Passing the NCLEX is one of the most important landmarks of a nurse’s career, and learning what’s on it and what to expect is an essential part of becoming a nurse. The NCLEX test plan is comprehensive and divided up into various sections and subsections, each of which focuses on different aspects of nursing.
Bear in mind that the NCLEX is always different because of the exam’s computerized adaptive testing technology. We can give you a range of how broad certain areas of the test might be, but depending on the algorithm or your performance, certain sections or subsections could be larger or smaller.
Related resource: How the NCLEX Works
Good care happens in a well-run care environment. This section of the test focuses on maintaining a proper care delivery setting and is divided into two subsections.
Management of Care
17–23 percent. This is the largest single subsection of the NCLEX. It’s where you’ll find questions about how to provide healthcare in the right way. You’ll be asked about:
Being a nurse is not just knowing about how to provide healthcare; it’s also about conducting yourself in the right way.
Safety and Infection Control
9–15 percent. Preventing hospital-acquired infections or other complications is a daily challenge for healthcare workers. Here you’ll be asked about precautions relating to:
Related resource: 5 NCLEX Test Taking Strategies
6–12 percent. Knowing about health, prevention, and human life cycles are all integral parts of nursing. This section of the NCLEX will quiz you on birth, newborn care, and aging. It covers screening, disease prevention, healthy lifestyle choices, and potential risk behaviors.
6–12 percent. Nursing has a large mental and social component to it. This is where you’ll find questions about chemical and substance dependencies and disorders, mental health, and abuse. Other important subjects include cultural awareness, family dynamics, and stress management.
Related resource: Nursing Lab Values to Know
This is the largest section of the NCLEX, sometimes taking up well over half of the test. And for good reason: Physiological integrity is all about your ability to deliver proper nursing care. It’s broken into four subsections:
Basic Care and Comfort
6–12 percent. Nurses oversee patients’ basic needs in a hospital or clinic. This section focuses on daily issues like personal hygiene, sleep, nutrition, hydration, and mobility.
Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
12–18 percent. This is where you’ll be tested on drugs, therapies, and their effects and side effects. You might find questions about chemotherapy, blood products, and pain management. You’ll also be asked about drugs, what they do, and how to administer them, be it orally or through a venous access device.
Related resource: Ask an Expert: Guide to the NCLEX
9–15 percent. It’s in everyone’s best interest to reduce the likelihood of complications, hospital-acquired infections, or more health problems. This subsection will ask you about:
11–17 percent. Nurses deal with heavy, life-threatening events. This subsection will quiz you on how to respond to an emergency, manage illnesses, and how to address a patient’s unexpected response to a therapy.
At Joyce University, we’re devoted to equipping students with the knowledge and confidence they need to pass the NCLEX and become working RNs.