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Nursingdegrees > Nursing Blog > Answers to Your Nursing Career Questions

Are You Afraid of Failing the NCLEX?

October 13th, 2010 by – Marijke Durning

Ok, you’ve finished nursing school. But you’re still not licensed – there’s yet one more hurdle in your way: the NCLEX. But some nursing graduates have a recurring nightmare: failing the NCLEX. Regardless of which program you graduated from, registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN), to be allowed to practice nursing, to have a nursing license, you have to pass your NCLEX .

How many nurses fail?

According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the failure rate was not that high for NCLEX-RN the first months of 2010.

The results for first time exam takers, US educated are:

- Diploma RN prep pass rate to end of June 2010: 91.56%

- Bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN): 91.55%

- Associate degree in nursing (ADN): 89.13%

- Other: 71.43%

This makes a total of all first-time exam writers, educated in the U.S. of 90.11%

Nurses who rewrote the NCLEX-RN, the pass rate was lower, at 51.92%

For practical nurses educated in the US, there was a pass rate of 85.75% the first time they wrote the NCLEX-PN. However, for those who were rewriting it, the pass rate was only 40.52%.

These pass rates for the RNs are better than that of all of 2009, while they were even between 2009 and 2010 for LPNs.

During 2009, nurses who wrote the NCLEX-RN exam for the first time and who were educated in the U.S., had a pass rate of:

- Diploma- 90.75%

- BSN- 89.49%

- ADN- 87.61%

- Other- 83.20

For a total passing rate of 88.42% for the NCLEX-RN

For the NCLEX-PN, 85.72% passed the first time, while 41.40% passed rewrites.

So, what do those numbers tell you? Most people pass the first time around.

Passing the exam is your goal, so you’ll need to work at it. Study hard. Use NCLEX prep materials, if possible. Find the study routines that help you best. Some nurses prefer to study alone, others in groups. Ask for help if you feel stuck. But remember -  you’re not alone in this and the chances of you passing are much higher than you failing. Good luck!

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