the books used were in english as well.


143 Posts

for me if you have the money go for NCLEX ,, but if you're working in a hospital as of the moment its more practical to take the ielts first! CNADA, NEWZEALAND and IRELAND requires that plus hospital experience,,if you dont have a u.s passport or a visa in my own opinion NCLEX exam is not worth the investment the wait is very long.

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