NCLEX-RN: License to Test Nursing Standards

When it comes to achieving a RN License to legally practice as a Registered Nurse in America, the hurdle that all successful candidates must clear is the comprehensive examination known as the NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses).

As stated in the NCLEX-RN Test Plan (2016) Introduction:

“The NCLEX® examination assesses the knowledge, skills and abilities that are essential for the entry-level nurse to use in order to meet the needs of clients requiring the promotion, maintenance or restoration of health.”

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) administers the passing standards of the exam on behalf of the state boards of nursing. It is these individual state boards that regulate the process of RN licensing within their respective jurisdictions.

According to the NCSBN, the passing standards and the success rate of candidates remain in a fairly consistent range over time. even as the test content evolves to reflect advances in medical science and health care management systems.

National standard for state boards of nursing

While the state boards retain license granting authority, they collectively benefit from a pooled resource for standards testing for new nursing candidates. All state boards participate in this pool so the entry-level standard of competency is a national standard.

The pooled national standard helps to ensure inter-state license portability for nursing professionals, subject to the condition of permanent residency for determining the home state license.

Enhanced nurse licensure portability

The ability to practice from state to state is also regulated under the terms of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) which created “mutual recognition” of valid licensing among 25 original member states. The original compact led to the creation in 2015 of the Enhanced NLC (eNLC), with enhanced multistate licensing eligibility and state level control of public protection.

This extended license portability makes it easy for senior RNs to fill interim nurse jobs in leadership positions in most states, possibly combining a fully provisioned travel experience with a new interim professional health care challenge.

Offering a fresh perspective on your time and place, NHS Solutions has opportunities available around the country. Our transition team takes care of everything for you to feel at home in a new environment, with our unmatched professional support every step of the way.

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