Welcome to our collection of free NCLEX practice questions to help you achieve success on your NCLEX-RN exam! This updated guide for 2022 includes 1,000+ practice questions, a primer on the NCLEX-RN exam, frequently asked questions about the NCLEX, question types, the NCLEX-RN test plan, and test-taking tips and strategies.
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For more NCLEX practice questions, please visit our Nursing Test Bank here.
NCLEX-RN Practice Questions Test Bank
We have included more than 1,000+ NCLEX practice questions covering different nursing topics for this nursing test bank! We’ve made a significant effort to provide you with the most challenging questions along with insightful rationales for each question to reinforce learning.
We recommend you do all practice questions before you take the actual exam. Doing so will help reduce your test anxiety and help identify nursing topics you need to review. To make the most of the practice exams, try to minimize mistakes to less than 15 questions and take your time answering the questions, especially when reading the rationales.
Included NCLEX-RN question sets for this nursing test bank are as follows:
- Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Practice Questions | Quiz #1: 75 Questions
- Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Practice Questions | Quiz #2: 75 Questions
- Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Practice Questions | Quiz #3: 75 Questions
- Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Practice Questions | Quiz #4: 75 Questions
- Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Practice Questions | Quiz #5: 75 Questions
- Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Practice Questions | Quiz #6: 75 Questions
- Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Practice Questions | Quiz #7: 75 Questions
- Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Practice Questions | Quiz #8: 75 Questions
- Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Practice Questions | Quiz #9: 75 Questions
- Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Practice Questions | Quiz #10: 75 Questions
- Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Practice Questions | Quiz #11: 75 Questions
- Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Practice Questions | Quiz #12: 75 Questions
- More practice questions available at our Nursing Test Bank.
- See also: FULL-TEXT Comprehensive NCLEX-RN Practice Quiz Test Bank (900 Questions)
- Comprehend each item. Read and understand each question before choosing the best answer. The exam has no time limit so that you can make sense of each item at your own pace.
- Review your answers. Once you’re done with all the questions, you’ll be redirected to the Quiz Summary table, where you’ll be able to review which questions you’ve answered or may have skipped. Review your answers once more before pressing the Finish Quiz button.
- Read the rationales. After you have reviewed your answers, click on the Finish Quiz button to record your answers and show your score. Click on the View Questions button to review the quiz and read through the rationales for each question.
- Let us know your feedback! Comment us your thoughts, scores, ratings, and questions about the quiz in the comments section below.
NCLEX-RN Practice Questions | Quiz #5: 75 Questions
This is the fifth set of practice questions for your NCLEX-RN review!
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Where are the rationales? Please click the View Questions button below to review your answers and read through the rationales for each question.
Question 1 of 75
1. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Mr. Rodriguez is admitted with severe pain in the knees. Which form of arthritis is characterized by urate deposits and joint pain, usually in the feet and legs, and occurs primarily in men over age 30?CorrectIncorrect
Question 2 of 75
2. QuestionCategory: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
A heparin infusion at 1,500 units/hour is ordered for a 64-year-old client with stroke in evolution. The infusion contains 25,000 units of heparin in 500 ml of saline solution. How many milliliters per hour should be given?CorrectIncorrect
Question 3 of 75
3. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
A 76-year-old male client had a thromboembolic right stroke; his left arm is swollen. Which of the following conditions may cause swelling after a stroke?CorrectIncorrect
Question 4 of 75
4. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Heberden’s nodes are a common sign of osteoarthritis. Which of the following statements is correct about this deformity?CorrectIncorrect
Question 5 of 75
5. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Which of the following statements explains the main difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis?CorrectIncorrect
Question 6 of 75
6. QuestionCategory: Basic Care and Comfort
Mrs. Cruz uses a cane for assistance in walking. Which of the following statements is true about a cane or other assistive devices?CorrectIncorrect
Question 7 of 75
7. QuestionCategory: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
A male client with type 1 diabetes is scheduled to receive 30 U of 70/30 insulin. There is no 70/30 insulin available. As a substitution, the nurse may give the client:CorrectIncorrect
Question 8 of 75
8. QuestionCategory: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
Nurse Len should expect to administer which medication to a client with gout?CorrectIncorrect
Question 9 of 75
9. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Mr. Domingo with a history of hypertension is diagnosed with primary hyperaldosteronism. This diagnosis indicates that the client’s hypertension is caused by excessive hormone secretion from which of the following glands?CorrectIncorrect
Question 10 of 75
10. QuestionCategory: Health Promotion and Maintenance
For a diabetic male client with a foot ulcer, the doctor orders bed rest, a wet to- dry dressing change every shift, and blood glucose monitoring before meals and bedtime. Why are wet-to-dry dressings used for this client?CorrectIncorrect
Question 11 of 75
11. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
Nurse Zeny is caring for a client in an acute Addisonian crisis. Which laboratory data would the nurse expect to find?CorrectIncorrect
Question 12 of 75
12. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
A client is admitted for treatment of the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH). Which nursing intervention is appropriate?CorrectIncorrect
Question 13 of 75
13. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
A female client tells nurse Nikki that she has been working hard for the last 3 months to control her type 2 diabetes mellitus with diet and exercise. To determine the effectiveness of the client’s efforts, the nurse should check:CorrectIncorrect
Question 14 of 75
14. QuestionCategory: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
Nurse Trinity administered neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin to a diabetic client at 7 a.m. At what time would the nurse expect the client to be most at risk for a hypoglycemic reaction?CorrectIncorrect
Question 15 of 75
15. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
The adrenal cortex is responsible for producing which substances?CorrectIncorrect
Question 16 of 75
16. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
On the third day after a partial thyroidectomy, Proserfina exhibits muscle twitching and hyperirritability of the nervous system. When questioned, the client reports numbness and tingling of the mouth and fingertips. Suspecting a life-threatening electrolyte disturbance, the nurse notifies the surgeon immediately. Which electrolyte disturbance most commonly follows thyroid surgery?CorrectIncorrect
Question 17 of 75
17. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
Which laboratory test value is elevated in clients who smoke and can’t be used as a general indicator of cancer?CorrectIncorrect
Question 18 of 75
18. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Francis with anemia has been admitted to the medical-surgical unit. Which assessment findings are characteristic of iron-deficiency anemia?CorrectIncorrect
Question 19 of 75
19. QuestionCategory: Health Promotion and Maintenance
In teaching a female client who is HIV-positive about pregnancy, the nurse would know more teaching is necessary when the client says:CorrectIncorrect
Question 20 of 75
20. QuestionCategory: Health Promotion and Maintenance
When preparing Judy with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) for discharge to the home, the nurse should be sure to include which instruction?CorrectIncorrect
Question 21 of 75
21. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Nurse Marie is caring for a 32-year-old client admitted with pernicious anemia. Which set of findings should the nurse expect when assessing the client?CorrectIncorrect
Question 22 of 75
22. QuestionCategory: Management of Care
After receiving a dose of penicillin, a client develops dyspnea and hypotension. Nurse Celestina suspects the client is experiencing anaphylactic shock. What should the nurse do first?CorrectIncorrect
Question 23 of 75
23. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
Mr. Marquez with rheumatoid arthritis is about to begin aspirin therapy to reduce inflammation. When teaching the client about aspirin, the nurse discusses adverse reactions to prolonged aspirin therapy. These include:CorrectIncorrect
Question 24 of 75
24. QuestionCategory: Health Promotion and Maintenance
A 23-year-old client is diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). After recovering from the initial shock of the diagnosis, the client expresses a desire to learn as much as possible about HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). When teaching the client about the immune system, the nurse states that adaptive immunity is provided by which type of white blood cell?CorrectIncorrect
Question 25 of 75
25. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
In an individual with Sjögren’s syndrome, nursing care should focus on:CorrectIncorrect
Question 26 of 75
26. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
During chemotherapy for lymphocytic leukemia, Mathew develops abdominal pain, fever, and “horse barn” smelling diarrhea. It would be most important for the nurse to advise the physician to order:CorrectIncorrect
Question 27 of 75
27. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
A male client seeks medical evaluation for fatigue, night sweats, and a 20-lb weight loss in 6 weeks. To confirm that the client has been infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the nurse expects the physician to order:CorrectIncorrect
Question 28 of 75
28. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
A complete blood count is commonly performed before Joe goes into surgery. What does this test seek to identify?CorrectIncorrect
Question 29 of 75
29. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
While monitoring a client for the development of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), the nurse should take note of what assessment parameters?CorrectIncorrect
Question 30 of 75
30. QuestionCategory: Basic Care and Comfort
When taking a dietary history from a newly admitted female client, Nurse Len should remember which of the following foods is a common allergen?CorrectIncorrect
Question 31 of 75
31. QuestionCategory: Management of Care
Nurse John is caring for clients in the outpatient clinic. Which of the following phone calls should the nurse return first?CorrectIncorrect
Question 32 of 75
32. QuestionCategory: Management of Care
Nurse Sarah is caring for clients on the surgical floor and has just received a report from the previous shift. Which of the following clients should the nurse see first?CorrectIncorrect
Question 33 of 75
33. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Nurse Eve is caring for a client who had a thyroidectomy 12 hours ago for treatment of Grave’s disease. The nurse would be most concerned if which of the following was observed?CorrectIncorrect
Question 34 of 75
34. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Julius is admitted with complaints of severe pain in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen. To assist with pain relief, the nurse should take which of the following actions?CorrectIncorrect
Question 35 of 75
35. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Nurse Tina prepares a client for peritoneal dialysis. Which of the following actions should the nurse take first?CorrectIncorrect
Question 36 of 75
36. QuestionCategory: Health Promotion and Maintenance
Nurse Jannah teaches an elderly client with right-sided weakness on how to use a cane. Which of the following behaviors, if demonstrated by the client to the nurse, indicates that the teaching was effective?CorrectIncorrect
Question 37 of 75
37. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
An elderly client is admitted to the nursing home setting. The client is occasionally confused and her gait is often unsteady. Which of the following actions, if taken by the nurse, is most appropriate?CorrectIncorrect
Question 38 of 75
38. QuestionCategory: Health Promotion and Maintenance
Nurse Evangeline teaches an elderly client how to use a standard aluminum walker. Which of the following behaviors, if demonstrated by the client, indicates that the nurse’s teaching was effective?CorrectIncorrect
Question 39 of 75
39. QuestionCategory: Health Promotion and Maintenance
Nurse Derek is supervising a group of elderly clients in a residential home setting. The nurse knows that the elderly are at greater risk of developing sensory deprivation for what reason?CorrectIncorrect
Question 40 of 75
A male client with emphysema becomes restless and confused. What step should nurse Jasmine take next?CorrectIncorrect
Question 41 of 75
41. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
Randy has undergone a kidney transplant, what assessment would prompt Nurse Katrina to suspect organ rejection?CorrectIncorrect
Question 42 of 75
The immediate objective of nursing care for an overweight, mildly hypertensive male client with ureteral colic and hematuria is to decrease:CorrectIncorrect
Question 43 of 75
43. QuestionCategory: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
Matilda, with hyperthyroidism, is to receive Lugol’s iodine solution before a subtotal thyroidectomy is performed. The nurse is aware that this medication is given to:CorrectIncorrect
Question 44 of 75
44. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Ricardo was diagnosed with type I diabetes. The nurse is aware that acute hypoglycemia also can develop in the client who is diagnosed with:CorrectIncorrect
Question 45 of 75
45. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Tracy is receiving combination chemotherapy for treatment of metastatic carcinoma. Nurse Ruby should monitor the client for the systemic side effect of:CorrectIncorrect
Question 46 of 75
46. QuestionCategory: Health Promotion and Maintenance
Norma, with recent colostomy, expresses concern about the inability to control the passage of gas. Nurse Oliver should suggest that the client plan to:CorrectIncorrect
Question 47 of 75
47. QuestionCategory: Health Promotion and Maintenance
Nurse Ron begins to teach a male client how to perform colostomy irrigations. The nurse would evaluate that the instructions were understood when the client states, “I should:CorrectIncorrect
Question 48 of 75
48. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Patrick is in the oliguric phase of acute tubular necrosis and is experiencing fluid and electrolyte imbalances. The client is somewhat confused and complains of nausea and muscle weakness. As part of the prescribed therapy to correct this electrolyte imbalance, the nurse would expect to:CorrectIncorrect
Question 49 of 75
49. QuestionCategory: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
Mario has a burn injury. After 48 hours, the physician orders for Mario 2 liters of IV fluid to be administered q12 h. The drop factor of the tubing is 10 gtt/ml. The nurse should set the flow to provide:CorrectIncorrect
Question 50 of 75
50. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Terence suffered from burn injury. Using the rule of nines, which has the largest percent of burns?CorrectIncorrect
Question 51 of 75
51. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Herbert, a 45-year-old construction engineer is brought to the hospital unconscious after falling from a 2-story building. When assessing the client, the nurse would be most concerned if the assessment revealed:CorrectIncorrect
Question 52 of 75
52. QuestionCategory: Health Promotion and Maintenance
Nurse Sherry is teaching male client regarding his permanent artificial pacemaker. Which information given by the nurse shows her knowledge deficit about the artificial cardiac pacemaker?CorrectIncorrect
Question 53 of 75
53. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
The nurse is aware that the most relevant knowledge about oxygen administration to a male client with COPD is:CorrectIncorrect
Question 54 of 75
54. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Tonny has undergone a left thoracotomy and a partial pneumonectomy. Chest tubes are inserted, and one-bottle water-seal drainage is instituted in the operating room. In the postanesthesia care unit, Tonny is placed in Fowler’s position on either his right side or on his back. The nurse is aware that this position:CorrectIncorrect
Question 55 of 75
55. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
Kristine is scheduled for a bronchoscopy. When teaching Kristine what to expect afterward, the nurse’s highest priority of information would be:CorrectIncorrect
Question 56 of 75
56. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Nurse Tristan is caring for a male client with acute renal failure. The nurse should expect hypertonic glucose, insulin infusions, and sodium bicarbonate to be used to treat:CorrectIncorrect
Question 57 of 75
57. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Ms. X has just been diagnosed with condylomata acuminata (genital warts). What information is appropriate to tell this client?CorrectIncorrect
Question 58 of 75
Maritess was recently diagnosed with a genitourinary problem and is being examined in the emergency department. When palpating her kidneys, the nurse should keep which anatomical fact in mind?CorrectIncorrect
Question 59 of 75
59. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
Jestoni with chronic renal failure (CRF) is admitted to the urology unit. The nurse is aware that the diagnostic test is consistent with CRF if the result is:CorrectIncorrect
Question 60 of 75
60. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Katrina has an abnormal result on a Papanicolaou test. After admitting that she read her chart while the nurse was out of the room, Katrina asks what dysplasia means. Which definition should the nurse provide?CorrectIncorrect
Question 61 of 75
61. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
During a routine checkup, Nurse Marianne assesses a male client with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) for signs and symptoms of cancer. What is the most common AIDS-related cancer?CorrectIncorrect
Question 62 of 75
62. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
Ricardo is scheduled for a prostatectomy, and the anesthesiologist plans to use a spinal (subarachnoid) block during surgery. In the operating room, the nurse positions the client according to the anesthesiologist’s instructions. Why does the client require special positioning for this type of anesthesia?CorrectIncorrect
Question 63 of 75
63. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
A male client had a nephrectomy 2 days ago and is now complaining of abdominal pressure and nausea. The first nursing action should be to:CorrectIncorrect
Question 64 of 75
64. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
Wilfredo with a recent history of rectal bleeding is being prepared for a colonoscopy. How should the nurse Patricia position the client for this test initially?CorrectIncorrect
Question 65 of 75
65. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
A male client with inflammatory bowel disease undergoes an ileostomy. On the first day after surgery, Nurse Oliver notes that the client’s stoma appears dusky. How should the nurse interpret this finding?CorrectIncorrect
Question 66 of 75
66. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Anthony suffers burns on the legs, which nursing intervention helps prevent contractures?CorrectIncorrect
Question 67 of 75
67. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
Nurse Ron is assessing a client admitted with second and third-degree burns on the face, arms, and chest. Which finding indicates a potential problem?CorrectIncorrect
Question 68 of 75
68. QuestionCategory: Basic Care and Comfort
Mr. Mendoza who has suffered a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is too weak to move on his own. To help the client avoid pressure ulcers, Nurse Celia should:CorrectIncorrect
Question 69 of 75
69. QuestionCategory: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
Nurse Maria plans to administer dexamethasone cream to a female client who has dermatitis over the anterior chest. How should the nurse apply this topical agent?CorrectIncorrect
Question 70 of 75
70. QuestionCategory: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
Nurse Kate is aware that one of the following classes of medication protects the ischemic myocardium by blocking catecholamines and sympathetic nerve stimulation is:CorrectIncorrect
Question 71 of 75
71. QuestionCategory: Reduction of Risk Potential
A male client has jugular distention. In what position should the nurse place the head of the bed to obtain the most accurate reading of jugular vein distention?CorrectIncorrect
Question 72 of 75
72. QuestionCategory: Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
The nurse is aware that one of the following classes of medications maximizes cardiac performance in clients with heart failure by increasing ventricular contractility?CorrectIncorrect
Question 73 of 75
73. QuestionCategory: Physiological Adaptation
A male client has a reduced serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level and an elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level. Which of the following dietary modifications is not appropriate for this client?CorrectIncorrect
Question 74 of 75
74. QuestionCategory: Management of Care
A 37-year-old male client was admitted to the coronary care unit (CCU) 2 days ago with acute myocardial infarction. Which of the following actions would breach the client’s confidentiality?CorrectIncorrect
Question 75 of 75
75. QuestionCategory: Management of Care
A male client arriving in the emergency department is receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation from paramedics who are giving ventilation through an endotracheal (ET) tube that they placed in the client’s home. During a pause in compressions, the cardiac monitor shows narrow QRS complexes and a heart rate of beats/minute with a palpable pulse. Which of the following actions should the nurse take first?CorrectIncorrect
What is NCLEX?
NCLEX stands for National Council Licensing Examination. It is a test to determine if the candidate possesses the minimum level of knowledge necessary to perform safe and effective entry-level nursing care. The NCLEX-RN (for registered nurses) and the NCLEX-PN (for practical/vocational nurses) are examinations prepared by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), whose mandate is to protect the public from unsafe nursing care. The NCSBN members include nursing regulatory bodies in the 50 states of the US, the District of Columbia, and four US territories.
How to Register for the NCLEX?
So you’ve finally decided to take the NCLEX, the next step is registration or application for the exam. The following are the steps on how to register for the NCLEX, including some tips:
- Application to the Nursing Regulatory Board (NRB).The initial step in the registration process is to submit your application to the state board of nursing in the state in which you intend to obtain licensure. Inquire with your board of nursing regarding the specific registration process as requirements may vary from state to state.
- Registration with Pearson VUE.Once you have received the confirmation from the board of nursing that you have met all of their state requirements, proceed, register, and pay the fee to take the NCLEX with Pearson VUE. Follow the registration instructions and complete the forms precisely and accurately.
- Authorization to Test.If you were made eligible by the licensure board, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) form from Pearson VUE. You must test within the validity dates (an average of 90 days) on the ATT. There are no extensions or you’ll have to register and pay the fee again. Your ATT contains critical information like your test authorization number, validity date, and candidate identification number.
- Schedule your Exam Appointment.The next step is to schedule a testing date, time, and location at Pearson VUE. The NCLEX will take place at a testing center, you can make an exam appointment online or by telephone. You will receive a confirmation via email of your appointment with the date and time you choose including the directions to the testing center.
*Changing Your Exam Appointment. You can change your appointment to test via Pearson VUE or by calling the candidate services. Rules for scheduling, rescheduling, and unscheduling are explained further here. Failing to arrive for the examination or failure to cancel your appointment to test without providing notice will forfeit your examination fee and you’ll have to register and pay again.
- On Exam Day.Arrive at the testing center on your exam appointment date at least 30 minutes before the schedule. You must have your ATT and acceptable identification (driver’s license, passport, etc) that is valid, not expired, and contains your photo and signature.
- Processing Results.You will receive your official results from the board of nursing after six weeks.
Computer Adaptive Test (CAT)
Like most standardized tests today, the NCLEX is administered by a computer. The NCLEX uses a computer adaptive test (CAT), which reacts to your answers to determine your competence level. The selection of questions is based on the NCLEX-RN test plan and by the level of item difficulty.
Every time you answer a question, the computer reevaluates your ability based on all the previous answers and the difficulty of those test items. Your first question is relatively easy; if you selected a correct answer, the computer supplies you with a more difficult question from its question bank. If you have selected an incorrect answer, the computer gives you an easier question. This process continues throughout the examination until the test plan requirements are met, and the computer can determine your level of competence.
Additionally, there is no option to skip a question, you must answer it, or the test will not move on. You cannot go back and review previous questions and change answers.
NCLEX-RN Test Plan
The NCLEX test plan is a content guideline to determine the distribution of test questions. NCSBN uses the “Client Needs” categories to ensure that the NCLEX covers a full spectrum of nursing activities. It is a summary of the content and scope of the NCLEX to serve as a guide for candidates preparing for the exam and to direct item writers in the development of items.
The content of the NCLEX-RN is organized into four major Client Needs categories: Safe and Effective Care Environment, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psychosocial Integrity, Physiological Integrity. Some of these categories are divided further into subcategories.
Below is the NCLEX-RN test plan effective as of April 2019 to March 2022:
|Safe and Effective Care Environment|
|Management of Care||17-23%|
|Safety and Infection Control||9-15%|
|Health Promotion and Maintenance||6-12%|
|Basic Care and Comfort||6-12%|
|Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies||12-18%|
|Reduction of Risk Potential||9-15%|
Safe and Effective Care Environment
There are two subcategories under Safe and Effective Care Environment.
- Management of Care (17-23%) category includes content that tests the nurse’s knowledge and ability to direct nursing care that enhances the care delivery setting in order to protect clients, significant others, and health care personnel.
- Safety and Infection Control (9-15%) category includes content that tests the nurse’s ability required to protect clients, families, and health care personnel from health and environmental hazards.
Health Promotion and Maintenance
Health Promotion and Maintenance (6-12%) category includes content that tests the nurse’s ability to provide and direct nursing care of the client that incorporates knowledge of expected growth and development, preventing and early detection of health problems, and strategies to achieve optimal health.
The Psychosocial Integrity category (6-12%) is content related to the promotion and support for the emotional, mental, and social well-being of the client experiencing stressful events and clients with acute or chronic mental illness.
In the Physiological Integrity category are items that test the nurse’s ability to promote physical health and wellness by providing care and comfort, reducing risk potential, and managing health alterations. There are four subcategories under Physiological Integrity.
- Basic Care and Comfort (6-12%) are content to test the nurse’s ability to provide comfort and assistance to the client in the performance of activities of daily living.
- Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies (12-18%) category includes content to test the nurse’s ability to administer medications and parenteral therapies (IV therapy, blood administration, and blood products).
- Reduction of Risk Potential (9-15%) category includes content to tests the nurse’s ability to prevent complications or health problems related to the client’s condition or prescribed treatments or procedures.
- Physiological Adaptation (11-17%) category includes questions that test the nurse’s ability to provide care to clients with acute, chronic, or life-threatening conditions.
Item Writers for NCLEX
Who writes questions for the NCLEX? The NCSBN sets the criteria and selection process for item writers who are registered nurses. Many of them are nursing educators who hold an advanced degree in nursing, so if you’ve completed an accredited nursing program, you have already taken several tests written by nurses with backgrounds similar to those who write for the NCLEX.
The maximum testing time for the NCLEX-RN is six (6) hours, and there is no time limit for each NCLEX question. The exam time includes all the tutorials and all the breaks. The first break is offered after two (2) hours, and the second break is offered after 3.5 hours of testing. All breaks are optional, and most test-takers may not need the full-time allotment to complete the examination.
How to Pass the NCLEX?
The NCSBN indicates that these three rules govern pass-or-fail decisions: 95% Confidence Interval Rule, Maximum-Length Exam Rule, and Run-Out-Of-Time Rule.
95% Confidence Interval Rule
In this scenario, the computer stops administering test questions when it is 95% certain that your ability is clearly above the passing standard or clearly below the passing standard.
When your ability is close to the passing standard, the computer continues to give you items until the maximum number of items is reached. At this point, the computer disregards the 95% confidence rule and decides whether you pass or fail by your final ability estimate. If your final ability estimate is above the passing standard, you pass; if it is below, you fail.
Run-Out-Of-Time (R.O.O.T.) Rule
When you run out of time before reaching the maximum amount of items, the computer has not been able to decide whether you passed or failed with 95% certainty and has to use an alternate rule. You fail if you have not answered the minimum number of required questions. If you have at least answered the minimum amount of items, the computer reviews your last 60 questions. If your ability estimate was consistently above the passing standard on the last 60 questions, you pass. If your ability dropped below the passing standard, even once, during your last 60 questions, you fail.
How many question are on the NCLEX?
For the NCLEX-RN, the minimum number of questions you need to answer is 75, while the maximum number in the test is 265. Regardless of the number of questions you answer, you are given 15 experimental questions (pretest questions). Pretest questions are indistinguishable from other questions on the test, not indicated as such, are being tested for future examination, and not counted against your score.
Question Types in the NCLEX-RN
Although most NCLEX items are multiple-choice, there are other formats as well. You may be administered multiple-choice items and questions written in alternate formats. These formats may include: multiple-response or select all that apply, fill-in-the-blank calculation, ordered response, hotspot, figure, chart or exhibit, graphic, audio, and video.
Many questions on the NCLEX are in multiple-choice format. This traditional text-based question will provide you data about the client’s situation, and you can only select one correct answer from the given four options. Multiple-choice questions may vary and include: audio clips, graphics, exhibits, or charts.
Chart or Exhibit Questions
A chart or exhibit is presented along with a problem. You’ll be provided with three tabs or buttons that you need to click to obtain the information needed to answer the question. Select the correct choice among four multiple-choice answer options.
In this format, four multiple-choice answer options are pictures rather than text. Each option is preceded by a circle that you need to click to represent your answer.
In an audio question format, you’ll be required to listen to a sound to answer the question. You’ll need to use the headset provided and click on the sound icon for it to play. You’ll be able to listen to the sound as many times as necessary. Choose the correct choice from among four multiple-choice answer options.
For the video question format, you must view an animation or a video clip to answer the following question. Select the correct choice among four multiple-choice answer options.
Select All That Apply or Multiple-Response
Multiple-response or select all that apply (SATA) alternate format question requires you to choose all correct answer options that relate to the information asked by the question. There are usually more than four possible answer options. No partial credit is given in scoring these items (i.e., selecting only 3 out of the 5 correct choices), so you must select all correct answers for the item to be counted as correct.
Tips when answering Select All That Apply Questions
- You’ll know it’s a multiple-response or SATA question because you’ll explicitly be instructed to “Select all that apply.”
- Treat each answer choice as a True or False by rewording the question and proceed to answer each option by responding with a “yes” or “no”. Go down the list of answer options one by one and ask yourself if it’s a correct answer.
- Consider each choice as a possible answer separate to other choices. Never group or assume they are linked together.
The fill-in-the-blank question format is usually used for medication calculation, IV flow rate calculation, or determining the intake-output of a client. You’ll be asked to perform a calculation in this question format and type in your answer in the blank space provided.
Tips when answering Fill-in-the-Blank
- Always follow the specific directions as noted on the screen.
- There will be an on-screen calculator on the computer for you to use.
- Do not put any words, units of measurements, commas, or spaces with your answer, type only the number. Only the number goes into the box.
- Rounding an answer should be done at the end of the calculation or as what the question specified, and if necessary, type in the decimal point.
In an ordered-response question format, you’ll be asked to use the computer mouse to drag and drop your nursing actions in order or priority. Based on the information presented, determine what you’ll do first, second, third, and so forth. Directions are provided with the question.
Tips when answering Ordered-Response questions
- Questions are usually about nursing procedures. Imagine yourself performing the procedure to help you answer these questions.
- You’ll have to place the options in correct order by clicking an option and dragging it on the box on the right. You can rearrange them before you hit submit for your final answer.
A picture or graphic will be presented along with a question. This could contain a chart, a table, or an illustration where you’ll be asked to point or click on a specific area. Figures may also appear along with a multiple-choice question. Be as precise as possible when marking the location.
Tips when answering Hotspot questions
- Mostly used to evaluate your knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology.
- Locate anatomical landmarks to help you select the location needed by the item.
Want to test-drive the NCLEX? We highly recommend you complete the online tutorial by the NCSBN to help you familiarize yourself with the different question types for the NCLEX.
Want more practice questions?
Please visit our Nursing Test Bank page if you’re looking to answer more practice questions from different topics and different question formats.
Recommended books and resources for your NCLEX success:
- Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN (8th Edition)
The most comprehensive and complete NCLEX exam review book with over 5,200 NCLEX-style questions that are thoroughly updated to reflect the most recent test plan.
- Saunders Q & A Review for the NCLEX-RN® Examination (8th Edition)
This popular review offers more than 6,000 test questions, giving you all the Q&A practice you need to pass the NCLEX-RN examination! Each question enhances review by including a test-taking strategy and rationale for correct and incorrect answers.
- NCLEX-RN Prep Plus by Kaplan (24th Edition)
Kaplan’s NCLEX-RN Prep Plus uses expert critical thinking strategies and targeted sample questions to help you put your expertise into practice and face the exam with confidence.
- Illustrated Study Guide for the NCLEX-RN Exam
Using colorful illustrations and fun mnemonic cartoons, the Illustrated Study Guide for the NCLEX-RN® Exam, 10th Edition brings the concepts found on the NCLEX-RN to life!
- NCLEX RN Examination Prep Flashcards
Easy to use flash cards developed by test prep books for test takers trying to achieve a passing score on the NCLEX RN test, these flashcards cover.
- Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment: Practice Exercises for the NCLEX-RN Examination
This book is the first and the most popular NCLEX-RN Exam review book focused exclusively on building management-of-care clinical judgment skills.
- Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-PN Examination (8th Edition)
The book includes a review of all nursing content areas, more than 4,500 NCLEX exam-style questions, detailed rationales, test-taking tips and strategies, and new Next-Generation NCLEX (NGN)-style questions.
- More NCLEX review books here.