The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) develops the nursing licensing examinations – NCLEX- RN and NCLEX-PN.

In September, the NCSBN held their yearly conference to discuss the tests. Here are some of the things we want to pass along to you!

The 2019-2021 test plan:

  • The test plans are not changing significantly in 2019, though there is an improved emphasis on culture and spirituality.
  • Other changes for 2019-2021 tests are based off what is required of nurses during their first year of practice. You can find the nursing practice analysis here.
  • The 2019 test will really look like the 2016 test. TAKE A BREATH! You are cool. Put the rumors down.

  • They will be putting new item types in the research section of the test. These do not count toward your score on the test. At all. So, if you see a strange question, like a select-all-that-apply with a kazillion choices (up to 10, actually), don’t worry about it. They are testing out the question, not you.
  • Your instructors will start pushing you to think harder. Clinical judgment! There is a new NCSBN Clinical Judgment Model that is expected to be used on the 2022 test for RN and PN. This model is intended to make the test more like real life instead of the mythical NCLEX world where you have all you need and the docs answer your texts immediately.
  • NCSBN has until around December to decide if they want to make the test a little bit more difficult to pass in 2019. If this happens, they do not expect to make it much harder. Think of this as the difference between needing a 78% to pass and an 80% to pass on a regular text. This may not happen at all. We will let you know!

DECEMBER 2018: NCSBN maintains the same passing standard for the  new exam that begins in 2019. Consider following us on Facebook to stay in-the-know!

Other tidbits:

  • The NCSBN folks SWEAR that the Pearson VUE trick is not accurate. They reiterate that if the system takes your money for scheduling a test that is not needed, they cannot give you that money back. New nurses used to have to wait a REALLY long time to get those results. You will have them in a couple of days. CHILL OUT 🙂
  • The NCSBN spends approximately 1.5 years working on each test item before it becomes a question that will get a score when you answer it. This includes having lots of students answer it and lots of nurses review it before they decide it is fair to use on the real test.
  •  The NCLEX is not 3 years behind practice changes, though. They constantly go in and remove outdated information and replace it with newer questions that address current practice.

Here are some useful statistics and information that came from the conference:

  • 40% of testers do stop at 75 items.
    • 80% of testers who stop at 75 items pass.
  • 40% of testers answer between 76 and 264 questions on the NCLEX-RN.
    • It just means the computer is trying to keep up with you! Don’t panic. Just keep going! 
  • 15% of test takers hit that max number of items 256.
    • 50% of those folks pass.
  • I didn’t hear anyone say where the other 5% of the test-takers went.
    • Maybe they ran away? (Seriously, it is probably people who had to cancel for illness or something.)

                                    🤷

  • The NCLEX does not give you the same item reworked until you get it right. The computer is not that smart!
  • Even for you straight-A folks, the NCLEX is smarter than you! You will feel like you didn’t know it all because the CAT gears the questions to make sure you have a 50-50 shot in each one!
    • As in, you are super smart and the test keeps pushing to see which questions are actually tough for YOU.
    • The better you answer, the harder they get. That’s all.
    • Chances are excellent that you passed, even if you feel like you don’t know the answers, even if you feel defeated by the number of select-all-that-apply items!
    • As an instructor, I can’t tell you how many brilliant students message me after their exam feeling defeated….AND THEY PASSED!
    • Chances are awesome that you did great! Be confident!
  • THE IDEA IS, REALLY, YOU PROBABLY WILL PASS THE TEST.

                          🎉🙌🏾🎆

Where can you find more information?

Truly, everything a nurse graduate needs to prepare for the NCLEX is on the NCSBN website. Including a great explanation of adaptive testing or CAT.

You can access the basic or detailed test plans for RN and PN on the NCSBN website. Information is also available about alternate item formats, how many decimal places for numerical answers, and tutorials, offered in both English and French.  For French-speaking and Canadian NCLEX-RN testers, there is much more information on the NCSBN site, such as a list of terms that do not translate well between languages and how this type of determination is made.

Check out the NCSBN website before you test. You will not regret it.

Take a look at our summary of the 2017 NCLEX UPDATES HERE:

Select All That Apply and other NCLEX changes

      You will love our NURSING SOLUTIONS on MOBILE & COMPUTER!

 

BE SURE TO TRY OUR NCLEX RN AND PN SIMULATIONS TO FEEL CONFIDENT ON TEST DAY! 

UPDATED, EXPANDED RATIONALES ROLLING OUT IN 2018 FOR NCLEX-RN MASTERY SUBSCRIBERS!

YOU WON’T NEED GOOD LUCK TO PASS WHEN YOU USE NCLEX MASTERY!

Posted by Catherine MSN RN

Catherine is a nursing subject matter expert at Higher Learning Technologies, the developers of awesome Nursing Mastery products. Catherine worked in oncology, pulmonary, progressive care, intensive care, med-surg, step-down, and hospice. Catherine teaches clinical, classroom, and simulation and has completed contracted writing with WGU, WK/LWW, ATI, Pearson, Kaplan Test Prep, Elsevier, Excelsior, and HTRSD. #BoyMomma #ICanStudyAnywhere #NursesRock

22 Comments

  1. I’m having difficulty retaining the material. Please help

    Reply

    1. Catherine MSN RN November 7, 2018 at 11:40 am

      This is a complex question. Continue daily practice with NCLEX MASTERY each day is one of the best methods to increase retention.

      Reply

  2. I haven’t thanked y’all for all the efforts that you made just to help us get through NCLEX! Nclex Rn Mastery is not only an app but a very strong and powerful tool to have as a nurse. I’ve been only getting 55% correct answers most of the time —and that made me scared— but constantly training and challenging yourself to think like you’re in the actual exam helps you to manage your time and develop test taking strategies and gain more nursing knowledge and skills. Not to mention all the features such as podcast, audio, video, nclex simulation, blogs, everything that the app offers are really helpful! Again, with my utmost respect to the creators, the nurses and developers of Nclex Mastery, THANK YOU! I am now a Registered Nurse. Loud and proud! 👩🏼‍⚕️ ❤️

    Reply

    1. Catherine MSN RN November 7, 2018 at 11:38 am

      This is amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a warm comment. The team appreciates it so much!!!

      Reply

  3. If you have mix of “above” and “near” the passing line for NCLEX, is it a pass? Or is it only “above” a pass? Because I read somewhere that either “above” and “near” mean a ‘pass’. But, if you only have “near” for all sections, that means it’s a fail. So confusing..

    Reply

    1. Catherine MSN RN December 18, 2018 at 8:13 pm

      First, just know that you will be just as prepared no matter where the standard lies! As long as you have a few answers just above the pass line, a few just below, and few at the passing standard line, you should be fine. It kind of averages out. See this video for how the adaptive testing works, too! https://www.ncsbn.org/356.htm

      Reply

  4. Hello,

    Now that December has passed, and it is almost February… You said you would update us on the council’s decision regarding….

    “NCSBN has until around December to decide if they want to make the test a little bit more difficult to pass in 2019. If this happens, they do not expect to make it much harder. Think of this as the difference between needing a 78% to pass and an 80% to pass on a regular text. This may not happen at all. We will let you know!”

    What is the verdict? I graduate this year and am anxious about the June exam.

    Reply

    1. Catherine MSN RN February 6, 2019 at 2:38 pm

      Sure thing! We did update on our Facebook page. The decision in December related to whether the test would be tougher to pass. The answer is NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The passing standard remains exactly the same 🙂

      Reply

  5. You said you would let us know the verdict of the council’s December deadline regarding the next gen Nclex- can you please share that information?

    Reply

    1. Catherine MSN RN February 6, 2019 at 2:37 pm

      Sure thing! We did update on our Facebook page. The new test in 2019 is not the NextGen NCLEX. That is a different beast we expect for the next test change. The decision in December related to whether the test would be tougher to pass. The answer is NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The passing standard remains exactly the same 🙂

      Reply

  6. After reading this I’m a little relieved when you said that the test this year would be the same. BUT I heard from one of my NCLEX instructors and classmates there will be a change April 2019? I take my test April so I want to know if there actually was a change made for this coming April? I was told there’d be essays???

    Reply

    1. The only items you will see like essays or cases are for the NCSBN to gather data on those types of questions. These appear in the research section of the exam. They do not count toward your score. You will see them. You should do your best on them. They do not affect the outcome of your test at all, though. Good luck!!! As always, when in doubt, look to the NCSBN site for more information. They are VERY transparent about what they are doing and what you should expect.

      Reply

  7. when I purchase NCLEX RN mastery app can I use both my phone and laptob

    Reply

    1. Catherine MSN RN February 25, 2019 at 4:13 pm

      YES!!! NCLEX RN Mastery works on any device 🙂

      Reply

  8. According to a recent release from the NCSBN, the passing logit score for the NCLEX-RN Review(through 2019) is 0.00. Basically, this means that you need to be answering the medium difficulty questions correctly at least 50% of the time to pass. What you say about this.

    Reply

    1. Catherine MSN RN March 13, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      Yes, that is correct and is what we shared about the NCSBN news.

      Reply

  9. […] (NCSBN), and it is designed to make sure you are safe for your first year of nursing work. The 2019 test is very similar to the test graduates have taken for the past three years, so no worries […]

    Reply

  10. Please tell me why this app is better than Uworld ~ trying to decide which to use. GO

    Reply

    1. Catherine MSN RN May 20, 2019 at 3:43 pm

      Hello, Debbie!
      First, price. We offer you roughly 3000 total NCLEX-style questions and customizable quizzes, with more material being added ALL THE TIME. Our ANNUAL price is equivalent to what UWorld charges for one month, currently. Let’s be honest, it takes one week to decide how you want to use the app, leaving 3 weeks to study. That is NOT enough to prepare for this test. At least for most people 3 weeks is not enough.

      To get both of their simulated NCLEX exams, the price is nearly $200 while our simulated NCLEX exams are included in whichever subscription you choose.

      Second, NCLEX Mastery was built by nurses.

      I could go on, but let me share a link with you! https://nclexmastery.com/join-nclex-rn-now?sc=101180000310805&gclid=Cj0KCQjwoInnBRDDARIsANBVyAReHCebPvfNLr5SnvmcADO1iQche6m6yYS_DR-w87BWq8flfRLjghMaAnWuEALw_wcB
      Catherine, Nursing

      Reply

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