NCLEX-RN Exam Content

Once you've graduated from an accredited nursing program, there is only one step left to become a nurse.  This is the last major hurdle to jump before entering nursing practice and becoming a professional nurse.  The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is the licensure exam taken by all nursing graduates in the United States.  The NCLEX-RN is the exam to become a Registered Nurse (RN).   Once you pass the NCLEX-RN, you can apply to be a Registered Nurse in your state.  When reviewing the NCLEX-RN exam content, understand that your nursing knowledge must reflect the needs of the client across all healthcare settings and throughout the lifespan.

You will be tested on your approach to the integrative nursing process across four major categories. The nursing process will be covered and includes scientific and clinical reasoning and decision-making, assessment, planning, carrying out plans, and evaluation of the process. Caring, including nurse-patient interaction to promote a feeling of emotional well-being, is also covered. Communication and documentation covers interactions between nurses and patients as well as families and colleagues, and documentation that demonstrates what measures and standards of care are implemented. The last facet of the integrative nursing process is teaching and learning, promoting improved behavior with new knowledge, and abilities.

The following is NCLEX-RN test plan outline. Follow the links to learn more about each section in detail.

  1. Safe and Effective Care Environment
    • Management of Care
      • Advance Directives
      • Advocacy
      • Assignment, Delegation, and Supervision
      • Case Management
      • Client Rights
      • Collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Team
      • Concepts of Management
      • Confidentiality and Information Security
      • Consultation
      • Continuity of Care
      • Establishing Priorities
      • Ethical Practice
      • Information Technology
      • Informed Consent
      • Legal Rights and Responsibilities
      • Organ Donation
      • Performance Improvement and Risk Management
      • Referrals
    • Safety and Infection Control 
      • Accident/injury prevention
      • Emergency response plan
      • Ergonomic principles
      • Error prevention
      • Handling hazardous and infectious materials
      • Home safety
      • Reporting of incident/event/irregular occurrence/variance
      • Safe use of equipment
      • Security plan
      • Standard precautions/transmission-based precautions/surgical asepsis
      • Use of restraints/safety devices
  2. Health Promotion and Maintenance
    • Aging Process
    • Antepartum, Intrapartum, Postpartum, and Newborn Care
    • Developmental Stages and Transitions
    • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
    • Health Screening
    • High Risk Behaviors
    • Lifestyle Choices
    • Self-Care
    • Techniques of Physical Assessment
  3. Psychosocial Integrity
    • Abuse and Neglect
    • Behavioral Interventions
    • Chemical and Other Dependencies and Substance Abuse Disorders
    • Coping Mechanisms
    • Crisis Intervention
    • Cultural Awareness and Influences on Health
    • End of Life Care
    • Family Dynamics
    • Grief and Loss
    • Mental Health Concepts
    • Religious and Spiritual Influences on Health
    • Sensory and Perceptual Alterations
    • Stress Management
    • Support Systems
    • Therapeutic Communication
    • The Therapeutic Environment
  4. Physiological Integrity
    • Basic Care and Comfort
      • Assistive Devices
      • Nutrition and Oral Hydration 
      • Elimination
      • Personal Hygiene
      • Mobility/Immobility
      • Rest and Sleep
      • Non-Pharmacological Comfort Interventions
    • Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
      • Adverse Effects/Contraindications/Side Effects/Interactions
      • Outcomes
      • Medication Administration
      • Blood and Blood Products
      • Parenteral/Intravenous Therapies
      • Central Venous Access Devices
      • Pharmacological Pain Management
      • Dosage Calculation
        Total Parenteral Nutrition
    • Reduction of Risk Potential
      • Changes/Abnormalities in Vital Signs
      • Diagnostic Tests
      • Potential for Complications from Surgical Procedures and Health Alterations
      • Laboratory Values
      • System Specific Assessments
      • Potential for Alterations in Body Systems
      • Therapeutic Procedures
      • Potentials for Complications of Diagnostic Tests/Treatments/Procedures
    • Physiological Adaptation
      • Alterations in Body Systems
      • Medical Emergencies
      • Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalances
      • Pathophysiology
      • Hemodynamics
      • Unexpected Response to Therapies 
      • Illness Management

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