Undergraduate Program

Prepare to Pass the NCLEX

The NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) is a standardized examination designed to test knowledge, skills, and abilities deemed essential for entry-level nursing practice. Graduates in the undergraduate Nursing Major and Accelerated BS in Nursing options must pass this exam in order to practice as registered nurses. The NCLEX-RN exam is administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.


NCLEX Preparation

Review the NCLEX Candidate Bulletin and familiarize yourself with the format of the NCLEX test plan.

Preparation for this exam is incorporated throughout undergraduate coursework. During the last semester of study, students should begin to intensively prepare for the NCLEX.

Students in the College of Nursing are required to purchase a NCLEX test preparation package. The current vendor is ATI.


Summary of Steps to take the NCLEX

  1. Learn about eligibility and then apply for licensure/registration in the state in which you are applying for licensure. In Massachusetts, the licensure and registration are managed by Professional Credential Service (PCS).  A detailed explanation of the procedure and a downloadable licensure application are on the PCS website.  Students who wish to take the NCLEX in another state should consult the state board of nursing/regulatory body to learn the requirements for licensure by examination in that state. 
  2. Register online with  Pearson VUE and pay the exam fee.  It is important to start the registration process well in advance of your target date for taking the exam. 
  • The UMass Amherst Educational Institution code is US08504100
  • Your name must match on the MA Nursing Application, NCLEX registration, and the identification that will be used at the examination.

3.  Wait to schedule the test until you receive the following from Pearson VUE: Acknowledgement of Receipt of Registration and Authorization to Test (ATT) .

4.  For more details, see the Candidate Bulletin.  The National Council of State Boards of Nursing also offers helpful information about NCLEX. 

5. To order an official transcript, visit the UMass Amherst Registrar. If you plan to apply for licensure in Massachusetts, please have your official transcript sent to: Your Name, c/o Liz Theroux, College of Nursing, Skinner Hall,  Room 022, UMass Amherst after the Registrar has added your degree to the transcript following Commencement.

When will I see the test results?

In Massachusetts, Professional Credential Service (PCS) reviews NCLEX applicant score results approximately 3-5 business days after the examination.

Successful applicants who meet all requirements will receive a License Letter.  The Massachusetts Board of Nursing posts license numbers on their website within 24 hours of review of results and final approval. Official licenses will arrive in the mail within 21 business days.

Unsuccessful applicants will receive a diagnostic report and re-exam procedures.

Students who take the exam in another state can visit the website for the state board of nursing/regulatory body for information about the timing and communication of test results.