The National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN exam) is administered by individual State Boards of Nursing. The NCLEX-PN is often referred to as "The Boards" or "State Boards." The NCLEX-PN has only one purpose: To determine if it is safe for you to begin practice as an entry-level practical/vocational nurse.
The exam itself contains questions which are aimed at testing whether you are competent in the following:
Safe and Effective Care Environment
- Coordinated Care accounts for 16-22 percent of questions on the NCLEX-PN exam. The nursing actions included in this subcategory are Advanced Directives, Advocacy, Client Care Assignments, Client Rights, Concepts of Management and Supervision, Confidentiality, Consultation with Members of the Health Care Team, Continuity of Care, Establishing Priorities, Ethical Practice, Informed Consent, Legal Responsibilities, Quality Assurance, Referral Process, and Resource Management.
- Safety and Infection Control accounts for 10-16 percent of exam questions. Nursing actions include Accident/Error Prevention, Handling Hazardous Materials, Home Safety, Injury Prevention, Internal and External Disaster Plans, Medical and Surgical Asepsis, Incident Reporting, Safe Use of Equipment, Security Plan, Standard/Transmission-Based/and other Precautions, and Use of Restraints and Safety Devices.
Health Promotion and Maintenance
- Promotion and Maintenance. These questions account for 7-13 percent of the exam. Nursing actions tested include the Aging Process, Ante/Intra/Postpartum and Newborn Care, Data Collection Techniques, Developmental Stages and Transitions, Disease Prevention, Expected Body Image Changes, Family Interaction Patterns, Family Planning, Health Screening, Immunizations, High Risk Behaviors, Human Sexuality, Lifestyle Choices, Self Care, and Health Promotion Programs.
- Psychosocial Integrity. It accounts for 6-12 percent of the exam and tested nursing actions include Coping Mechanisms, Grief and Loss, Mental Health Concepts, Spiritual Influence on Health, Sensory/Perceptual Alterations, Stress Management, Support Systems, Therapeutic Communication, Chemical Dependency, Behavioral Interventions, Crisis Intervention, Coping Mechanisms, End of Life Care, and Family Dynamics.
Physiological Integrity. It includes four concepts:
- Basic Care and Comfort accounts for 7-13 percent of questions on the NCLEX-PN exam. The nursing actions included in this subcategory are Assistive Devices, Elimination, Mobility, Non-pharmacological Comfort Interventions, Nutrition and Oral Hydration, Palliative/Comfort Care, Personal Hygiene, as well as Rest and Sleep.
- Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies accounts for 11-17 percent of the exam. Tested nursing actions include Adverse Effects, Expected Effects, Medication Administration, Pharmacologic Actions, Pharmacologic Agents, and Side Effects.
- Reduction of Risk Potential accounts for 10-16 percent of the exam. Its tested nursing actions include Diagnostic Tests, Laboratory Values, Potential for Body System Alterations, Potential for Complications of Diagnostic Tests, Treatments, and Procedures, Therapeutic Procedures, and Vital Signs.
- Physiological Adaptation accounts for 7-13 percent of the exam. Its tested nursing actions include Alterations in Body Systems, Basic Pathophysiology, Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalances, Medical Emergencies, Radiation Therapy, and Unexpected Response to Therapies.