When is the NCLEX® Changing?

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It’s a common question from nursing students: When is the NCLEX changing? Find out when and how the NCLEX exam is changing in this post from UWorld.
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If you are a nursing student preparing for either the NCLEX-RN® or NCLEX-PN® exam, you have no doubt heard about the upcoming NCLEX changes and the term Next Generation NCLEX (NGN). This probably has you asking several questions, with the most important one possibly being, When is the NCLEX changing? 

There is no reason to be stressed about the upcoming NCLEX changes. (Prepared? Yes. Stressed? No.) If you are using a quality prep resource that contains NGN practice questions, you will be well prepared on exam day. Let’s answer a few of the most commonly asked questions regarding Next Generation NCLEX, including “when is the NCLEX changing?”

Is the NCLEX Changing in 2023?

Yes! The new Next Generation NCLEX exam will become effective beginning April 1, 2023. This means that students graduating in the spring of 2023 will be the first students to be tested with the NGN.

Is the Entire NCLEX Exam Going To Be Different?

The upcoming changes to the NCLEX exam does not mean it is a totally different exam. There will be a combination of traditional NCLEX items and new NGN items on both the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN exams.

What Will the New NCLEX Items Look Like?

Each student, regardless of whether they receive a minimum length exam or a maximum length exam, will be administered three Next Gen case studies. Each case study includes a total of six items. This means that all students will receive a total of 18 Next Gen items over three case studies. 

As just mentioned, the other items will consist of the more familiar NCLEX item types such as multiple-choice items, alternate-format items, and select-all-that-apply (SATA) items.

Students who receive a longer exam may receive up to seven stand-alone clinical judgment NGN item types (i.e., “bowtie” and “trend” items). 

Note: Regardless of the length of your exam, every exam will consist of approximately 20-25% new, NGN-style items. Due to the percentage of new items on the exam, it is imperative that students who are preparing for the Next Generation NCLEX use high-quality NCLEX practice questions that mimic these new item types in order to succeed.

When Should I Start Preparing for the Next Generation NCLEX Exam?

The short answer here is “as soon as possible.” Due to the high-stakes nature of both the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN exams, you don’t want to wait too long to begin preparing. Beginning your exam preparation early reduces stress, builds confidence, and increases the likelihood of passing your exam on the first try.

The UWorld Nursing resource is the industry leader for NCLEX prep, having been used by nearly 1,000,000 nursing students. Both the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN QBanks offer 30-, 60-, 90-, and 180-day access to their test preparation tools, which include Next Generation NCLEX items.

NCLEX Changes 2023: Let’s Review

  • The long awaited NCLEX changes that students and educators have heard about for so long are finally upon us.
  • The entire exam is not changing; however, there will be new NGN-style items included on the exam – between 20% and 25% percent for every candidate. 
  • The new items, unfolding case studies and stand-alone clinical judgment items, are designed to better measure a candidate’s clinical judgment skills.  
  • To be properly prepared for the new exam, it is important to use NCLEX practice questions that have been formatted to mimic Next Generation NCLEX items. 
  • It’s never too early to begin preparing for the NGN. The earlier you begin preparing, the more equipped you will be to pass your exam on the first try.
  • And the answer to the question “When is the NCLEX changing?” is April 1, 2023.

Getting ready for an upcoming NCLEX exam? Are you stressed about the NCLEX changes in 2023? We can help! Our industry-leading online learning tool incorporates NCLEX-style practice questions (including Next Generation NCLEX items), detailed explanations, vivid illustrations, and customizable flashcards as part of our active learning process. It’s no surprise that nearly 1,000,000 nursing students have used UWorld for their NCLEX exam preparation since we launched our nursing product in 2015. Check UWorld Nursing today to see how we can prepare you for the test and for a lifetime of clinical success.

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