How to Prepare for the Next Generation NCLEX

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The next generation NCLEX comes with many changes, but nursing students can prepare for the new NCLEX by knowing what to expect and what they need to know before taking their licensure exam. Discover more about the NCLEX exam and how CSP Global can help you prepare.

nursing students studying

If you want to become a registered nurse, the last hurdle standing in your way after earning a nursing degree is the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Recently, however, the format of the NCLEX exam has changed to assess several aspects of student knowledge more accurately.

But what does the next generation NCLEX mean for up-and-coming nurses? What makes the new NCLEX different from the old, and how can you best prepare? Even with changes to the licensure exam, rigorous study and familiarity with the latest testing content and structure can lead you to success.

Through CSP Global’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, you will fully prepare to graduate and earn your licensure in as few as 16 months. Discover how to prepare for the next generation NCLEX and how CSP Global can support you through this process.

What is the NCLEX Exam?

The NCLEX-RN® is an exam prospective nurses must pass before attaining licensure. It ensures all individuals entering the nursing field are fully equipped with the knowledge base to provide patients with the best possible care.

After passing the NCLEX, nursing students can become registered nurses. They may begin applying for jobs and can legally conduct nursing practice. With that in mind, knowing what to expect on the NCLEX long before you take it is essential. If you have questions about preparing for the next gen NCLEX, look no further.

nurse holding clipboard with patient

Wondering if nursing school is the right next step for you? Learn some nursing qualities and requirements to succeed at CSP Global.

Is the NCLEX Hard?

The NCLEX tests your basic nursing knowledge and critical thinking, decision-making and patient interaction skills. These factors culminate in a challenging exam requiring many months of study and committed learning. Nurses must be highly qualified and prepared for anything they face during their careers, so the NCLEX accurately assesses these abilities.

Remember that if you plan your study schedule, the NCLEX is manageable. Using study techniques and tools, you can spread your effort to help you prepare more effectively and better retain information.

What’s Covered on the NCLEX Exam?

The NCLEX is designed to ensure you have a complete knowledge base and the ability to perform nursing duties adequately, so it naturally contains diverse content covering everything a student will encounter in a comprehensive nursing education.

nursing student studying

The questions on the Next Gen NCLEX differ slightly from the previous exam due to an updated format. In addition to the traditional multiple-choice, ordered response, and fill-in-the-blank questions, you will answer case study, matrix, hot spot, bow-tie questions and more. While this may sound complicated, these question formats are intuitive and better reflect a comprehensive spectrum of nursing knowledge.

In the next generation NCLEX, you will also find that the scoring is slightly different. Each question may be graded according to 0/1 scoring, which sums all correct responses; +/- scoring, which scores positive for correct answers and negative for incorrect answers; and rationale scoring, which awards points for correct paired responses. Keep this in mind, as it can influence test-taking strategies.

When Did the Next Generation NCLEX Begin?

Since the next generation NCLEX began in spring 2023, CSP Global has prepared students for this test-taking style rather than the old NCLEX style.

Through the Accelerated BSN program, students learn the material and skills needed to succeed on the NCLEX and have access to helpful resources and faculty. They get help familiarizing themselves with the test, instructors with insight into suitable study materials, and peers going through the same journey who can encourage and support them.

What are Some NCLEX Study Tips?

Whether you are just beginning your nursing journey or are well on your way, there is no better time than the present to begin studying for the NCLEX. Need help knowing where to start? Here are a few study tips you can apply.

Start Early

two CSP nursing students sitting and studying

The NCLEX is a high-stakes test and the culmination of years of work. Regardless of where you are in your nursing journey, it is never too early to start thinking about the NCLEX. You also don’t need to wait until you’re further in the program to study. You can begin to familiarize yourself with question formats from the very beginning.

Create a Study Plan

Once you decide when you want to take the NCLEX, it is time to make a study plan. Research study curricula to help you space out your schedule. It can be challenging to plan NCLEX study time when studying so much for the nursing program, but it is easier when you stick to a consistent schedule. Plan around 30 minutes, five days a week, to see what adjustments you need.

Get Familiar with the Test Format

Given the Next Gen NCLEX modifications, it is a good idea to become familiar with the test and not just the study materials. That way, when you take the exam, you can focus on the content of the questions rather than spend time trying to understand the question format. A great way to do this is by taking plenty of practice tests ahead of time. Practice tests ensure you get comfortable testing and help you determine how prepared you are to take the actual exam.

Prepare for the Next Gen NCLEX with CSP Global

At CSP Global, we prepare you for success in the program and beyond. Our ABSN coursework, labs, and clinical learning experiences are designed to give you the tools to succeed academically and in practical nursing applications. The NCLEX tests these factors, so choosing a high-quality nursing program is vital to building the proper foundation for learning and studying.

CSP Global ABSN pass rates are higher than the national average, with 2021 St. Paul campus graduates earning a 93.75% pass rate and Portland campus students earning an 87.53% pass rate. So, if you choose the accelerated nursing program, you can rest assured knowing you will receive an excellent education in preparation for the NCLEX.

Looking for more tips and tricks? Here are 10 strategies to help you prepare for nursing school.

nursing student in library reading a book

Get Started

Are you ready to take the first step toward passing the next generation NCLEX and fulfilling your nursing potential? Contact us today to get connected with an admissions counselor who can help.