What Is the Process of NCLEX® Registration?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2019
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The process of NCLEX® registration begins when an aspiring nurse submits an application for licensure to her state nursing board for approval. Next, she must submit her application to Pearson VUE, the test provider, along with the registration fee. After the state board of nursing clears the application, both the candidate and Pearson VUE will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) form, which will give him a date range during which he can actually take the exam. After receiving the ATT form, the candidate must contact Pearson VUE to schedule his exam.

The NCLEX® is the national test given to aspiring registered and practical/vocational nurses in the United States. In order to become licensed as a registered nurse (RN), a person must past either the NCLEX-RN® exam, while practical or vocational nurses (LPN or LVN) must pass the NCLEX-PN® exam. Although nurse licensing in the United States is handled by individual state boards of nursing, passing the exam is required as part of the state licensure process.


When a nurse completes the educational portion of his preparation to become a nurse, it is then time to begin the process of NCLEX® registration. After completing and graduating from an approved nursing school program, the aspiring nurse can submit his application for nursing licensure to the nursing board in the state in which he wishes to work. After doing this, she can submit her NCLEX® registration either by phone, mail, or the Internet. She should also arrange to make payment for taking the exam at the time of her registration. Payment is accepted in the form of a credit/debit card, certified check, or money order.

After submitting his NCLEX&reg registration, the candidate will receive a confirmation of his registration. He will not be able to actually schedule his exam until he has received clearance from his state board of nursing, however. The process of approval varies among individual nursing boards. Once the aspiring nurse is approved to take the exam, she will receive her authorization notice and can contact the test provider to actually schedule her exam. She will be informed as to the time and date of the exam as well as information about the rules for taking the exam, including what can be brought into the exam room as well as the protocol for canceling or rescheduling an exam. After completing the exam, the candidate can expect to learn of his score and whether he passed the exam within approximately a month.


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