COVID-19 and the NCLEX®

What you need to know

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Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), there have been significant alterations to NCLEX-RN® and NCLEX-PN® testing dates and the exams themselves. UWorld is responding to help students and nursing programs continue to prepare for their exams in these unprecedented times. Here is what you need to know:

On March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.
After some initial testing dates were canceled, NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN testing resumed on March 25, 2020, in a limited capacity. Exam candidates can identify testing sites by checking for available times in their Pearson VUE account.

All changes to Pearson VUE Testing Centers and the NCLEX exams are in effect from March 25 through Sept. 30, 2020. Changes may be extended beyond that time if deemed necessary by NCSBN and/or Pearson VUE.

About the testing site changes:

  • Testing center personnel will be screened for fever before administering the exam.
  • Palm vein scanners will be appropriately disinfected between every candidate, and identification will be held at arm’s length for touchless review by the Test Administrator.
  • During check-in, NCLEX candidates will be asked to confirm that within the last 14 days they 1) have not exhibited COVID-19 symptoms and 2) have not been in contact with anyone either diagnosed with COVID-19 or displaying related symptoms.
  • Testing workstations will be disinfected between each candidate, and all high touchpoints in common areas (door handles, lockers, etc) will be cleaned at least hourly.
  • Candidates will be seated at least 6 feet apart
  • Hand sanitizer and paper towels will be available for candidate use.
  • Candidates may wear a face mask and/or gloves during their exam (not provided).

About the NCLEX changes (for all RN and PN candidates):

  • The minimum number of items on the exam will now be 60.
  • The maximum number of items on the exam will now be 130.
  • The maximum testing time has been changed from 5 (PN) or 6 (RN) hours to 4 hours for all candidates.
  • All pretest exam items have been removed, and the optional, experimental Next Generation NCLEX
  • RN section will not be offered.
  • Computerized Adaptive Testing will still be used.
  • Exam difficulty and passing standards have NOT changed.

According to the NCSBN, these changes have been made due to the “unprecedented need for nurses and their importance in the health care system during this time of global pandemic.” The length of the exam has been shortened to four hours “in order to allow the maximum number of candidates to test per day.”

In response to students and nursing programs who have dealt with testing delays or cancellations, UWorld is offering blanket extensions to all QBank subscriptions set to expire between May 19, 2020, and June 30, 2020. See UWorld’s announcement on subscription extensions here.

NCLEX is a registered trademark of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc (NCSBN), that neither endorses nor is affiliated with UWorld. For the latest information on the COVID-19 Impact to NCLEX candidates, please review the FAQs on the NCSBN web site.

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