Taking NCLEX This Year? Here’s What You Need to Know.

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If you’re taking the NCLEX this year – particularly on or after April 1, 2023 – you may have heard the phrases, “Next Gen NCLEX” or, “NGN.” As a test taker, what does this mean to you? Let us explain.

First things first – let’s break down the acronyms.

Between NCLEX, NCSBN and NGN, there’s a lot to keep track of when it comes to understanding your board exam. Let’s start with the basics.

  • NCLEX & NCSBN: The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to determine whether or not a candidate is prepared to begin working as an entry-level nurse.
  • NGN: The Next Gen NCLEX (NGN) is the latest update to the NCLEX exam – taking place April 1, 2023. In this updated version, more focus is put on evaluating nursing students’ clinical judgment skills. On the updated exam, you will see 3 case studies on the minimum length exam and stand-alone NGN items as you progress past the minimal length exam.

The NCLEX test plan is no secret.

Here’s where you can find out the details before test day. 

You read that correctly – NCSBN publishes the NCLEX test plan so that you know exactly what to expect before test day. As you know, when taking the NCLEX nursing students will be tested on multiple topics to gauge their level of clinical judgment to work as an entry-level nurse. The question topics and their distribution can be found in the NCSBN NCLEX test plan.  

Did you know? Updates to the NCLEX take place regularly. In fact, the plan is updated every three years. Familiarize yourself with NCSBN.org as it has helpful information to assist you in preparing for NCLEX.

Time to prep! Use these study tips from an expert ATI nurse educator.

The biggest thing that you can do is to prepare. Going into the exam having practiced, especially earlier on, you will feel very confident.

Here are more tips for setting yourself for success:

  • Block time off to study each day.
  • Join a study group, but no more than three or four included.
  • Take available practice assessments to identify knowledge gaps.
  • If you have questions about certain subjects, seek clarification from your professor.
  • Don’t forget to schedule free time. This is important for stress relief.

Want a deeper dive into NCLEX? Visit the NCLEX Student Support Center.

ATI is here for you every step of the way in your nursing school journey and onward. For added support, check out the NCLEX Student Support Center full of helpful resources including:

  • Interactive videos
  • Answers to FAQs about NCLEX
  • NCLEX Question of the Week
  • NGN-Style Question examples
  • And more!

As you gear up for graduation and taking the NCLEX, remember, you’ve got this! After all, you’ve worked hard during your nursing school program to get here.

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