LPN NCLEX Exam Preparation Resources

All aspiring licensed practical nurses (LPNs) must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Learn about how to prepare for this exam.

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Aspiring LPNs can look to books and preparation courses to prepare for the NCLEX-PN Exam.

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What Exam Prep Resources Are Available for Aspiring LPNs?

After completing a state-approved training program, prospective LPNs are qualified to take the NCLEX-PN. While some LPN training programs include exam review sessions, it may be necessary to prepare for the licensure exam through other study aids, including books or standalone exam prep courses.


Exam-prep books can teach test-takers how to take the exam not just through memorization, but by mastering specific test-taking skills. Some companies who've created preparation books for the NCLEX-PN exam that offer tips and strategies for achieving good score. These include:

  • Kaplan
  • Saunders Q
  • Delmar
  • Mometrix Media

Preparation Courses

NCLEX-PN prep courses are available from a variety of third-party test review providers. They can serve the needs of aspiring LPNs who are taking the test for the first time, as well as those who've taken the test but would like to raise their scores. Some providers include:

  • Kaplan
  • RNQuiz.com
  • Pearson Education
  • Hurst Review

Exam Details

The NCLEX-PN is a pass-fail test that is taken on a computer at approved testing sites. The exam is offered through individual state boards of nursing, so the exact content varies by state. However, the state boards follow a basic framework to test the LPN's ability to meet client needs. The framework consists of four categories, two of which have subcategories. Each category accounts for a certain proportion of the test. These are the current categories and subcategories:

  • Safe and Effective Care Environment
    • Coordinated Care
    • Safety and Infection Control
  • Health Promotion and Maintenance
  • Psychosocial Integrity
  • Physiological Integrity
    • Basic Care and Comfort
    • Pharmacological Therapies
    • Reduction and Risk Potential
    • Physiological Adaptation

Most of the questions are multiple-choice questions with four choices, but there are also a few questions of other types. The main question types are:

  • Multiple choice
  • Fill-in-the-blank
  • Hot spots
  • Chart/exhibit
  • Drag-and-drop

LPN Training Programs

To be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN, aspiring LPNs must complete a state-approved training program. Approved LPN training programs are typically available at vocational, junior and community colleges; prospective LPNs may want to contact their state's board of nursing for a list of approved programs. These programs generally last a single year and lead to a certificate or diploma. They include a mix of clinical and in-class work and cover subjects such as physiology, anatomy, patient care and geriatrics.

Aside from the preparation provided in formal LPN certificate programs, aspiring LPNs can also utilize books and test prep courses to get ready for the NCLEX-PN exam.

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