NCLEX Decision Tree

NCLEX Decision Tree

NCLEX stands for National Council Licensure Examination. The examination is conducted on a national level for the nursing license in the United States ( 1982), Canada( 2015 ), and Australia (2020). There are two types of NCLEX examination depending upon the license you want to acquire: 

  • NCLEX-RN: – The test mainly focuses on your decision-making as a nurse and is taken to judge whether you can start the practice after your course. It is not the same as the tests given in the University. It is mainly for diploma and degree nurses.
  • NCLEX-PN: – The test is taken with the sole purpose of monitoring your capabilities as a nurse and whether you can start immediately or not. It is mostly given by the students who have vocational training/ diploma in nursing.

The test mainly focuses on your aptitude and attitude and is generally based on physiological, emotional, and theoretical aspects. It is taken for the citizens’ safety and to ensure that the nurses are apt for their job and will work properly.

NCLEX Decision Tree:

  • Step 1: The question should be analyzed and mentally answered. A proper reading of the question should be done to know about the actual meaning and not get tricked by the side information. This will help you get to your answer.

  • Step 2: Now that you know the kind of question, decide whether to answer it practically or as an assessment. The answer depends on the question again. If all the information is given, the answer is practical, otherwise theoretical. 

  • Step 3: Application of Maslow- The answer should be either psychological, physical, or both. The pattern of the answer depends on the demand of the patient. Mental health should be the priority over what they need.

  • Step 4: Now check the choices ABCs and check their relatability. The priority should always be the airway. The choices checked should be read carefully to know about the hidden meanings, and each line is correctly interpreted.

  • Step 5: The outcome of every answer should be weighed so that no choice is left without a discussion. The answer should be weighed, and the conclusion should be drawn on the scenario if a different answer is chosen.


A more important theory for giving the paper is your fluency in English since it is CAT and in the online form. The eligibility of the exam depends upon your degree and the types of licenses you want. The fees of the paper are $200 in the United States and $350 in Canada. The two types of paper differ on what they ask and what you can practice after getting that. The types are as follows:-

NCLEX- RN: The test analyzes your practical capabilities and finds whether you are good enough to become a professional practitioner. This may be termed as the registered nurse.

  • Eligibility: The people having an Associate degree in nursing or Bachelor’s degree in nursing can take the NCLEX- RN test. RN stands for registered nurse. 

  • Framework: “Meeting Client Needs” gives the basic framework of this type. The course is further divided into four major categories and eight subcategories. Most nursing students take one or two of the medicals from psychiatric, obstetric, pediatric, surgical, but for passing this exam, they have to study every course since it is a mixture of all.

  • Types of Questions: Mostly, there are multiple-choice questions with four options each. But there are more types like hotspots, fill in the blanks, match, and multiple answers correct. These questions are there to check the actual knowledge and practical skills.

  • Major Categories:
    • Safe Environment: This section consists of two subtypes. The first one is the management of care which accounts for 17-23% and includes subjects like Advanced directives, referrals, ethical practice, delegation, concepts of management, etc. The other is safe and infection control, which accounts for 6-12% and includes nursing actions like restraints, surgical asepsis, accident prevention, etc.
    • Health Maintenance and Promotion: This section is about 6-12% of the exam. The nursing actions include self-care, health screening, newborn care, disease prevention, etc.
    • Psychological Integrity: It is the third client’s needs and accounts for 6-12% of the exam. Some of the actions include support system, chemical dependency, crisis intervention, family dynamics, sensory alterations.
    • Physiological Integrity: This part accounts for the major part of the exam since it has four subcategories. The percentage of this is about 38 to 62% of the exam. The topics are Basic Care and Comfort, Pharmacological and Parenteral therapies, reduction of risk protection, a physiological adaptation which includes activities like dosage calculation, personal hygiene, oral hydration, chemotherapy, laboratory values, pathophysiology, hemodynamics.

NCLEX-PN: This exam is given by people who have a diploma in vocational nursing. PN stands for practitioner nurse. This is only to test your ability to become a practical/ vocational nurse.

  • Eligibility: The exam can be given by the people who have a diploma in licensed practical nursing or licensed vocational nursing.

Difference Between the Two

RN is for registered nurses, and they should have an associate or bachelor’s degree, whereas a diploma in practical or vocational nursing is required for PN. While RN and PN exams have almost the same courses, they differ in their duties. A registered nurse has the duty of caring for and supervising others, whereas a vocational nurse has to assist RN and work under their supervision.

NCLEX is a hard exam that the Pearson Vue maintains. It is hard but can be cleared by studying for three weeks vigorously and attempting the questions again and again. Once you pass NCLEX, you will be able to practice as a nurse.

NCLEX Decision Tree

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