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National Council Licensure

What is the NCLEX exam?

What is the HESI Exit Exam®?

How to register


What is NCLEX?

It is the examination you take and are required to pass in order to get your nursing licence. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing develop this exam to be used in all states. It is mostly made up of multiple choice questions with some "Alternate Item Formats" including fill-in-the-blank and "select all that apply". By passing this exam you are considered to have the knowledge, skills and abilities essential to the safe and effective practice of an entry level nurse.


What is the HESI Exit Exam®?

HESI is Health Education Systems, Inc., a testing company specializing in producing standardized and custom tests for nursing schools. HESI is now part of Elsiver, a major publisher of nursing textbooks.The HESI Exit Exam is a practice test mimicking the actual NCLEX. As you take the HESI it analyzes your strengths and weaknesses in each testing area. It will identify your weaknesses and will suggest areas to review to help prepare you for the actual NCLEX.

This is not a requirement exam for licencsure although, some schools require thier students to take it as part of the nursing school program. In addition to providing peersonal results for the student, HESI provides feedback to your school as to how the class preformed overall, per testing area, and how your school compares to national average. This provides valuable information to your school so they know what program areas need improvement and where remeadial classes could help. Click here for the HESI website.

HESI Exams: An Overview of Reliability and Validity
Nursing School Exit Exams
RN Exit Exam® Summary

How to regist

Start by contacting your local Board of Nursing. Click here for a listing of contact and web info. They will tell you how to begin the registration process and what papers you need to provide to them.

Next, click here and download the "NCLEX® EXAMINATION CANDIDATE BULLETIN" It contains all the info you need.


Q:How does the computer testing work and why doesn't everyone answer the same number of questions?

A: The test uses computerized adaptive testing (CAT) technology. See this National Council of State Boards of Nursing Power Point Presentation for a detailed explanation.

Q:What are the alternate item format questions?

A: There are questions on the exam now calling for fill in the blank answers, choose all that apply, and other newer formats in addition to the traditional multiple choice questions.

For more explanation please see: Fast Facts About Alternate item formats and the N C L E X ® Examination

To practice the alternate formats from the exam click this link to the testing company, Pearson VUE's tutorial: A “File Download” box will appear. Click Open and the windows application will download to your PC. Once the installation completes, the guided tour and tutorial will open automatically and you may begin.

Q: Can My friends and I schedule the test together?

A: Your whole study group may be able to take the test the same time and testing center. Fax your group's (5 or more candidates) request to Pearson VUE's Group Scheduling Coordinator at 952-681-3899.

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