What Does an LPN Need to Score on the NCLEX in North Carolina to Become Licensed?

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An LPN provides direct care to a patient.
An LPN provides direct care to a patient.

North Carolina requires Licensed Practical Nurses to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses to qualify for a state license to practice in the field. The LPNs provide direct patient care in hospitals, nursing homes or in patient’s homes under the direction and supervision of registered nurses or physicians. The state of North Carolina regulates the licensing of these nurses to ensure only qualified professionals provide medical care to patients.

  1. Qualifying for the Examination

    • The North Carolina Nurse Practice Act requires an LPN complete an approved course of study to qualify to sit for the NCLEX-PN. Candidates must apply to the North Carolina Board of Nursing with transcripts from an approved course of study to qualify for the examination.

    National Council of State Boards of Nursing

    • The National Council of State Boards of Nursing administers the NCLEX-PN to qualified North Carolina LPNs. The organization provides uniform standards for registered and practical nurses in all states. The North Carolina Board of Nursing sends an authorization test letter to eligible candidates. The LPN candidate must schedule a date to take the examination.

    Computer Adaptive Testing

    • The National Council of State Boards of Nursing uses computer adaptive testing to determine if applicants pass the examination. The CAT program requires candidates to enter answers to multiple-choice questions into a computer and allows a maximum time of five hours to complete the test. Each question answered by the nursing candidate allows the computer to calculate her ability and knowledge. The more questions the individual answers on the examination, the more accurately the program can measure a candidate's knowledge and ability.

    Minimum and Maximum Questions

    • The minimum number of questions that the examination requires in order to determine a candidate’s passing or failing status is 85. The maximum number of test questions on the test for an LPN is 205.

    CAT Determination of Passing

    • The examination will end when the computer calculates to a 95 percent certainty that the candidate’s knowledge and skills are above or below the standard for passing. The test may end if the candidate runs out of time for the examination or reaches the maximum number of questions for the examination. If the program cannot determine with 95 percent certainty that the nurse’s knowledge and skills are above the passing standard, the candidate will fail the examination. Some candidates may complete the test early, with the minimum number of questions answered, while the program may require more test questions for other candidates to determine their nursing knowledge.

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