Can You Take Your NCLEX Exams at Home: Exploring Remote Testing Options

The NCLEX exam is a crucial milestone for aspiring nurses, determining their eligibility to practice as licensed professionals. As remote learning and online proctoring have become more prevalent, it’s natural to wonder if taking the NCLEX exam at home is a possibility.

Although it would be convenient to take the exam in the comfort of one’s home, the NCLEX still requires candidates to test at an authorized testing center. This decision is driven by the need to maintain exam integrity and ensure a standardized testing environment for all participants. Nursester provides additional information on preparing for the NCLEX exam and understanding the process.

Despite the necessity to test in person, nursing candidates can still optimize their preparation for the NCLEX by utilizing available resources, taking practice exams, and maintaining a dedicated study routine. With the right strategies and mindset, future nurses can confidently approach their exam day and achieve success on their path to professional licensure.

Understanding the NCLEX Exam

The NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) is a standardized exam taken by nursing graduates in the United States and Canada to obtain licensure as a registered nurse (RN) or practical nurse (LPN). This exam plays a critical role in ensuring public health and safety by testing the competency and knowledge of nursing candidates.

The NCLEX exam is divided into four main focus areas:

  1. Providing a safe and effective care environment
  2. Health promotion and maintenance
  3. Psychosocial integrity
  4. Physiological integrity

For the NCLEX-RN, the safe and effective care category has two subcategories: Management of care and safety, and infection control. Additionally, the exam incorporates various formats, such as multiple choice, fill in the blank, and hotspot questions, to effectively assess nursing candidates’ clinical decision-making skills and nursing knowledge.

It’s crucial for test-takers to understand that the exam is a computer-adaptive test (CAT), which means that the difficulty of the questions and length of the exam vary depending on the candidate’s performance. The better a candidate performs, the more complex the questions become, and vice versa. The exam will continue until a definitive pass or fail decision is made. This testing format will enable an accurate and reliable assessment of each candidate’s abilities.

To prepare for the NCLEX exam, nursing graduates should focus on a combination of studying nursing content, practicing test-taking strategies, and managing test anxiety. The use of NCLEX practice exams, test-taking tips, and study guides can greatly improve one’s chances of passing the exam on the first attempt. It’s important for candidates to maintain a study schedule and use various resources to ensure they have a well-rounded understanding of the exam content.

In conclusion, the NCLEX is a critical examination for aspiring nurses. Candidates must fully understand the exam format, content, and preparation strategies to enhance their chances of success.

Requirements for Taking the NCLEX at Home

Unfortunately, the NCLEX exam cannot be taken at home. However, it’s essential to clarify the reasons behind this and the requirements needed to take the exam at an authorized testing center.

Security and Integrity: One of the primary reasons behind the inability to take the NCLEX exam at home is to maintain the security and integrity of the test. In-person testing ensures that each test-taker’s identity is verified, and the testing environment is secure and free from distractions or potential cheating incidents.

Technology and Internet Connection: At authorized testing centers, students have access to a stable internet connection and the necessary hardware required for the computer-adaptive testing format. These resources may not be available or reliable in a home setting, which could negatively impact the test-taker’s experience and exam results 1.

To take the NCLEX exam at an authorized testing center, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. Eligibility: Obtain eligibility from the state nursing regulatory body (NRB) where the candidate wishes to apply for licensure.
  2. Authorization to Test (ATT): Receive an ATT from the testing service2. The ATT includes information for scheduling the exam and the eligibility period.
  3. Valid Identification: Bring an acceptable form of identification on the day of the exam.
  4. Exam Fee: Pay the examination fee during the registration process.

For international nurses seeking to take the NCLEX, additional requirements must be met:

  • Nursing Degree Evaluation: Obtain a nursing degree equivalent to an ADN or BSN from an accredited U.S. nursing program, confirmed by a credentialing agency 3.
  • Visa: Possess a valid visa allowing entry into the United States to take the exam.

In conclusion, the NCLEX exam cannot be taken at home due to security and technological concerns. Candidates must ensure they meet all the necessary requirements to take the exam at an authorized testing center.


  1. Nurse Money Talk 
  2. Frequently Asked Questions | NCLEX 
  3. Essential NCLEX Exam Requirements Guide for Nursing Students 

Setting Up Your Home Testing Environment

Although taking the NCLEX exam at home is not possible, there are other nursing-related exams, such as the TEAS test, that can be taken at home. Setting up a comfortable and effective testing environment is crucial. Follow these simple steps to prepare your home testing area.

Choose a quiet and well-lit location: Select a quiet and well-lit room with minimal distractions. Make sure the space has a door to close for privacy and to reduce noise. Remember to inform your family members or housemates about your testing schedule to avoid interruptions.

Prepare a comfortable workspace: Set up a clean, uncluttered desk or table with enough space for your computer or device, scratch paper, and writing utensils. Choose an ergonomic chair to maintain good posture and prevent discomfort during the test.

Ensure a stable internet connection: The success of your at-home exam relies heavily on a reliable internet connection. Check your connection speed and stability before the test. Consider using a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi if possible to minimize potential connectivity issues.

Test your equipment beforehand: To avoid technical difficulties on test day, make sure to test your device, camera, microphone, and any related software prior to the exam. Charge your laptop battery or keep your power adapter within reach during the test.

Organize necessary materials: Assemble all the required resources for the test, such as your government-issued identification, login information, and any allowed reference materials. Familiarize yourself with the test format and any necessary software beforehand to reduce stress.

Evaluate the surroundings: Ensure your testing environment is free from background noise, bright light reflections, and anything that could be perceived as cheating. Remove any cell phones, digital devices, or other materials not permitted during the test from the testing area.

By taking the time to set up a suitable home testing environment, you can maximize your chances of performing well on at-home nursing exams.

Proctoring and Security Measures

Taking the NCLEX exams at home is not possible due to the stringent proctoring and security measures employed during these examinations. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) mandates that the exams should be administered at authorized testing centers to ensure the integrity of the test, prevent cheating, and maintain a secure testing environment.

The NCLEX exam employs several security measures that are enforced at authorized testing centers. These include:

  • Strict identity verification: Test-takers are required to present valid identification to authenticate their identity prior to taking the exam. This ensures that only eligible candidates are allowed to take the test.
  • Surveillance: Testing centers are equipped with cameras and other monitoring devices to observe and record the testing process. This helps deter and detect any potential cheating or infringements of exam protocols.
  • Test administration: Authorized exam proctors are present at the testing centers to monitor the test-taking process, enforce rules and regulations, and provide assistance as needed. This further guarantees the fairness of the exam.
  • Technical support: Authorized testing centers provide reliable hardware, software, and internet connectivity necessary for taking the exam, which might not be guaranteed at homes of test-takers. It prevents loss of progress or other technical difficulties (Nurse Money Talk).

While some professional certifications allow Live Remote Proctoring (LRP) for exams, NCLEX has yet to adopt this method. LRP involves the use of technology and online proctors to administer exams in a secure environment. However, it requires test-takers to meet specific technical requirements, and it might not provide the same level of security and monitoring as in-person proctoring provided at authorized testing centers.

In conclusion, the NCLEX exam cannot be taken at home, mainly due to the stringent proctoring and security measures employed during the examination process. These measures are crucial in maintaining the exam’s integrity and ensuring fair assessment of candidates’ nursing knowledge and skills.

NCLEX At-Home Testing Eligibility

Taking the NCLEX exam is an essential step for any individual pursuing a nursing career. However, the feasibility of taking this examination at home is a widespread concern among aspiring nurses. Based on the information available, it is clear that the NCLEX cannot be taken at home.

There are several reasons for this restriction. Firstly, the NCLEX exams are administered at authorized testing centers to ensure a secure and controlled testing environment. These centers follow strict protocols to prevent cheating and maintain the integrity of the examination process (source).

Another crucial reason is the technical requirements of the examination process. The NCLEX is a computer-based exam that requires a stable internet connection and suitable hardware to function accurately (source). Allowing candidates to take the exam at home raises concerns about the availability of consistent and reliable technology for each individual.

To register for the NCLEX exam, candidates must first apply for licensure or registration with the Nursing Regulatory Body (NRB) where they seek to be licensed. After receiving eligibility from the NRB, they receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) email, which allows them to schedule the exam at an authorized testing center within the given validity dates (source).

In summary, taking the NCLEX exam at home is not an option for aspiring nurses. It is crucial for candidates to prepare well, dedicate themselves, and remain focused on the upcoming examination at an authorized testing center to succeed in their nursing careers.

Registering for the NCLEX At-Home Exam

Currently, the NCLEX exams are not available to be taken at home. The exams are administered in controlled, professional testing centers to ensure the integrity of the test and maintain the necessary security measures. However, for the sake of this article, let’s imagine a hypothetical scenario where at-home testing becomes available in the future.

To register for the NCLEX at-home exam, the process would likely remain similar to currently followed steps. Candidates must first apply for licensure/registration with their respective nursing boards. The board will then evaluate the candidate’s eligibility and, if approved, the candidate will receive the Authorization to Test (ATT) email.

Using the information in the ATT email, candidates would need to register with Pearson VUE, providing their program code, email address, and an acceptable form of payment. During the registration process, candidates might be given the option to choose between taking the test at a Pearson VUE testing center or at home, depending on future at-home testing availability.

In order to ensure a smooth testing experience, it would be essential for candidates to check their equipment, software, and internet connectivity prior to the exam. This can involve a list of recommended technical requirements, such as:

  • A reliable and high-speed internet connection
  • A computer or laptop with a webcam and microphone
  • Adequate lighting and minimal background noise
  • A secure, private, and clutter-free space for testing

The at-home testing process might also include additional security measures, such as live proctoring and remote monitoring, to guarantee the test’s integrity. Candidates must follow all testing policies and procedures, including presenting valid identification and adhering to the designated time frame for taking the exam.

In conclusion, although NCLEX at-home exams are not a reality at the current moment, this hypothetical scenario outlines what the registration process for such a test could look like in the future.

Technical Requirements and Equipment Checklist

Although you cannot take the NCLEX exam at home, it is essential to be prepared with the technical requirements and equipment needed when taking the exam at an authorized testing center. Here is a brief checklist to ensure a smooth testing experience:

  1. Identification documents: Bring an approved form of identification, such as a passport or driver’s license. The name on your ID must match the name on your exam registration.
  2. Admission ticket: Make sure to have your Authorization to Test (ATT) document printed or saved as a PDF on your phone.
  3. Dress comfortably: Choose comfortable clothing to wear during the exam, as test centers might have varying temperatures.
  4. Snacks and water: Pack some easy-to-consume snacks and water to keep yourself energized and hydrated during the exam if allowed at the testing center.
  5. Prepare your study tools: Organize your study materials, such as online resources, textbooks, and study guides for an efficient study plan in the weeks leading up to the exam. Utilize resources such as the NCLEX test plan to understand the content and structure of the exam.
  6. Computer and Internet Accessibility: Ensure that you have access to a reliable computer with an internet connection to review online study materials, take practice tests, and access NCLEX resources.

Although you can’t physically take the NCLEX exam at home, this checklist will help you prepare effectively for the day of the exam. Remember to stay organized, focused, and calm throughout the entire testing process for the best possible results.

Preparing for the NCLEX At-Home Examination

Although it is not possible to take the NCLEX exam at home, you can make the most of your at-home preparation time to ensure success on the exam day. By making the right use of resources and strategies, you can remain confident, knowledgeable, and neutral throughout your studies. Here are some tips for preparing for the NCLEX examination while at home:

1. Develop a Study Plan

First and foremost, establish a study plan that covers all the necessary exam content, including nursing care, pharmacology, and critical thinking. Organize the material based on priorities and allocate enough time to each topic. Following a well-structured plan will make your preparation more manageable and effective.

2. Utilize Quality Study Materials

Choose reliable and comprehensive study materials like NCLEX test-like questions, practice tests, and study guides. Using quality resources will ensure that you are learning the most relevant and accurate information.

3. Incorporate Active Learning Strategies

To enhance your understanding and retention, incorporate active learning strategies such as:

  • Creating flashcards for important concepts
  • Taking practice tests under timed conditions
  • Explaining concepts to others

These strategies will help you remain engaged with the material and improve your overall comprehension.

4. Balance Study Sessions with Breaks

While it’s essential to study consistently, it’s equally important to give your brain and body some rest. Schedule regular breaks in between your study sessions and engage in activities that serve as stress-relievers, such as exercise, reading, or meditation.

5. Use Mobile Apps for On-the-Go Learning

To maximize your study time, utilize mobile apps that allow you to study at any time and any place. Always remember to keep your study sessions focused and efficient, no matter where you are.

By following these tips and strategies, you will be well-prepared for the NCLEX examination and increase your chances of passing on the first attempt. Good luck with your preparation!

During the NCLEX At-Home Exam: What to Expect

Although the NCLEX is typically administered at testing centers, there have been recent discussions regarding the possibility of at-home exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are no official updates on implementing NCLEX at-home exams at the time of writing. Therefore, the following information is speculative based on what could potentially happen if NCLEX exams were to be conducted at home.

During the NCLEX at-home exam, candidates can expect the following:

  1. Proctoring software: Similar to other standardized tests conducted online, the NCLEX at-home exam would likely require proctoring software to be installed on the candidate’s computer. This software would monitor the candidate throughout the exam to ensure academic integrity.
  2. ID verification: Candidates would need to provide adequate identification, such as a government-issued ID, to verify their identity before starting the exam. This verification process should be done through the proctoring software under the supervision of a live proctor.
  3. Environment check: Similar to in-person testing, candidates might be required to arrive early and provide a room scan using their computer’s webcam, ensuring the testing environment is free from distractions, unauthorized materials, and electronic devices.
  4. Time constraints: The at-home exam would maintain the same time constraints as the in-person NCLEX. Candidates should expect a maximum testing time of 6 hours, with optional short breaks if needed.
  5. Technical requirements: An at-home NCLEX exam would necessitate a stable internet connection, a quiet and suitable testing space, and a compatible computer with a webcam and microphone.
  6. Exam format: The exam format would remain consistent with the computer-adaptive testing (CAT) methodology, adjusting question difficulty based on the candidate’s performance.

It is crucial to regularly check for updates from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) for official announcements on the administration and format of the NCLEX exam, especially during these uncertain times. In the meantime, candidates should continue preparing for the standard in-person NCLEX exam until further notice.

Troubleshooting Common At-Home Exam Issues

While the NCLEX exam cannot be taken at home 1, students may face challenges while studying and preparing for the exam remotely. This section focuses on troubleshooting common issues that might arise during at-home preparation for the NCLEX exam.

1. Internet Connection Problems

A reliable internet connection is essential for accessing online resources, participating in virtual classes and taking practice exams. To mitigate connectivity issues, consider:

  • Upgrading your internet plan for faster speeds
  • Using a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi
  • Moving closer to the router or using a Wi-Fi signal booster

2. Distractions and Time Management

Maintaining focus during study sessions can be challenging in a home environment. Some strategies to improve concentration and productivity are:

  • Creating a designated study area, free from distractions
  • Using the Pomodoro Technique (25 minutes of focused work followed by a 5-minute break)
  • Turning off notifications on your devices during study time

3. Technical Issues with Study Materials

Access to digital resources may involve compatibility issues or software malfunctions. To tackle these problems:

  • Ensure your device meets the minimum system requirements for study software
  • Keep your device’s software and applications up-to-date
  • Use compatible file formats for any downloaded resources

4. Maintaining Motivation and Accountability

Self-directed study can make it difficult to stay motivated and disciplined. To keep your momentum going, try:

  • Setting specific, measurable goals for each study session
  • Joining a study group, either in-person or online
  • Developing a study schedule and sharing it with a friend or family member for accountability

By addressing these common at-home exam preparation issues, aspiring nurses can optimize their preparation for the NCLEX exam and increase their chances of success.


  1. Nursester – Can You Take The NCLEX at Home? 

After the Exam: Results and Next Steps

After taking the NCLEX exam, candidates eagerly await their results. Official NCLEX results are typically sent by the State Board of Nursing within 6 weeks post-exam1. However, many nursing regulatory bodies offer a Quick Results service, where, for a small fee, candidates can access their unofficial results within 48 hours (2 business days)2.

It is essential to note that receiving quick results may be affected by the day of the week the test was taken. If the test occurs on a Friday, the weekend days may delay the results2. Nonetheless, accessing quick results can help alleviate any anxiety and uncertainty while waiting for the official results.

After receiving the results and passing the NCLEX-RN, there are several next steps for new registered nurses. Some suggested actions include:

  1. Relax and recharge: Take a day or two to rest and celebrate the achievement[^4^].
  2. Update the resume: Reflect the newly acquired RN status and relevant nursing skills.
  3. Begin the job search: Start applying for RN positions in the desired field of practice.
  4. Network: Connect with other professionals in the nursing field for support and mentorship.
  5. Continuing education: Consider pursuing a higher level of education to advance the nursing career.

In summary, after taking the NCLEX exam, candidates can expect to receive their official results within 6 weeks, with an option for quick results in around 48 hours (2 business days). Once the candidate successfully passes the NCLEX-RN, they can focus on the next steps in their nursing career.


  1. source 
  2. source  2

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements to be eligible for the NCLEX exam?

To be eligible for the NCLEX exam, candidates must have completed nursing education from an accredited program and met all the requirements of their state’s board of nursing. This may include submitting educational documents, passing a background check, and completing any other state-specific prerequisites. Each state has its own set of requirements, so it’s essential to review the guidelines for the jurisdiction in which you plan to take the exam.

Is it possible to take the NCLEX remotely, and how is it proctored?

No, you cannot take the NCLEX remotely or at home. The exam must be taken in an authorized testing center to ensure the integrity of the testing process. Proctoring methods at the testing center include strict security measures and continuous monitoring of candidates during the exam.

What is the cost to register for and take the NCLEX exam?

The cost to register for and take the NCLEX exam varies depending on the jurisdiction and whether you are taking the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN. Registration fees can range from $200 to $300. Additional fees may apply if you need to reschedule the exam or request a change in jurisdiction. It’s essential to check the fee structure for the specific board of nursing in your jurisdiction.

Can an individual become a licensed nurse without attending traditional nursing school?

No, an individual cannot become a licensed nurse without attending a traditional, accredited nursing program. Nursing education is mandatory, as it teaches essential knowledge and skills required to provide safe and effective patient care. This education forms the foundation for passing the NCLEX exam and becoming a licensed nurse.

What are the specific steps for foreign-educated nurses to take the NCLEX?

Foreign-educated nurses who want to take the NCLEX must first have their nursing education credentials evaluated to ensure they meet U.S. standards. They must also prove English language proficiency through standardized testing, meet their chosen jurisdiction’s eligibility requirements for taking the exam, and follow NCLEX application procedures accordingly.

Which state has the simplest process for applying to take the NCLEX?

The process for applying to take the NCLEX is relatively similar across most U.S. jurisdictions. However, some states may have more straightforward application processes or less stringent requirements. It’s essential to research the specific steps and prerequisites for each state’s board of nursing before deciding where to apply.

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  2. […] the day of the NCLEX exam, you should bring a few key items with you. Firstly, it’s crucial to have a valid, […]

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