The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is a nationwide examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States, Canada and Australia since 1982, 2015 and 2020 respectively. There are two types, the NCLEX-RN and the NCLEX-PN. After graduation from a school of nursing, one takes the NCLEX exam to receive a nursing license. A nursing license gives an individual the permission to practice nursing, granted by the state where they met the requirements.

NCLEX examinations are developed and owned by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. (NCSBN). The NCSBN administers these examinations on behalf of its member boards which consist of the boards of nursing in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

NCLEX-RN
NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse). All boards of nursing in states and territories of the United States require candidates to pass this exam for licensure as a registered nurse (RN). As of 2015, 10 provincial/territorial RN regulators in Canada have chosen the NCLEX-RN and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) as the provider of the Canadian RN entry-to-practice exam.

The NCLEX-RN uses the five-step nursing process. Each of the questions will fall into one of the five steps: assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.