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How Many Times can You Take NCLEX?

If you want to become a licensed nurse you know well that taking tests does not end in school. The next step in your career is passing the NCLEX exam. Just like all exams, it’s not every candidate who passes on the first trial, so you have chances to try again.

In some states, the nursing boards have different limitations and restrictions. In this guide you’ll find out how many times you can retake the NCLEX exam and the retake regulations in your state.

When will you know if you passed NCLEX?

After finishing your NCLEX exam, you won’t receive your official score instantly. What happens is that the test is sent to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing who will review and determine whether you passed or failed.

The official results are released approximately six weeks after the tests by the nursing regulatory body(NRB). If you don’t receive your results after this period, contact your local nursing regulatory body.

To many, waiting for the six weeks might feel like eternity, but many nursing state boards participate in a service that delivers results much faster.

Check if your local NRB takes part in the quick Quick Results Service. These aren’t official results but you can get an idea of your score within two business days. This will help you prepare and learn the requirements for retesting in your state in case you fail. The service will cost you $7.95 and you’ll only bill if you can access your results.

If you fail your exam, you’ll receive a NCLEX Candidate Performance Report(CPR). This report shows areas of weaknesses and strengths in each content area. Using the CPR you can develop a study plan that will boost your chances of passing the retake.

NCLEX Retakes

If you fail on your first attempt, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing(NCSBN) allows the NCLEX test takers a maximum of 8 attempts in a year, with a 45 days waiting period between each test.

Although the NCSBN guidance applies across the country, some states have additional requirements, restrictions and time limits. Learn more about each state below.

States With Unlimited NCLEX Attempts

Some states allow exam-takers to retake the test unlimited times, as long as they follow NCSBN rules. Here is the list;

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

States With Different NCLEX Retake Policies in The United States

Here we look at states with further regulations for retaking the NCLEX exam.


The Texas Board of Nursing allows test-takers to retake the NCLEX exam, but they must continue to submit an application and pay applicable fees each time. The test-takers must pass the exam within four years of graduation. Testers are required to submit their last application 120 days before they become ineligible to take the exam.


Test-takers have three attempts to pass the NCLEX. After that, they must complete a Florida Board of Nursing-approved remedial course to reinstate testing eligibility for the fourth examination.

New York

Test takers can do retests unlimited times provided they pay for the Pearson VUE NCLEX retake fee. There’s no additional fees or licensing for the state of New York.


After the first fail, the Michigan Board of nursing requires testing applicants to wait 45 days before retesting. If a tester fails three times, they’ll have to complete a board-approved remediation to qualify for the next retake.Here NCLEX takers have a total of six attempts.


Here, nursing students can take the NCLEX exam a maximum of four times within two years of graduating from nursing school. After this time, one must re-enroll in a nursing program in order to qualify to test again.


You can only take three NCLEX testing attempts within three years from the first attempt. For you to take the test the fourth time, you have to petition for a waiver and complete an approved nursing program.


NCLEX takers have only two years since graduation to pass the exam. If you fail, you’ll need to meet state board requirements and submit a petition to be allowed to retest.


If you fail the NCLEX exam more than three times or you graduated from a nursing program more than three years ago, you’ll have to meet the Indiana Board of nursing to receive the green light for another test.

South Carolina

Test-takers who fail their exam within a year must complete a remediation program before retesting. By their third testing anniversary, they must enroll in a nursing education program again.


If a student fails the exam upon first attempt, the Georgia BON  will send an application for reexamination. NCLEX takers must pass within five years of finishing their program.

How much does it cost to retake the NCLEX?

The registration fee for the NCLEX retake is $200 WITH Pearson VUE and a $75 registration fee. Before you make any payments, first contact your local nursing board and determine the specific requirements and guidelines for retesting.

Final Thoughts

After all the time, money, dedication and efforts invested in school, it makes sense that graduates anxiously await their official NCLEX test scores. If you fail the test do not panic or give up as you have chances to redeem yourself.

Pass your NCLEX exam during first time or a retest by joining Naxlex. You’ll gain immediate access to everything you need to pass your NCLEX. We offer amazing memory retention tips and thousands of real test prep questions to help you prepare for your testing day.

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