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How Many Times Can I Fail the NCLEX®? (plus practice questions)

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Did you know that over 80,000 nursing students FAIL the NCLEX every year!?!?!?!


Let that sink in for a minute . . .

That’s enough nurses to fully staff 200+ hospitals around the clock.  These are nursing students who got accepted to nursing school, graduated and now just have to pass a test . . . yet, they are failing.

We have a problem in nursing education.   Why are so many qualified students failing?

This is the problem we set out to solve at NRSNG (in fact we built NRSNG Academy around solving that problem).

One of the best ways you can insure success is to take a TON of NCLEX questions . . . and I mean a ton.  Like up to 50-100 a day in the weeks leading up to the test.

NPQ (Nursing Practice Questions™)

NPQ is the largest database of practice NCLEX questions online and built by our team of NCSBN trained NCLEX question writers.

With more than 4,500+ questions with detailed rationales in various nursing categories it will become your best friend in nursing school.

Try NPQ for Free

My Story

I have to be honest . . . I stressed about passing the NCLEX® quite a bit during nursing school!

After all, my wife and I had moved across the country, sold our home, and gotten into an additional $40,000 of student loans for me to go to nursing school . . . how could I not at least THINK about how devastating it would be to fail.

What would happen if I had failed?  Was I going to have to redo nursing school?  Would all that education be pointless?

We get a TON of emails from students who fail the NCLEX and consider giving up.

In fact our most popular podcast episode was with Ashley . . . who failed 3  times before passing and getting a job at one of the top hospitals in the country.

Here are just a couple excerpts from emails we get from students struggling to pass:

how many times can i fail the nclex


what is the limit for taking the nclex

maximum attempts


screenshot-www.nrsng.com 2016-01-09 13-59-12

how did you pass the nclex


RELATED ARTICLE: Ep47: How to Dissect an NCLEX® Question


How Many Times Can You Take the NCLEX®?

According to the NCSBN website (which is the company that writes the actual NCLEX), you can take the NCLEX up to 8 times per year with a 45 day waiting period between each attempt.

  • There is no maximum number of attempts
  • You must wait 45 days between attempts
  • You get 8 attempts per year

A quick note:

Each state Board of Nursing can have additional standards so it is important to consult your board individually.  For example you can take the NCLEX® in these states as follows:

  •  Texas: Every 45 days for 4 years . . . then you have to go back to school.
  • California: Every 45 days as many times as you want.
  • Florida: 3 attempts then you have to go back to school.
  • Pennsylvania: Unlimited attempts
  • Ohio: Unlimited attempts
  • New York: Unlimited attempts
  • Canada: 3 attempts maximum

Again . . . you need to verify with you own BON.

How Soon Should I Take the NCLEX® After Graduating?

Glad you asked .  . .

In THIS STUDY by the NCSBN it was found that the average student takes the NCLEX® just 35 days after graduating from nursing school.

They also noted that there is an inverse correlation between time from graduation and pass rates.

In other words . . . the longer you wait – – – the less likely you will be to pass.

What does this mean to you?  Use your time in nursing school to prepare for the monster . . . study throughout the journey.  Once you graduate get your ATT and take the beast as soon as you can.

Why Do Students Wait to Take the NCLEX®?

There are basically main 4 reasons that nursing students delay taking the NCLEX®.  According to this study they are:

  • 25%: Not feeling confident they will pass
  • 15%: General test anxiety
  • 15%: ATT expired
  • 6%: Not feeling they had the time to study

Look at each of those reasons . . . I think they all boil down to CONFIDENCE

In order to feel confident in yourself you need to do two things:

  1. Put in the time to study and learn all you can
  2. Move on past failure and let it go

If you put in the work that is required . . . you will feel confident in your ability and the work you have done.  As you learn to move past failure you will become free of your past and find the strength to keep moving toward your goal.

You already made it through nursing school . . . DO NOT give up now!


RELATED ARTICLE: Ep151: What I Learned Failing the NCLEX® 3 Times (RN . . . More Than an Abbreviation)


NCLEX® Practice Questions

One of the best ways to gain confidence is to see yourself succeeding.

When it comes to the beast . . . the best way to see your self succeed is to take as many practice questions as you can get your hands on.

To help you with this we have released our massive datebase of practice questions for you to practice.

It’s called Nursing Practice Questsions (NPQ) feel free to give it a try.

Try NPQ for Free

A Quick Word on NCLEX® Pass Rates

86% of first time US educated test takers pass on their first attempt.  Your chances of failing are only about 14%.  If you do . . who gives a damn. . . get back out there and schedule the test for a second shot.

45% of US educated repeat test takers pass.  So you still have a great shot of passing on your second attempt . . . and you know what?  If you don’t . . .get back out there and do it again.

Rather than asking: “How many times can you take the NCLEX?”

Try to rephrase that question to: “What can I do to pass the NCLEX on the next attempt?”

At the risk of sounding overly simplified let me just urge you to get your mind in the right place going into the test.  The more time you spend being word about failing the more you are going to second guess yourself.  Focus on passing and you will find your entire mindset changed.


don't give up on nursing school

I Want to Hear from You!

Are you feeling defeated?  Reach out to us . . . let us know whats going on.

Leave a comment below or on one of our social media accounts:

Facebook/YouTube/Instagram: @nrsng

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Date Published - Jan 22, 2016
Date Modified - Jun 13, 2019

Jon Haws RN

Written by Jon Haws RN

Jon Haws RN began his nursing career at a Level I Trauma ICU in DFW working as a code team nurse, charge nurse, and preceptor. Frustrated with the nursing education process, Jon started NRSNG in 2014 with a desire to provide tools and confidence to nursing students around the globe. When he's not busting out content for NRSNG, Jon enjoys spending time with his two kids and wife.


  1. Avatar


    My wife graduated from RN school 10 years ago in Texas. She attempted the NCLEX once and did not pass. With personal issues arising, including a very ugly divorce (prior to us meeting) she never attempted to tow the NCLEX again. I do not want that time and effort she put into school to be wasted. However, she is not allowed to take the NCLEXX here in Texas without taking her RN classes all over again. I’ve heard she can take the NCLEX in another state and get her license endorsed here in Texas? Is this really possible? How would she go about accomplishing this? What really are her options? Appreciate any information and assistance.

  2. Avatar


    Hi my question is what state can I work without the NCLEX.I currently workin Florida.

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    If I take the Colorado NCLEX and fail 3 times can I register to take the NCLEX in another state…or can I never take the exam again ?

  4. Avatar

    Douglas Plaisted

    Hello. My name is Doug and I have failed the NCLEX-RN 4 times now. My last attempt was in April of 2018. I graduated from the ADN program in May of 2017. At this point I am feeling a severe lack of confidence in my knowledge and wondering what my best course of action would be. I can’t seem to find my motivation to even begin studying for a 5th attempt. It is now September 3, 2018 and I haven’t studied at all since my last attempt. The last 3 attempts each took almost the full 6 hours for me to complete and I got all 265 questions. My first attempt I simply was not prepared. I went in cocky and feeling like if others could pass it then I should have not problem. I failed it miserably in 76 questions. In total that is 871 NCLEX questions that I have answered on tests alone! I can’t keep going like this, but I don’t even know where to begin to prepare again. I’m overwhelmed. I’ve tried Kaplan, Uworld, BrilliantNurse, Hurst Review, etc, etc, etc….I’m at a loss…
    I normally don’t have text anxiety, but the NCLEX has really got my number! My confidence is through the floor. Please give me any advice you might have. I HAVE GOT TO GET THIS DONE!
    Douglas Plaisted

  5. Avatar


    I’ve already failed the NCLEX once. Can employers or other BON for license endorsement see how many times you’ve failed or taken the exam?

  6. Avatar


    I’m feeling so discouraged!! I failed my Nclex again. I’m trying to remain positive but ugh. With the paper they send you after that tells you the below,near and above passing I did improve on from the last few times. But still not enough to pass. I’m feeling like a failure and mad and discouraged with myself. I don’t want to give up I’m just lost at what to do. I was doing practice questions.

  7. Avatar


    I just found out that I failed my test for the 4 time. I feel disappointed of myself and embarrassed. I don’t know what to do if I should pick trying or just give up. Reading all this stories give hope that I’m not the only one that straggling through this 😢 need advise

  8. Avatar


    i have taken the nclex test 4 times, I was studying to take it for 5 time, then I received a letter from the board where the ask me after that many time the Toefl over 26 %, I am devastated, I don’t think that I can pass it with that high score… I am giving up of my dream to be RN, I am looking to other opportunities of job, because all my savings are in my education and reviews… I just want to share my story.

  9. Avatar
  10. Avatar


    Hello, I feel like I am at a dead end and do not know what else to do. I graduated the ADN program in May of 2013, I have taken the NCLEX-RN 4 times and failed. I know its been a while since I graduated school but I do not want to give up on my dream of becoming a nurse. I am looking for any and everything that may help. I have even considered going back to nursing school if that is even possible. Is there any advice or help you could give me?

  11. Avatar

    rose shrestha

    I am an international student and I was going to give an NCLEX do we need Tofel or IELTS before giving NCLEX

  12. Avatar


    I graduated LPN school in December 2014. I took boards 1 time and didn’t pass. I felt defeated and depressed. I didn’t retest because of bad test anxiety and I’m taking care of my mother. I was wondering in the state of TN can I take my boards again? It will be 3yrs since I graduated in December.

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    I’m feeling VERY defeated I graduated nursing school for LVN may 2014 my affidavit was not released from school until 6 months after graduation so I did not try until then. My most recent attempt was 8/26/17 and I’ve tried the pearson Vue trick my card was charged 200 dollars so we all know that USUALLY means you failed.. that was my 3rd time giving it a shot and now I just don’t know if I should even try anymore.

  14. Avatar

    Avi Jaykumar

    Hello, Can I take NClex RN exam without Degree in nursing?

  15. Avatar


    I just took my RN nclex test on May 7th and today i found out i failed which after getting all 265 questions i knew i probably failed but it still hurts because 7 years ago I took the PN and passed with 85 questions I am so embarrassed. I have a very hard time test taking. I almost failed out my 3th semester in RN because I could not concentrate on the test so I got special testing and was diagnosed with serve ADH and started taking medication and went from an F to a B.. Taking the Neclex on the computer is a disadvantage for me. I live in Ohio is there any special testing help I can get? Can’t keep paying for a test I know I can’t pass…

  16. Avatar


    i failed 10 times nclex exam, and i have only one more chance left for Illinois board of nursing, feel very stressed, don’t know i can make it i tried u world , kaplan , but no use, i am thinking of changing my profession,

  17. Avatar

    Carr ????

    I didn’t pass my Pn exam on the 3rd attempt in FL. Can I take in another state and endorse back in FL?

    • Avatar

      NRSNG Support

      I do not have any specific information for you on that. I would recommend finding a number to call in Florida and talk to someone about that.

  18. Avatar


    After reading all the comments I feel like I should leave my story, i am an international student I graduated from nursing school from Germany in Sep 2015 it took California almost a year to say I was eligible to take the NCLEX I took it twice and failed only using a app then I found out about hurst Review I messaged them explained to them that I was international and asked them if it was for me I then went on studied my butt off went in feeling confident only to turn around and fail a third time after receiving that letter I almost packed my bags went home. I fought with hurst Review filled a complaint with the better business bereau only to come out unsuccessful, now I am going in for my fourth attempt I am upset and irritated and just wish that there where more options for studying that didn’t cost you a arm and a leg and I wish there was a forum or blog where international and national students could go to to have questions answered because the board of nursing California could care less about you. Please help me succeed in my dream to become a RN and save people’s lives!

  19. Avatar


    I just found out that I failed my NCLEX-RN for the third time, I’m disappointed in myself and feel like a failure. I cannot continue to pay for all of the prep classes and books, I have taken the Hurst Review, IT Nurse Review – twice, I purchased the Kaplan Review book, NCLEX for Dummies Review book, UWORLD online program…..what are your suggestions for poor want to be RN??

    • Sandra Haws, MS RDN CNSC

      Sandra Haws, MS RDN CNSC

      I’m so sorry to hear that Teresa!!! We offer a lot of free resourses that you might find helpful. Email me at [email protected] and I can give you some links.

  20. Avatar


    If I’ve taken the nclex the max number of times in my state, can I take it in another state?

  21. Avatar

    Tyra cole

    Hey i took my nclex pn in 4 days ago and i found out that i failed. I have been crying myself to bed and asking GOD why me. I feel bad because my sister passed her nclex rn last month so i think my family think that i am a failure. I just cant stop of thinking about it. I am not giving up i know i will pass on my second attempt because i know i am not a failure

    • Jon Haws

      Jon Haws

      Tyra, I’m sorry to hear about your journey. Please don’t beat yourself up. I know failure stings a bit at first, but all that matters is that you keep at it!

  22. Avatar


    in UT, how many times can you take the Nclex and how current does your schooling have to be to sit for the Nclex?

  23. Avatar

    Derise Titre


    I graduated from a LPN program in 2007 in the US Virgin Islands(US Territory). My program was not nationally accredited at the time but was locally accredited(meaning the program was approved by the local BON). That was 10 years ago, but nursing has always been my passion and I feel unfulfilled without it. I am now living in NY and was told that the time frame take the NCLEX-PN after graduation is unlimited in NY. The NYSED website states that you can apply to take the exam in NY if you attended:

    A nursing education program located in another state or U.S. territory, if approved by the licensing authority of that state or territory as preparation for practice as an LPN or RN. (U.S. territories include: Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa).

    Do you have any information on this topic that can help me? Since it has been 10 years, do you know if a refresher course is required? I have been searching for one in NY with no luck. If it is can you recommend any you know of in NY? I am looking into taking the Kaplan NCLEX-PN Review Program. Will this program suffice as a refresher course?

    • Jon Haws

      Jon Haws

      I don’t have any specific information on this for you. The best thing to do would be to call the New York Board of Nursing directly and get someone on the phone who can help.

    • Avatar

      Cici Cici

      Hi I was just wondering, how many times can you take the RN NCLEX examination on St. Thomas United States virgin islands.?

      • Avatar

        NRSNG Support

        I don’t have any specific information on that for you. I would recommend finding a phone number and speaking to someone directly who can answer that for you. Best of luck!

  24. Avatar

    Palak Shah

    I failed my NClex RN exams 8 times. I am devastated as I really don’t know how to pass this exam. I have tried almost any book, any course, any practice test that you can name. I truly need some coaching and mentoring as I have received tons of SATA and Priority questions which I know led me to fail. Can someone please help me?

    • Jon Haws

      Jon Haws

      Palak . . . my biggest suggestion would be to look back over content and try to figure out where the holes are in your knowledge. What are your weakest areas? Once you know that really focus on those areas. THEN I would go back over practice questions and test strategies.