Everything You Need to Know About the new NCLEX-RN Test Plan 2023

Everything You Need to Know About the new NCLEX-RN Test Plan 2023

The NCLEX Test Plans are updated every three years to reflect fair, comprehensive, current, entry-level nursing competency. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) strongly advises NCLEX candidates to study the Test Plans prior to their exam. The Test Plan provides a comprehensive overview of the exam's scope and content, clearly outlined in the NCLEX-RN Test Plan, to aid in preparing for the exam effectively.

With 2023 being the year of the latest update, the NCLEX Test Plans now include new information on clinical judgment and the exam administration. Let's review the updates and changes made for the NCLEX-RN Test Plan 2023.

Clinical Judgment

The additional process integrated is Clinical Judgment. Clinical Judgment is one of the fundamental processes considered to have a high level of relevance and significance to practicing safe and effective care at the entry-level. NCSBN has developed it through several years of research and study to understand and isolate the individual factors contributing to the nursing clinical judgment process. Moreover, Clinical Judgment content may be represented as a case study or as a stand-alone item in the NCLEX.

    6 Case Study Components

    The case study for the clinical judgment has six components, all connected with the same client presentation, sharing unfolding client information, and addressing the following steps in the clinical judgment.

    1. Recognize cues
    2. Analyze cues
    3. Prioritize hypotheses
    4. Generate solutions
    5. Take action
    6. Evaluate outcomes

      Distribution of Content

      The distribution of percentages for each category and subcategory of Client Needs below for the NCLEX RN Test Plan is based on the result of the conducted study by NCSBN, "2021 RN Practice Analysis: Linking the NCLEX-RN Examination to Practice (NCSBN, 2022)" and expert judgment provided by members of the NCLEX Examination Committee (NEC).

      Figure 1: The pie chart shows the distribution of content for the NCLEX RN Test Plan 2023

      Figure 2: The table below shows the comparison of the Distribution of Content from 2019 to 2023


      Exam Administration

      The NCLEX-RN is administered through Computerized Adaptive Testing or CAT to produce a precise and efficient result. Let's check what changes are made under exam administration.

      NCLEX Scoring

      There will be partial credit scoring for items with multiple keys in the 2023 NCLEX scoring system. Plus/minus, zero/one, and rationale scoring are the three partial credit scoring method that will be used.

      Exam Length

      The 2023 exam length is 150, and the takers must answer a minimum of 85 items, from which 52 items come from the eight content areas in their respective percentages.

      NCLEX Terminology

      The order and prescription terminology have been updated for the NCLEX Test Plan 2023.

      Order - Intervention, remedy, or treatment as directed by an authorized primary health care provider.

      Prescription - Intervention as it relates to medication specifically as directed by an authorized primary health care provider. 

      We hope this will help you with your exam preparation as the Next Generation NCLEX will take place in April 2023.

      And remember, preparing for the NCLEX application doesn't need to be difficult, as NEAC is here to help you achieve your USRN Dream with zero hassle. NEAC‌ is your expert pioneer medical exams application center that offers easy and fast exam applications for NCLEX. It will do all the work for your NCLEX application for the best price to avoid financial losses and delays that may cause rejections of your application.

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