15 Good Signs You Passed the NCLEX in 2024

Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

If you are a nursing student or a recent nursing school graduate, chances are you are planning for the next big step toward your career by preparing for the NCLEX exam. The six weeks between the time you take the NCLEX and when you receive your official results can feel excruciating, leaving many students asking the question, “What are the good signs you passed the NCLEX?” If you want to know about possible signs you passed NCLEX, this article is for you. As you continue reading, you will learn 15 good signs you passed the NCLEX-RN in 2024 and find some statistics related to NCLEX candidates.

What Does Passing the NCLEX-RN Mean?

The ultimate goal of every nursing student is to graduate and pass their state boards, also known as the NCLEX. Passing the NCLEX-RN means you have demonstrated the ability to practice nursing care as a registered nurse safely. Your State Board of Nursing releases official NCLEX test results (BON). However, a passing NCLEX score is nationally recognized, which means once you pass the NCLEX-RN, you are eligible to apply for licensure in any state where you wish to practice nursing.

Why Passing the NCLEX-RN is Important for Your Nursing Career?

All nursing candidates need to graduate from an accredited nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN. Here are 5 reasons why it is important for your career as a nurse to pass the NCLEX-RN.

1. Passing the NCLEX-RN is a requirement for a nursing candidate to receive a nursing license.

Without a nursing license, it is unlawful for someone to practice as a nurse.

2. There's no doubt you've got skills!

When you pass the NCLEX-RN, you demonstrate having the skills necessary to practice safe nursing care within the scope of practice that promotes good patient outcomes.

3. Increased self-confidence.

Even if you could practice as a nurse without passing the NCLEX-RN, passing the exam speaks highly of your knowledge and skills and is a great confidence booster.

4. Prospective employers will know you are prepared to begin work as an entry-level nurse.

Taking and passing the NCLEX-RN shows prospective employers you have gained the knowledge and developed the skills needed to work as a registered nurse.

5. You can pursue a graduate degree in nursing.

After you graduate from nursing school and pass the NCLEX-RN, you can pursue a graduate degree in nursing, such as a master's or doctorate. Earning a graduate degree will position you for advanced practice and increased earning potential.

What Number of People Pass the NCLEX-RN on Their First Attempt?

In 2016, 132,837 people took the NCLEX-RN and passed on their first attempt. The number of successful candidates has increased yearly for the past five years, with 153,581 individuals passing in 2020. The five-year average for successful first-time NCLEX-RN test candidates is 143,812. If you are preparing to take the NCLEX and wonder if you are among those who will pass the first time around, the good signs you passed the NCLEX-RN I will share later in the article are an excellent way for you to see where you stand.

Year People
2016 132,837
2017 137,390
2018 144,123
2019 151,129
2020 153,581

What Percentage of People Pass The NCLEX-RN on Their First Attempt?

In 2020, 86.57% of the NCLEX-RN candidates who took the exam passed on their first attempt. That number is down slightly from 88.18% in 2019, but an increase of two percent from 2016. The 2016-2020 five-year average of test-takers who passed the NCLEX-RN on their first attempt is 86.94%. If the passing percentage remains steady and you experience the good signs you passed NCLEX in 2023 mentioned in this article, you could be among the 86.94% of new successful NCLEX-RN candidates for 2023.

Year Pass %
2016 84.57%
2017 87.11%
2018 88.29%
2019 88.18%
2020 86.57%

What are Your Chances of Passing the NCLEX-RN on the First Attempt?

According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), in 2020, 86.57% of United States educated NCLEX-RN candidates passed the exam on their first attempt. This high pass rate is a good indication that with preparation, you have a good chance of passing the NCLEX on your first try.

What are the Good Signs You Passed NCLEX in 2024?

Waiting for official NCLEX results can be stressful. Although the state regulatory nursing body can only deliver official NCLEX results, there are some good signs you passed the NCLEX in 2024. Here are the 15 good signs that may ease your mind while you wait for official notification about your test results.

1. You feel confident about the exam.

Among all the good signs you passed the NCLEX-RN, your feelings about how well you performed are one of the best ways to know. Granted, some people may feel they passed or failed the exam and get results opposite of what they expected. Most people are good judges of how well they performed on a test. So, if you feel confident about the NCLEX and how you did on it, this is a good indication of success.

2. You answered questions during NCLEX prep that were very similar to questions on the NCLEX.

If you studied and prepared for the NCLEX by taking practice exams, chances are you will see similar questions on the test. If you see questions on the NCLEX that are like questions you answered correctly while preparing for the test, this could be a good sign you did well on the NCLEX-RN.

3. You took an NCLEX-prep class and did well in the class.

NCLEX-prep classes are designed to give you some insight into what the test will be like and what types of content will be on the exam. If you took a prep class and did well, and then you leave the NCLEX feeling confident, these are good signs you passed the NCLEX.

4. You scored well on the NCLEX Predictor Test.

An NCLEX Predictor Test, such as the ATI Comprehensive Predictor Exam/ATI NCLEX Predictor, is a tool used to measure and identify the strengths and weaknesses of students in nursing school. The predictor test mimics the NCLEX in that it tests specific areas of nursing information. It offers suggestions related to the student's particular area of weakness, including recommendations for content review. Students who scored well on the NCLEX Predictor Test can take this is a good sign they will do well on the NCLEX.

5. Questions got progressively harder before the test shut off.

The NCLEX uses computerized adaptive testing to gauge a candidate's abilities. The test program gives questions of variable difficulty and progresses with each answer. The test begins with easy questions, and as you answer questions correctly, they become more challenging. If you answer a question incorrectly, the next question is easier. When the NCLEX gives increasingly more complicated questions before shutting off, this is one of the good signs you passed NCLEX in 2024.

6. Did you get a lot of synthesis questions on your NCLEX?

Synthesis questions require test-takers to create or propose solutions, such as creating a care plan or making changes to a care plan. This type of question is considered more challenging than questions that ask you to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment or a patient's status. Since progressively more difficult questions indicate you are answering questions correctly, a higher number of synthesis-type questions could be a good indication you have performed well on the NCLEX-RN.

7. You were required to answer lots of analysis questions.

Like synthesis questions, analysis questions are typically a more challenging type of question. The more difficult questions you see on the NCLEX test, the more likely you are to have passed the exam.

8. You answered the least number of questions possible, which is 75.

As mentioned in #2, the NCLEX progresses variably, depending on whether you answer a question correctly or incorrectly. If your questions continually got more complex and the test shut off at 75, this is another good sign you passed the NCLEX.

9. The test goes beyond the minimum of 75 questions.

Don’t confuse this statement with numbers two and three above. Answering more than 75 questions can also be one of the good signs you passed the NCLEX-RN. The computer adaptive testing format used on the NCLEX estimates your ability to test on more complicated questions based on previous answers and the level of difficulty of the earlier questions you answered. If you reach 75 questions and the computer has not determined with 95% confidence that you have passed or failed the exam, it will continue to offer additional questions.

10. The test shuts off before the maximum amount of time is elapsed.

NCLEX-RN candidates have a maximum of five hours to complete the exam. The computer will stop giving questions when it is 95% sure your ability is clearly above or below the passing standard required. This method of scoring is known as the 95% Confidence Interval Rule. If you receive progressively more challenging questions and the test ends before the maximum time allowed, this is another one of the good signs you passed the NCLEX.

11. You ran out of time but answered the minimum number of questions, with each one becoming more challenging.

It can be easy to get confused when you think of maximum test time or the number of possible questions on the NCLEX. Even if you run out of time on the test, it is not always an indication that you did not pass. If you answered the minimum number of questions (75) and your questions continued to become more challenging as the test progressed, this can be considered a good sign you did well on the test.

12. You answered the maximum number of questions before the time limit expired.

If you answer the maximum of 145 questions, this is an indication you are close to the passing standard for the exam, and the computer is trying to give you enough questions to show you have passed. Candidates who answer the maximum number of questions will be scored based on a final Ability Estimate, instead of the 95% Confidence Interval Rule. An Ability Estimate determines the level of entry-level nursing knowledge, abilities, and skills the computer determines an NCLEX candidate has.

13. The Pearson VUE Quick Results indicates you passed the NCLEX-RN.

Official NCLEX-RN test results are only available from your state nurse registry board. However, many states participate in the Quick Results Service, which gives "unofficial" results two business days after the test is complete.

14. You tried the Pearson Vue NCLEX Trick and got a good pop-up.

While the Pearson Vue NCLEX Trick is not always 100% accurate, most sources suggest those who try the trick and get a good pop-up typically pass the NCLEX. A good pop-up is a window that appears delivering a message stating you recently scheduled the NCLEX and are unable to process a new registration at this time.

15. You find your name on your state board of nursing website.

Some NCLEX test-takers can find their name and license information on the state board of nursing (BON) website. While it may take up to six weeks to receive a notification with your official results, some people have accessed their license status online on the BON website within a few days of taking the exam. If you find your name on the website, this is definitely a good sign you passed the NCLEX in 2024!

7 Things to Do Next if You Strongly Feel You Might Pass the NCLEX-RN

The whole while you are in nursing school, you look forward to graduation and getting your license. First things first, though... You must take the NCLEX. What happens after you take the NCLEX-RN? As mentioned above before getting your official results there are some good signs you can look for to know you passed the NCLEX. After going through the good signs if you feel strongly that you passed, here are a few things you can do next.

1. Take a day (or longer) for some rest and self-care.

Nursing school and NCLEX prep are mentally and physically challenging. After you graduate and take the NCLEX, allow yourself some time to relax and recharge. Whether you take a day to go shopping, have dinner with a friend, or stay in bed watching your favorite TV shows, do something you enjoy that is not stressful. It may surprise you to realize how much better you feel after a day or so of rest and relaxation.

2. Get yourself professionally organized.

If you have not already started, this is the time to begin getting your ducks in a row, so to speak. When you start applying for jobs, prospective employers may request specific things, and having them prepared beforehand can make applying for jobs less stressful. For example, letters of professional recommendation from nursing instructors or previous supervisors who can speak to your character and likelihood of success in the role as a registered nurse are always a plus. Make copies of any certifications you have that are relevant to nursing.

3. Update your resume.

Part of professional organization is making sure you have an up-to-date resume. Make sure your resume has the correct contact information for you and your references (personal and professional). Include all previous work experience and educational background. If you do not have prior experience in the healthcare field, be sure to list at least one of your clinical instructors as a reference, with their permission, of course.

4. Network!

Connect with nurses you know or others who work in the healthcare field. Attend job fairs to see what kinds of nursing jobs are available in your area. Join local social media groups for nurses. Nurses often know about job openings or potential new positions before the opportunity is published on a company website or with an employment agency. By becoming actively involved in a network of your peers, you may find the perfect job.

5. Update your work experience and/or education on your social media profiles.

We live in a technology-driven world, and you can use technology to your advantage. By updating your work and education information on your profiles, you create a way of advertising yourself for work. Even if you are not actively seeking a job yet, your friends and family may see your profile changes, and when they hear of a job, they can spread the word to you.

6. Join LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the world's largest online professional network. You can use LinkedIn to help you find a job or internship and connect with other nurses and potential employers. The platform allows you to upload your personal resume and create a professional profile that others can use to connect and communicate with you.

7. Start applying for jobs!

Although you cannot work as a nurse without a nursing license, you can begin to apply for jobs. Many employers will conduct interviews and give offers of employment contingent upon you receiving your official results and verification of licensure. Applying for jobs early is especially important if a particular healthcare facility or employer interests you.

My Final Thoughts

It is natural for nursing students and graduates to ask the question, “What are the good signs you passed NCLEX?” While the only way to be 100% sure you passed the NCLEX is to receive official scores from your state regulatory nursing body, there are some signs that indicate you succeeded. The 15 good signs you passed the NCLEX-RN in 2024 featured in this article are a few ways to get an idea of whether you passed the exam. If you are preparing for the NCLEX-RN, remember that preparation is the best key to success. Good luck with your test! You can do this!

Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Our Expert

1. What Is the Pearson Vue NCLEX Trick, And How Does It Work?

The Pearson Vue NCLEX Trick is a way for NCLEX candidates to attempt and find out if they passed the NCLEX exam before official results are available. If you want to try the Pearson Vue NCLEX Trick, you should wait about two hours after testing to attempt it. After taking the NCLEX and waiting a few hours, go to the Pearson VUE test-takers page and log in to your Pearson VUE account. After login, click on the tab that says "register" and attempt to reregister for the NCLEX exam. If the website allows you to reregister, this is considered a bad pop-up and typically indicates an unsuccessful NCLEX result. On the other hand, if the website does not allow you to register for the test again but gives you a message that says you have already registered, this suggests you passed the NCLEX.

2. Can I Pass The NCLEX-RN In 75 Questions?

Yes, you can pass the NCLEX-RN by answering only 75 questions. Keep in mind, the number of questions you answer may be a sign you passed, but it is not a definite sign. If your questions got progressively more challenging until the test stopped, this is one of the good signs you passed NCLEX in 2024.

3. Can I Pass NCLEX-RN Without Hospital Experience?

Passing the NCLEX in 2024 is possible without having any hospital experience. In fact, the only healthcare experience many nursing school graduates have is what they got while in nursing school clinicals.

4. Can The Unofficial NCLEX-RN Results Change?

The unofficial NCLEX-RN test results are based on an automated score. The score is confirmed a second time before official scores are released. While there is a possibility the unofficial test results may change, it is unlikely, and an unofficial report of passing typically indicates a good sign you passed the NCLEX-RN.

5. What States Have the Highest NCLEX-RN Pass Rates?

The states with the highest NCLEX-RN pass rates are Arizona, North Dakota, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Dakota, Louisiana, Nevada, Delaware, and New Hampshire. The pass rate in these top ten states ranges from 91.44% to 96.21%.

Rank State People Passed Pass %
1 New Hampshire 711 96.21%
2 Delaware 482 93.59%
3 Nevada 1,216 93.18%
4 Louisiana 2,002 92.77%
5 South Dakota 797 92.35%
6 North Carolina 4,109 91.99%
7 Pennsylvania 7,236 91.68%
8 Tennessee 3,741 91.67%
9 North Dakota 543 91.57%
10 Arizona 3,228 91.44%

6. What States Have the Lowest NCLEX-RN Pass Rates?

Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Ohio, Minnesota, Arkansas, New York, Wyoming, and Florida have the lowest NCLEX-RN pass rate in the United States. 68.835 to 86.58% of the NCLEX-RN candidates in these states pass the exam.

Rank State People Passed Pass %
1 Florida 12,720 68.83%
2 Wyoming 282 80.80%
3 New York 9,085 83.17%
4 Arkansas 1,858 83.36%
5 Minnesota 3,170 83.82%
6 Ohio 6,907 84.41%
7 Oklahoma 1,870 85.31%
8 New Mexico 828 85.71%
9 Kansas 1,634 86.14%
10 Iowa 1,851 86.58%

Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).