Recently one of my viewers who was close to graduating from their RN program asked me if it was still worth it for them to apply to take the NCLEX PN before they graduate.

Their concern was centered around how close they were to graduating and whether or not it would even be worth it.

I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, so let’s first get to the actual question, and then I’ll share my thoughts.

The Question: Should I Challenge the NCLEX Exam?

The question is from ChristopherSanon7 who asked”

the question that was asked by the viewer about if they should take the NCLEX-PN Exam

“Would you recommend challenging the LPN exam when there are only 6 months left in my RN program?”

What Does Challenging the NCLEX Exam Mean?

Real quick, I’m going to explain what “challenging the LPN exam” means if you don’t know.

In short version, there are a handful of states that will allow you to challenge the NCLEX-PN.

This means that for students in an RN program, after taking certain classes, their state board of nursing will allow them to sit for the NCLEX-PN.

You can probably imagine that there are certain advantages that this could bring.

Either way, see that video for more information and discussion on challenging the NCLEX but let’s get back to the question at hand.

Related: Why Do Nurses Have to Take the NCLEX?

The Answer: Why You Should Challenge the NCLEX Exam

So Christopher, if I were you and had the disposable income, even with only 6 months left, I think I would apply to challenge the LPN exam.

That said, you have to keep in mind that there are only six months left, which is not much time.

Completing the application process, which includes obtaining the necessary signatures from your nursing program, submitting the application, and waiting for board approval to take the test, takes a while.

Then, you need to schedule the test, take it, and wait for the results. Once you pass the test, you’ll still need to wait for the LPN licensure to come through.

If you plan to work, it’s reasonable to assume you’ll only have about three months left before graduation to find an LPN job, assuming everything goes according to plan.

So, you may wonder why I would still suggest taking the LPN licensure exam.

The reason is that to me there are some benefits to taking the exam, that I like especially when it comes to taking the RN licensure exam.

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1. Similar Testing Process

First, the LPN licensure process is similar to the RN licensure process. So, after going through the process of taking the LPN exam, you’ll have some familiarity with the process of taking the NCLEX-RN.

2. Decreased Test Anxiety

Also, having already obtained the LPN licensure will reduce your anxiety and increase your overall comfort when it comes time to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

In the worst-case scenario, you can work as an LPN until you pass the RN exam.

Now, I know some of you guys are going to look at that last part and say

“That doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you did all of that and passed the NCLEX-PN, surely that means you’ll easily pass the NCLEX-RN. The two exams can’t be that different in structure or difficulty.”

On paper, there’s probably some truth to that, but as we know, that’s not how the world works, and for those with some form of anxiety, that’s not going to matter, and here’s what I mean.

When you’re taking the NCLEX-PN exam, you won’t be as stressed because that’s not your end goal.

You’ll have some peace knowing this could be more or less a practice run. I think that thought process will reduce anxiety and give you a better shot at passing.

The Two Camps: Challenged and Failed vs Challenged and Passed

Now, when it comes time to take the NCLEX RN, if you challenged the NCLEX-PN, you’re going to be in two camps.

Challenged and Passed

The first is the camp that took the NCLEX-PN licensure exam and passed.

In that camp, you’ll be less stressed because you’ve already been through the process and passed the first time.

Your success, the familiarity of the process, and the fact that, in a worst-case scenario, you’ll just go work as an LPN will boost your confidence.

Challenged and Failed

If you’re in the second camp that didn’t pass, obviously, you’re not in as good a spot as the first camp.

However, I think you’re still in a good position because you are familiar with the process.

You have reviewed your candidate performance report (aka NCLEX CPR), and you have a good idea of what areas you struggled with and how to improve your studying.

What is the NCLEX-CPR?

The NCLEX CPR is a two-page report you’ll receive after taking the NCLEX exam.

This personalized report will assess your performance on the exam, regardless of whether you passed or failed.

If you didn’t pass, the report provides information on your performance in various areas of the examination, organized by the test plan content area and clinical judgment categories.

Please note: if you didn’t answer the minimum number of questions required, the CPR will only show the number of questions you answered without providing any other helpful information.

For me, those are positive things that would probably motivate me to challenge the NCLEX PN even with six months left.

Last Point: Make Sure to Read

The last thing I’ll add is that, as I mentioned above, there’s some paperwork involved in this.

Every state is different, so I don’t know if yours is better or worse than mine, but I probably wouldn’t try to challenge the NCLEX PN if I was really close to graduating.

I don’t think it makes much sense to do all that paperwork right when you’re about to start the paperwork for taking the NCLEX-RN unless there is some other good reason.

One Way to Be Successful on the NCLEX

Whether you’re taking the NCLEX-PN or the NCLEX-RN, success is crucial.

And one of the best ways to ensure success is by enrolling in a good NCLEX prep course. With so many options to choose from, you might already have a course in mind.

But in case you don’t, or you’re uncertain about the one you’re considering, I highly recommend checking out this NCLEX prep course.

I won’t say much more because the testimonials on the site speak for themselves.

If you decided not to check out the prep course and you made it this far, go ahead and let me know what you thought of the article in the comment section below.

Did you agree or disagree with the points made? Or do you have a different perspective that I may have missed?

Please share your thoughts.

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