when to take the nclex?


Im 7 weeks away from finishing my PN program and i want to take my nclex as soon as possible, some of my peers plan to wait a while and study more, so im asking the already licensed nurses on here, how long after finishing your PN program did you take your nclex, and what study material or course did you use to help prepare you?


16 Posts

Hello! I graduated in August and took my NCLEX in October. I used Exam Cram and a NCLEX phone app to study. Best wishes to you!

NICUmiiki, DNP, NP

Specializes in Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. Has 7 years experience. 1,770 Posts

I picked the first available test date: 3 weeks after graduation. It was the ideal amount of study time for me. Statistically, long waits have a lower pass rate. I took Hurst and they guarantee that you'll pass (or your money back) if you complete the entire program and take it within 3 months of graduation... The 3 months is the key there...

NurseSpeedy, ADN, LPN, RN

Has 20 years experience. 1,597 Posts

When I went through my LPN program they gave us statistics about how the longer you wait the less likely you are to pass. The numbers were based on months since graduation and there was a huge decline in a short period of time. It was a bit of a delay for me (and the rest of my class, speculation from my nurse manager was that the school may have taken a while to submit our transcripts). I graduated at the end of May that year, tested toward the end of August and passed (as did most of my classmates).

Back then there weren't too many options for additional prep (the test was computerized by then). All I used were two NCLEX review books that I picked up at a local bookstore. Focused on taking practice questions and reviewing the rationales.

I waited 6 months. I passed NCLEX-PN the first time, though. I used Virtual ATI (didn't finish all the modules), and Saunders PN review for about a week before the test.


45 Posts

Every person is different so i wouldnt persay give an x amt of time. My advice is give yourself ample time to study but don't let it be too long . You should schedule your date then start studying for it. I highly recommend Saunders and kaplan. Kaplan is very similar to the nclex and it felt it's what helped me pass. Good luck!


123 Posts

thanx, I have tons of study material, I have saunders, kaplan, hurst, ati and like 40 other books that I have collected from people online, and I know I wont be able to do it all, but I figured of I give myself a month, and study 2 hours each in the morning, noon, and at night every day, then I should be ready, I have a photographic memory and I maintained an A,B average while in school with minimum study time (2-4 hours per week which I dont recommend)


59 Posts

I took my boards 11 months after graduation and I passed the first time. I was planning my wedding and wanted to enjoy that process. I waited till after my honeymoon then hit the books HARD for one month about 4-5 hours a day and took time off from work to focus.

Nurse King