Next Generation NCLEX® Exam Registration, Eligibility and Cost

NCLEX® registration is arguably the most important step on your journey to becoming a nurse. After all, you can't pass an exam that you don't take. Navigating through any bureaucracy can feel overwhelming, but the registration and scheduling process is actually quite simple once you break it down. Below we'll show you how to schedule your exam appointment in four simple steps and discuss everything you need to know regarding NCLEX-RN® and NCLEX-PN® registration, eligibility, and cost.

What are NCLEX Exam Eligibility Requirements

If you want to practice nursing in the US or Canada, you must take the NCLEX after graduating from an accredited nursing program. While each jurisdiction's nursing regulatory body (NRB) has its own eligibility requirements, common requirements include:

  • Graduating from an accredited nursing program
  • Passing the NCLEX
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In the US, there are two versions of the NCLEX—NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN. The one you take depends on the level of nursing you wish to practice (see below). Canadian nurses, however, only take the NCLEX-RN. Check with the Nursing Regulatory Board (NRB) of the state where you want to obtain licensure for specific requirements.

Exam Type License Requirements Test Fee Test Site
NCLEX-RN Registered Nurse Diploma from RN licensure program or an Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN), or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) $200 USD*
$360 CAD**
Pearson Vue Testing Center
NCLEX-PN Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse Diploma or degree in practical nursing (LPN) or vocational nursing (LVN)

*Additional fees for licensure are determined by the individual State Boards of Nursing

** Excludes local taxes

How soon after graduation can I take the NCLEX?

Most NRBs allow you to take the NCLEX about 45 days after graduating from an accredited nursing program, but you should always check with your NRB for details. However, just because you can take the NCLEX after 45 days doesn't necessarily mean you should.

Asking yourself the following questions will help clarify things:

  • When do you plan to begin working as a nurse? — Taking time off between graduation and the start of your nursing career could give you extra time to study.
  • How good is your memory? — Taking the exam while the material is still fresh may be your preferred route.
  • Are you prepared? — Taking the extra few months to prepare for the NCLEX may make the difference in passing the exam on your first attempt.

NCLEX Registration to Scheduling in 4-Simple Steps

Below, we'll walk you through the registration and scheduling process in 4 easy-to-follow steps.

Step 1: Apply for Licensure

Once you graduate from an accredited nursing school, you can apply for licensure with the Nursing Regulatory Board in the state where you want to be licensed. If you require testing accommodations, you can make a request to the NRB.

Step 2: Register with Pearson VUE

Payment and scheduling for the NCLEX are done through Pearson Vue. You must register online and provide your program code, an email address, and an acceptable form of payment. The name you use when registering must exactly match the ID you present on exam day. If you don't receive confirmation of your registration within two days, contact Pearson Vue Candidate Services.

Step 3: Receive your ATT

After you have registered through Pearson VUE, the NRB will review your application. If they determine that you're eligible to sit for the NCLEX, you'll receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) via the email address you used to register. Your ATT is essential, and you must have it to schedule your NCLEX appointment. Pay careful attention to the validity dates on your ATT. You must test within the dates provided by Pearson Vue. They will not be extended.

Step 4: Schedule an Appointment

Now it's time to find a testing location and schedule your exam appointment. You can do this online via the Pearson Vue website or by calling Pearson Vue Candidate Services directly.

Online Telephone

Register through the Pearson Vue website. Payments can be made with a debit card, prepaid Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card.

It's recommended that you register online to expedite the process. Simply sign in and request your time/date/location preference.

Use Pearson Vue Candidate Services to find the correct telephone number for your region/language. Payments can be made with debit, prepaid Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card.

Be ready to provide your ATT number and information to verify your identity, then request your time/date/location preference.

Registration Time Limit

Upon graduation from an accredited nursing program, the earliest you can take your NCLEX exam is approximately 45 days. This varies from state to state, so be sure to check with your NRB to find out what the requirement is in your state.

ATT Validity Dates

You'll receive your Authorization to Test (ATT) via email once you've registered through Pearson Vue and the NRB declares that you're eligible to sit for the NCLEX. This email is critical as you must have it to schedule your NCLEX appointment. Your ATT is valid for 90 days on average. However, validity dates are set by individual NRBs, so it's essential that you check with yours.

Can I cancel my NCLEX registration?

You can cancel your NCLEX registration, but registration fees (including international scheduling fees) will not be refunded under any circumstance. That includes accidentally registering twice, not showing up to your appointment, and forgetting to cancel or reschedule your appointment. You can change an appointment, but you must do so at least one full business day before your scheduled exam.

What if you missed an NCLEX exam appointment?

Missing your NCLEX appointment automatically forfeits your exam fee and invalidates your ATT. If you need to reschedule, you must do so 1 business day (24 hours) in advance of your appointment.

Can I take the NCLEX in a different state?

You can take the NCLEX at any domestic Pearson Professional Testing location. For those seeking licensure in the US, that means testing centers within the US and its territories—American Samoas, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Virgin Islands. For candidates seeking licensure in Canada, valid testing centers include those in Canadian provinces and territories and the US mainland (excluding its territories).

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The NCLEX is also offered internationally in the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey. Use Pearson Vue's website to find a test center.

How Much Does the NCLEX Exam Cost?

The registration fee to take the NCLEX-PN or the NCLEX-RN exam in the United States is $200. For candidates registering for the NCLEX-RN in Canada, the fee is $360 (Canadian). If a test-taker changes his or her nursing regulatory body after registering for the NCLEX, there is a $50 fee (United States and Canada).

Fee Candidates Seeking U.S. Licensure Candidates Seeking Canadian Licensure/Registration Candidates Seeking Australian Licensure
Registration Fee $200 USD* $360 CAD
(excludes local taxes)
$200 USD
Additional International Scheduling fee (+VAT where applicable) $150 USD $150 USD $150 USD
Change nursing regulatory body after registration fee $50 USD $50 USD Not Applicable
Change exam type (RN/PN) after registration fee $50 USD Not Applicable Not Applicable
Change exam language (English/French) after registration fee Not Applicable $50 USD Not Applicable

*Note: Your nursing regulatory body (NRB) also charges a fee for initial licensure. These fees vary from state to state.

How do I pay my NCLEX fees?

Acceptable forms of payment for registration fees include a valid Visa, MasterCard, American Express credit card, debit, or prepaid card. You'll need to provide the name on the card, the card number, and its expiration date.

Refunds and Fee Forfeiture

Registration fees are not refundable under any circumstances. Pearson Vue requires that you cancel your exam a minimum of 7 days prior to your appointment in order to receive a full refund.

Read More About the NCLEX

Get detailed information on the NCLEX Exam. This article covers eligibility, registration, exam format, and preparation strategies to help nursing candidates succeed on their licensure exams.
Here’s an extensive NCLEX-RN Study Guide featuring essential content, study tips, practice question resources, and info to prepare nursing candidates for their licensure exam.
Check out this thorough NCLEX-PN Study Guide. It covers key topics, study strategies, practice question resources, and info designed to help practical nursing candidates excel.
This NCLEX Scoring Guide provides insights into the exam’s adaptive testing method, pass/fail determination, and score interpretation to help nursing candidates understand results.
This NCLEX-RN Test Plan covers exam objectives, content distribution, and guidance for nursing candidates to prepare effectively for the registered nurse licensure exam.
This NCLEX-PN Test Plan details exam goals, content organization, and advice for practical nursing candidates to study for the practical nurse licensure exam efficiently.
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