The NCLEX exam was developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). It is a licensing exam that most be completed by new nursing school graduates before they receive their nursing license from their state board. There are two exam tracks--one for future registered nurses and one for future practical nurses. While the NCSBN oversees the NCLEX program, the exam itself is administered by Pearson Education at locations across the country.

Apply for your nursing license from the applicable licensing board in your state. Locate your local nursing board by visiting the NCSBN website (see Resources). Since each nursing board has slightly different requirements, follow the directions for licensing published by your state. This step must be completed before you take the NCLEX exam.

Visit the Pearson NCLEX website (see Resources) and click on "Register." Select your method of payment, either credit card or check.

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Enter your full name and a valid email address and click "Next." The name you enter must match what is listed on your driver's license or other identification. You will need to show identification when you arrive at the testing center.

Enter your address and telephone number. Click "Next" and then enter your date of birth. Click "Next."

Select the appropriate exam, either the NCLEX-RN for future registered nurses or the NCLEX-PN for future practical nurses. Click "Next."

Select the nursing school you attended from the drop-down menu and then select the state board you applied to in Step 1. Click "Next."

Enter your billing address and credit card or check information. Pearson accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express for the registration fee of $200. Click "Next."

Review the summary page to ensure your information is accurate. If so, click the "Submit" button to process your registration. Pearson will send you a confirmation email detailing your registration information.

Wait to receive your Authorization to Test (ATT) from Pearson. This document will be sent via email and should arrive within two weeks after you submit your registration. The ATT will list the dates when you can take the NCLEX exam; you must take the exam within those dates.

Visit the Pearson website and click on "Schedule a Test." Follow the prompts to create an account, including a username and password, and select the date and location for your NCLEX exam.


  • If it has been two weeks and you still have not received your Authorization to Test (ATT), call Pearson at (866) 496-2539.

Things Needed

  • Application for state nursing license

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