Reviewing the NCLEX RN Test Plan

The official NCLEX RN test blueprint can be a little overwhelming. We have highlighted the need to know information about the NCLEX RN test plan.  We also have over 60 FREE NCLEX video tutorials available on our NCLEX Study Guide channel.

NCLEX Test Plan

NCLEX-RN TestPlan

NCLEX-RN Test Plan

Effective 4/1/16 – 3/31/19

Exam Administration

  • Examination length
    • Variable-length adaptive test
    • 75 to 265 questions long (the total number of questions is determined by the candidate’s responses)
    • 15 pretest questions which do not count for or against the final score
    • Allowed up to 6 hours to complete the exam (this includes the tutorial, sample items, all breaks and the exam itself)
NCLEX-RN Study Guide
NCLEX Study Guide

Distribution of Content for the NCLEX-RN

  • 20% – Management of Care
  • 12% – Safety and Infection Control
  • 9% – Health Promotion and Maintenance
  • 9% – Psychosocial Integrity
  • 9% – Basic Care and Comfort
  • 15% – Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
  • 12% – Reduction of Risk Potential
  • 14% – Physiological Adaptation


Overview of Content

  1. Safe and Effective Care Environment – The nurse promotes achievement of client outcomes by providing and directing nursing care that enhances the care delivery setting in order to protect clients and health care personnel.

a. Management of Care

• Advance Directives/Self-Determination/ Life Planning
• Advocacy
• Assignment, Delegation and Supervision
• Case Management
• Client Rights
• Collaboration with Interdisciplinary Team
• Concepts of Management
• Confidentiality/Information Security
• Continuity of Care
• Establishing Priorities
• Ethical Practice
• Informed Consent
• Information Technology
• Legal Rights and Responsibilities
• Organ Donation
• Performance Improvement (Quality Improvement)
• Referrals

b.Safety and Infection Control

NCLEX Flashcards
NCLEX Flashcards

• Accident/Error/Injury Prevention
• Emergency Response Plan
• Ergonomic Principles
• Handling Hazardous and Infectious Materials
• Home Safety
• Reporting of Incident/Event/Irregular Occurrence/Variance
• Safe Use of Equipment
• Security Plan
• Standard Precautions/Transmission-Based Precautions/Surgical Asepsis
• Use of Restraints/Safety Devices

3. Health Promotion and Maintenance – The nurse provides and directs nursing care of the client that incorporates the knowledge of expected growth and development principles, prevention and/or early detection of health problems, and strategies to achieve optimal health.

    • Health Promotion and Maintenance
        • Aging Process
        • Ante/Intra/Postpartum and Newborn Care
        • Developmental Stages and Transitions
        • Health Promotion/Disease Prevention
        • Health Screening
        • High Risk Behaviors
        • Lifestyle Choices
        • Self-Care
        • Techniques of Physical Assessment

3. Psychosocial Integrity – The nurse provides and directs nursing care that promotes and supports the emotional, mental and social wellbeing of the client experiencing stressful events, as well as clients with acute or chronic mental illness.

a. Psychosocial Integrity

        • Abuse/Neglect
        • Behavioral Interventions
        • Chemical and Other Dependencies/Substance Use Disorder
        • Coping Mechanisms
        • Crisis Intervention
        • Cultural Awareness/Cultural Influences on Health
        • End of Life Care
        • Family Dynamics
        • Grief and Loss
        • Mental Health Concepts
        • Religious and Spiritual Influences on health
        • Sensory/Perceptual Alterations
        • Stress Management
        • Support Systems
        • Therapeutic Communication
        • Therapeutic Environment

4. Physiological Integrity – The nurse promotes physical health and wellness by providing care and comfort, reducing client risk potential and managing health alterations.

a. Basic Care and Comfort

        • Assistive Devices
        • Elimination
        • Mobility/Immobility
        • Non-Pharmacological Comfort Interventions
        • Nutrition and Oral Hydration
        • Personal Hygiene
        • Rest and Sleep

b. Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies

        • Adverse Effects/Contraindications/Side Effects/Interactions
        • Blood and Blood Products
        • Central Venous Access Devices
        • Dosage Calculation
        • Expected Actions/Outcomes
        • Medication Administration
        • Parenteral/Intravenous Therapies
        • Pharmacological Pain Management
        • Total Parenteral Nutrition

c. Reduction of Risk Potential

        • Changes/Abnormalities in Vital Signs
        • Diagnostic Tests
        • Laboratory Values
        • Potential for Alterations in Body Systems
        • Potential for Complications of Diagnostic Tests/Treatments/Procedures
        • Potential for Complications from Surgical Procedures and Health Alterations
        • System Specific Assessments
        • Therapeutic Procedures

d. Physiological Adaptation

      • Alterations in Body Systems
      • Fluid and Electrolyte Imbalances
      • Hemodynamics
      • Illness Management
      • Medical Emergencies
      • Pathophysiology
      • Unexpected Response to Therapies

Published by

Jay Willis

Jay Willis joined Mometrix as Vice President of Sales in 2009, and has developed several key strategic relationships that have enhanced the distribution of Mometrix products. With nearly 20 years of sales experience in the publishing industry, his dedication to providing the highest quality experience for customers, coupled with his sales and marketing expertise, has resulted in significant growth of the Institutional Sales division.

2 thoughts on “Reviewing the NCLEX RN Test Plan”

  1. Hello, I just understand there are 15-pretest questions. Does this means the first 15 questions on the NCLEX-RN is not judged for our final score? Please explains. Thank you

    1. The NCLEX-RN has 15 pretest questions on every exam. These questions are mixed in with all the other questions in the first 60 questions of the test. They are not used to determine if you pass or fail the NCLEX. The people who develop the exam questions just want to make sure that there’s no bias or other issues that would prevent someone from selecting the correct response.

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