Exam Publications

Exam Publications

Publication topics include: NCLEX Test Plans, Candidate Bulletins, English proficiency tests, standard setting reports, readability studie and reliability & validity studies.

  • 2023 NCLEX-RN Test Plan

    The NCLEX-RN test plan includes an in-depth overview of the content categories along with new details about administration of the exam as well as clinical judgment.

    *Dans cette publication, le masculin est employé sans préjudice afin d’alléger le texte.

    2022  | Publications

  • 2023 NCLEX-PN Test Plan

    The NCLEX-PN test plan includes an in-depth overview of the content categories along with new details about administration of the exam as well as clinical judgment.

    2022  | Publications

  • NCLEX Program Reports - Subscription Overview

    Join hundreds of educators across the country who subscribe to NCLEX Program Reports. These reports are the only source for detailed information about your graduates' performance on the NCLEX examinations. 

    2022  | Publications

  • Item Development Flyer - The NCLEX and REx-PN Depend On You!

    NCSBN depends on nurses to assist in the NCLEX and REx-PN item development process.

    2022  | Publications

  • You've Completed the NCLEX - But You Still Have Questions

    This flyer is for candidates who have just completed the NCLEX. Here, candidates can find information on how their results are processed, what happens if they don’t pass the exam, the NCLEX Quick Results Service, and who they can contact if they have a problem with the NCLEX or its administration.

    2021  | Publications

  • 2022 NCLEX Information Flyer

    Highlights for before, during and after the NCLEX. Includes information on The Eight Steps of the NCLEX, acceptable identification and rules for scheduling/rescheduling your appointment.

    2021  | Publications

  • 2022 NCLEX Candidate Bulletin

    This resource serves as your guide from before to after the NCLEX, including important contact information, details on how to register, the NCLEX Candidate Rules and results processing. 

    2021  | Publications

  • 2020 NCLEX-PN Test Plan

    The NCLEX-PN examination test plan includes an in-depth overview of the content categories along with details about the administration of the exam as well as NCLEX-style item writing exercises and case scenario examples.

    2020  | Publications

  • Reliability and Validity

    The reliability of the NCLEX examination is assessed via a decision consistency statistic. This statistic is used instead of a traditional reliability statistic because it captures the reliability of dichotomous pass/fail decisions rather than the reliability of continuous scores or ability estimates.

    2020  | Publications

  • 2022 REx-PN Test Plan

    The REx-PN test plan includes an in-depth overview of the content categories, details about the administration of the exam and REx-PN style item writing exercises.

    2020  | Publications

  • Integrating the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Clinical Judgment Model Into Nursing Educational Frameworks

    Sound nursing clinical judgment is at the core of competent and safe client care. New graduate nurses face increasing challenges that underscore the importance of investigating how nurse educators teach and measure nursing students' abilities to make clinical judgments. This article presents the National Council of State Boards of Nursing-Clinical Judgment Model (NCSBN-CJM) and discusses the use of the model.

    2019  | Publications

  • Building a Method for Writing Clinical Judgment Items for Entry-Level Nursing Exams

    Clinical judgment has become an increasingly important aspect of modern health service professionals. To ensure public safety, licensure exams must go beyond assessing only knowledge and skills when evaluating entry-level professions to evaluating clinical judgment. This article provides background of a large-scale licensure examination’s process for measuring clinical judgment in entry-level nursing.

    2019  | Publications

  • 2019 NCLEX-RN Test Plan

    The NCLEX-RN examination test plan includes an in-depth overview of the content categories along with details about the administration of the exam as well as NCLEX-style item writing exercises and case scenario examples.

    *Dans cette publication, le masculin est employé sans préjudice afin d’alléger le texte.

    2019  | Publications

  • Strategic Practice Analysis

    NCSBN is focused on establishing the validity and legal defensibility of the NCLEX-RN by ensuring it is comprehensive and that it aligns with the requirements of the nursing profession as it is currently practiced. To keep pace with the changing requirements of the job, NCSBN partnered with a research firm to conduct two studies as part of strategic job analyses of the RN job from 2012 through 2014. The Strategic Practice Analysis is the summary of their findings.

    2018  | Publications

  • 2016 NCLEX-RN Detailed Test Plan - Educator Version

    The educator version of the 2016 NCLEX-RN Test Plan includes an in-depth overview of the content categories along with details about the administration of the exam.

    2016  | Publications

  • 2016 NCLEX-RN Detailed Test Plan - Candidate Version

    The candidate version of the NCLEX-RN examination test plan includes an in-depth overview of the content categories along with details about the administration of the exam. 

    *Dans cette publication, le masculin est employé sans préjudice afin d’alléger le texte. 

    2016  | Publications

  • Assessing Higher-Order Cognitive Constructs by Using an Information-Processing Framework

    Practitioner wellness is a patient safety issue impacting an increasing number of practitioners each year. It is a complex problem that demands a comprehensive and transparent approach in identifying, treating, and preventing burnout and other stress-related conditions.

    2016  | Publications

  • 2016 NCLEX-RN Basic Test Plan

    The basic NCLEX-RN test plan includes an overview of the content categories along with details about the administration of the exam.

    2015  | Publications

  • 2014 NCLEX-PN Test Plan - Basic

    The NCLEX examination test plan provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the examination. The test plan also serves as a guide for both examination development and candidate preparation.

    The 2014 NCLEX-PN Test Plan is effective April 1, 2014.

    2014  | Publications

  • 2014 NCLEX-PN Detailed Test Plan - Educator Version

    The NCLEX examination test plan provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the examination. The test plan also serves as a guide for both examination development and candidate preparation. 

    2014  | Publications

  • 2014 NCLEX English Language Proficiency Passing Standards

    NCSBN conducted a standard-setting study in October 2012 to establish the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery

    (MELAB) passing standard, as related to entry-level nursing practice.

    2014  | Publications

  • Review of Entry-Level Characteristics and the NCLEX

    Analysis of data from a nine-year span indicated that nursing practice environment had become more complex; thus, the question arose about the current length of the entry-level nurse period.

    2014  | Publications

  • 2013 NCLEX-RN Test Plan - Basic

    The NCLEX examination test plan provides a concise summary of the content and scope of the examination. The test plan also serves as a guide for both examination development and candidate preparation.

    The 2013 NCLEX-RN Test Plan is effective April 1, 2013.

    *Dans cette publication, le masculin est employé sans préjudice afin d’alléger le texte.

    2013  | Publications

  • Nursing Clinical Decision-Making: A Literature Review

    The aim of this paper is to review the factors that contribute to clinical judgment and decision-making of novice nurses.

    2012  | Publications

  • Understanding the NCLEX Examination Through the Core Values of NCSBN

    The development, administration and future direction of the NCLEX examinations is guided by the core values of NCSBN, which include collaboration, excellence, innovation, integrity and transparency in advancing regulatory excellence worldwide. This article is intended to provide information about the development and administration of the NCLEX examination as it relates to the cores values of NCSBN.

    2011  | Publications

  • Setting an English Language Proficiency Passing Standard for Entry-Level Nursing Practice Using the Pearson Test of English Academic

    The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN®) conducted a standard-setting study in November 2009 to establish a Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic minimal passing standard, as related to entry-level nursing practice.

    2010  | Publications

  • A Minimum English Proficiency Standard for the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT)

    A research brief highlighting the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN®) 2009’s initiative to determine a passing standard for nurses on the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Test (TOEFL® iBT).

    2009  | Publications

  • The NCLEX Delay Pass Rate Study

    NCSBN conducted a study to examine the relationship between passing the NCLEX examination and the amount of time elapsed between becoming eligible and actually taking the examination.

    2007  | Publications

  • 2005 RN Practice Analysis: NCSBN Executive Summary

    NCSBN performs job (practice) analysis studies every three years. This is an executive summary of the 2005 RN Practice Analysis.

    2005  | Publications

  • Investigate Reasons for Non-Licensure of Nursing School Graduates

    This NCSBN led study was designed to investigate the reasons why candidates who complete their nursing education, submit a registration for the NCLEX examination yet never take an NCLEX-RN® or NCLEX-PN® examination.

    2004  | Publications

  • The Readability of the NCLEX Examination

    NCSBN assesses the readability (the ease with which one can read and comprehend text) of each operational NCLEX pool of items before the pool is deployed for use.

    2004  | Publications

  • The Minimum Proficiency in English for Entry-Level Nurses: TOEFL(TM)

    State boards of nursing are charged with protecting the public through the regulation of nursing in their jurisdiction. One of the ways in which they perform that function is by setting and enforcing prerequisite conditions for getting a license.

    2004  | Publications

Exam Research Briefs

Research brief topics include: nursing comparison studies, knowledge surveys and other examination research.