National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Exam (NLN PAX-RN/PN)

The National league for Nursing (NLN) is the premier organization for nursing education, so it’s no surprise that the NLN PAX is one of the most used entrance exams for potential nursing students. There are separate versions for RN and LPN testing. Both tests are similar; however, the PN version includes a section on health and first aid. There are three main areas: verbal skills, math and science. Verbal skills include both word knowledge and reading comprehension. It determines that you can read at a certain level and also that you can understand and retain what you have read. The math testing consists of basic calculations, word problems, algebra, geometry, conversions, graphs and applied mathematics. Applied mathematics can solve problems like “How can a facility use smarter scheduling to reduce costs of overtime” or “how can an in depth plan for a clinical trial be planned”? Science will cover general biology, chemistry, physics and earth science material. There is also a section on health and first aid.

At the time of this writing, the exam consists of 214 questions. You won’t be graded on all of them. About 54 are being trialed for use on future tests. Unfortunately, you won’t know which ones they are. All questions have multiple choice answers. Here’s a breakdown of the categories: 60 verbal skills, 80 math and 60 science questions. The average person takes about 3 hours to complete. You cannot use a calculator. Most schools are using the computer based testing but you may encounter this test in paper form as well.

To help you study for PAX-PN or PAX-RN, the National League of Nurses (NLN) has the NLN Review Guide for LPN/RN Pre-Entrance Exam. It helps you review the 3 areas and has approximately 1,000 practice questions and 3 practice exams in each of the 3 content areas. The book also has helpful tips for getting ready to test and for becoming a more effective learner and test taker.

The cost to take the test is between $60.00 to $100.00. The NLN does not give refunds. If you need to retake the exam, you must wait a minimum of 6 months, so you must be prepared before you take it.

Written by

Kelli Wilson RN, BSN

Kelli has over 16 years experience as an RN. During that time she has had hands on clinical as well as management experience.