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NCLEX Test Centers & Scheduling Process
An In-depth Guide

Jordan Coleman
Published by Jordan Coleman
Last Updated On: June 5, 2021

Before you take your NCLEX and become a licensed nurse, you need to make sure you’re eligible to take it and schedule your appointment in advance.

The application process may be complicated, but we’ll walk you through everything you need to do to apply successfully, starting with the NCLEX test center.

Where Are NCLEX Testing Centers Located?

Notebooks on a desk

The majority of NCLEX testing centers are located in the US and Canada. These are called domestic testing centers. There’s also a handful of NCLEX testing centers located worldwide, and these are considered international.

You can take your test at any available location, but keep in mind you’ll have to pay an additional fee if you’re taking the test in a state different from the one you want to get licensed for.

Here’s a brief overview of locations of the US and Canada’s testing centers:

Note that you can obtain your license for the US in Canada and, vice versa, get your license for Canada in the US, but you’ll have to pay additional fees that are usually around 200 USD.

Licensure Country Test Center Locations
United States The US, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands
Canada Canada, Canadian territories, the US mainland

Note that you can obtain your license for the US in Canada and, vice versa, get your license for Canada in the US, but you’ll have to pay additional fees that are usually around 200 USD.

Can I Choose the NCLEX Location Myself?

Yes. You can choose a location that best suits your needs at the moment. However, you’ll have to pay additional fees if you’re taking your test at a location outside of the state where you want to be licensed.

To find a test center near you, go to Pearson VUE’s test center search engine, and enter your address. The tool should give you a list of nearby locations and you can choose the one closest to you.

If you’re taking the test at an international test center, you’ll have to pay an additional international scheduling fee, which is usually around 150 USD and 150 CAD.

Getting Authorization to Test (ATT)

A nurse

To be eligible to take the test, you need to fulfill two initial requirements:

  1. Complete your nursing school
  2. Get authorized to test in your state by the Board of Nursing

To obtain your authorization (ATT), go to the Board of Nursing and select your state. You’ll be taken to another website that offers information on the person you should contact to check if your chosen state has any additional requirements you need to fulfill to get authorized.

How to Schedule An Appointment

You can schedule an appointment only after you’ve obtained your Authorization to Test (ATT). Whether you’re taking your test at a domestic or an international test center, you need to schedule your appointment through Pearson VUE.

You can do this either online or over the phone. If you prefer to discuss it over the phone, contact Pearson VUE NCLEX Candidate Services. Otherwise, just go to Pearson VUE’s website and click Sign in or Register to schedule your appointment.

Note that your ATT isn’t valid forever, and you need to take the NCLEX before it expires. The date should be right on your document. Also, keep in mind that you can make an appointment up to one business day in advance. In other words, you can’t schedule an appointment on the same day you’re calling or registering.

What Should I Expect When I Arrive at the Test Center?

Backpack hanging from a chair

First, you need to arrive early. A good rule of thumb is to arrive at least half an hour before your appointment. Usually, the centers won’t admit any late arrivals.

You’ll also be required to present your ID and, perhaps, even take a photo or sign a document confirming you arrived at the test center.

It’s not unusual for test centers to ask their candidates to leave their belongings outside of the testing room. Even if your test center doesn’t require this, keep in mind you’re still not allowed to use any electronic devices or study materials during the test.

You’ll get your exam via a computer adaptive testing (CAT) system. In short, this means your exam will be adapted to your ability in real time [1]. The computer will select different questions based on your performance on the test to give a more accurate estimate of your ability.

Can I Get a Refund?

Basically, no. You are responsible for rescheduling or cancelling your appointment 24 hours before the test day. In case you cancel, you may get a refund if the test center decides so after reviewing your explanation.

Otherwise, you won’t be eligible for a refund, so make sure you reschedule on time by reaching out to your Pearson VUE contact.

Conclusion: NCLEX Test Center

Taking the NCLEX is stressful as it is. The last thing you need is more surprises and unexpected issues. Admittedly, the scheduling process is quite complex, which is why you need to educate yourself on all the necessary steps ahead of time, starting with the NCLEX Test Center.

We’ve done the hard lifting for you and laid out the summary of the scheduling process in this article. The only thing to do now is to obtain your ATT, schedule your appointment, and get to work. You’ll become a fully licensed nurse in no time. Good luck!

Reference:

  1. https://surpass.com/news/2019/computer-adaptive-testing-background-benefits-and-case-study-of-a-large-scale-national-testing-programme/

About the author

Jordan Coleman

Jordan Coleman

Jordan is a teacher who is in love with English literature and quality content. He uses his teaching experience to help both his own students and others around the world to improve their knowledge and self-confidence.

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