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NLN Testing for Nursing School

by Erica Loop, studioD

The National League of Nursing promotes quality nursing practices through top-notch educational programs. The NLN offers several different testing options for nursing schools, including exams that test potential nursing students' abilities to complete the school's rigorous curriculum, exams at the end of courses or degree programs and a readiness examination that can help students to prepare for their licensure exams.

Pre-Admission Testing

Getting into nursing school is a multi-faceted process that often involves the academic institution assessing the candidate's grades, experience and scores on standardized tests. Nursing schools may choose to use the NLN's pre-admission examination. The NLN-PAX-RN tests the applicant in three areas, featuring questions on mathematics, verbal skills and science. Mathematics questions include content in algebra, geometry and conversions. The science section examines the future nurse's knowledge of earth sciences, chemistry, physics and biology.

During School Exams

During the course of nursing school, academic administrators and professors assess how students are progressing and their levels of understanding. The NLN offers achievement testing for the end of courses or the conclusion of entire degree programs. These tests can help the schools better understand the student's ability to learn and synthesize the information provided in classes. The NLN offers specialized tests for subjects such as basic nursing care, care of children, maternity and child health, psychiatric mental health and pharmacology.

Pre-NCLEX Exams

The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses is a requirement to become a registered nurse and hold a valid license. The NCLEX tests the pre-service nurse's knowledge of professional practice, nursing skills and essential job-related information. Prior to taking the NCLEX, the NLN offers student nurses the chance to prepare, using their own readiness exam. Not only does the readiness exam provide helpful practice for the student or recent graduate nurse, but it also offers insight as to the individual's strengths and weaknesses in specific NCLEX test areas.

Practical Nurses

Practical or licensed vocational nurses are healthcare providers who who care for clients in many of the same ways that an RN does. They typically work under RNs and may have restrictions when it comes to administering medications, depending on their state's laws. The NLN offers all of its testing options for PNs and LVNs. The pre-professional PN student can also take the NLN NCLEX-PN readiness exam to prepare for the professional or vocational nurse licensure test.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

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