a sign with word exam on it

I'm discussing in this article how many times you can take the NCLEX RN and the NCLEX PN.

This is primarily for a United States candidate though I include some information for international students.

*Disclosure: This article on how many times can you take the NCLEX may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. For more info, please see my disclaimer.

How Many Times Can You Take the NCLEX?

You can take the NCLEX an unlimited number of times with these limitations. You can only take the exam a max of 8 times per year with a minimum of 45 days between each test. Some local laws may limit how many times you can retake the NCLEX.

NCLEX Prep Academy

Check out the comprehensive NCLEX prep review that I recommend. Don't bother with other NCLEX preps that over promise and under deliver. Did I mention they have a 99.86% NCLEX pass rate?

Does Each State Have Separate Rules For NCLEX Retakes?

It's important to note that each state board of nursing may have additional guidelines that limit this.

Below are some examples of how some nursing boards have limited examination attempts for the NCLEX licensure exam.

(Please go to the respective nursing regulatory body's website for up-to-date information.)

  • Texas – According to the Texas Board of Nursing, you can retake the NCLEX every 45 days. After 4 years, you'll have to go back to nursing school.
  • North Carolina – According to the North Carolina Board of Nursing, you can retake the NCLEX exam for an unlimited amount of time.
  • Florida – After 3 failed attempts (it doesn't matter if it's the RN exam or the LPN exam), you have to take a remedial course (this may also be called a refresher course). The remedial course has to be approved by the Florida Board of Nursing.
  • South Carolina – According to the South Carolina Board of Nursing, you can retake the NCLEX RN exam or the NCLEX PN exam every 45 days for up to 1 year after your very first attempt. After 1 year, you need to provide remediation evidence to the board. If you don't pass in 3 years, you need to enroll in an approved nursing education program.
  • Canada – For a Canadian NCLEX repeat test taker, you have unlimited attempts (essentially the default guideline).

Pro-Tip
Please note that laws change. As stated above, the laws of your state may be different.

Please reach out to your state board of nursing to ensure you have the correct and up-to-date information.

How to Be Successful on the NCLEX?

infographic on being successful on the nclex
Some quick and easy tips to keep in mind when you're looking at being successful on the NCLEX.

As you know, the goal is to pass the NCLEX the first time and never even have to worry about how many times you can retake the NCLEX.

I have a lot of resources on this site about the NCLEX. So definitely check them out to learn how to pass the NCLEX the first time.

Below are some quick tips to keep in mind.

1. Learn About the NCLEX

The NCLEX is a hard exam. With that said, it's made even more complicated when you try to prepare for it when you don't know much about it.

Some of the things you should learn are:

2. Get an NCLEX Prep Course

A good NCLEX prep course can make a big difference in your chances of success. This is the prep course I recommend.

You can go here to find out the other NCLEX review courses and the NCLEX-RN review books I recommend.

3. Create a Game Plan and Stick with it

You're unlikely to be successful on the NCLEX without a plan. Come up with a plan and stick with it.

4. Don't Wait Too Long

I know it's tempting to keep pushing that date back because you're not ready yet.

While you want to make sure you've taken enough time to study to be successful, make sure you're not just using it as an excuse not to take the exam.

Waiting too long after graduating from nursing school to take the exam could cause you to lose momentum.

Key Takeaways

Regardless of where you live, it does look like you'll have at least more than one time to pass the NCLEX.

Failing the NCLEX doesn't define who you are.

Thomas Uzuegbunem, BSN, RN

The main thing I want you to remember is that failing the NCLEX doesn't define who you are.

Whether you failed the NCLEX 10 times and get it on the eleventh try or pass the very first go around, you can still be a stellar nurse and have an excellent career.

NCLEX Prep Academy

Check out the comprehensive NCLEX prep review that I recommend. Don't bother with other NCLEX preps that over promise and under deliver. Did I mention they have a 99.86% NCLEX pass rate?

Have You Read These Yet?

Frequently Asked Questions

In some states, such as Florida and Hawaii, you may be required to take a remedial course. In other states, you may continue taking the exam as long as there are 45 days in between the exams.

You'll receive an NCLEX Candidate Performance Report (CPR) that details how you performed in each content area) You can reschedule for another exam 45 days later.

Yes, you can fail the NCLEX multiple times. Some states restrict how many times you can continue retaking the NCLEX before remediation is needed.

This may change, so consult with your state board of nursing for the most up-to-date list. As of this writing, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York have unlimited attempts.