You need to take the NCLEX to get your nursing licensure and work as a nurse.
The road to the NCLEX is long and difficult. But does that always have to begin with a nursing degree? Here’s the answer.
Can I Take the NCLEX Without a Nursing Degree?
You can take the NCLEX without passing a nursing program if you challenge the NCLEX. Other than that, you must either pass an LPN program, get an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN, ASN, AAS), a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), or pass one of the few remaining diploma programs in the country.
What is Challenging the NCLEX?
Challenging the NCLEX is an option a handful of states have that allow you to take the NCLEX-PN exam part ways through your RN program.
As far as I know there’s a handful of states that have this option and it’s actually something I did when I was in nursing school.
I wrote more about it in the article “Can You Take the NCLEX-PN Exam During Your RN Program?“
I also talk about it on my YouTube channel in the video below.
You Have to Get a nursing Degree to Take the NCLEX
There’s no way around it. Unless you’re in a handful of states, you have to graduate from an accredited nursing program to sit for the NCLEX.
If you want to sit for the NCLEX-PN, you must pass an accredited LPN nursing school.
If you want to sit for the NCLEX-RN, you have to pass an accredited RN nursing school. Plain and simple.
There is one exception to this, and I don’t really think it’s that much of an exception.
There are a handful of diploma nursing programs in the country. If you get into one of those diploma programs and complete the program, you can sit for the NCLEX.
I say it’s not much of an exception because you would still have to pass a nursing program.
The only difference is that you’re not really earning any college credits in a diploma program.
Therefore if you decide to go back and become an advanced practice registered nurse, you wouldn’t have any college credits to apply to that degree.
Have You Read These Yet?
- Can I Take the NCLEX Without Studying?
- Is it a Bad Sign to Get an NCLEX with No Math Questions?
- I Failed the NCLEX 10 Times: Now What?
- What Does the Bad Pop Up On NCLEX Mean?
- Can I Apply For the NCLEX During Nursing School?
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions related to can you take the NCLEX without a nursing degree.