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Your Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for the NCLEX in Illinois

Jamie Oates

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May 26, 2023
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If you're a nursing student or a registered nurse looking to take the NCLEX exam in Illinois, you may be wondering where to start. The NCLEX exam is a mandatory requirement for all nurses looking to practice in the United States, and the application process can seem overwhelming at first. But don't worry, we've got you covered! In this post, we'll guide you through the step-by-step process of applying for the NCLEX in Illinois, making the whole process a breeze!

1) Meet the Requirements: Before you can apply for the NCLEX exam in Illinois, you must meet the eligibility requirements. This includes completing a nursing program from an accredited institution, registering with the Illinois Board of Nursing, and submitting the required documents for licensure.

2) Register with Pearson VUE: Once you've met the requirements, you can register with Pearson VUE, the company that administers the NCLEX exam. You can create an account on their website and follow the prompts to register for the exam. Make sure to select Illinois as your state of licensure.

3) Pay the Exam Fee: After registering, you'll need to pay the exam fee. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid at the time of registration. The current fee for the NCLEX exam is $200.

4) Schedule Your Exam: Once you've paid the exam fee, you can schedule your exam date and location. Pearson VUE offers various testing centers in Illinois, and you can choose the one that's most convenient for you. Make sure to schedule your exam well in advance to secure your preferred date and time.

5) Prepare for the Exam: The NCLEX exam is a comprehensive test that covers a broad range of nursing topics. To prepare, you can use study materials such as review books, online courses, or study guides. You can also take practice tests to familiarize yourself with the exam format and question types.

6) Take the Exam: On the day of your exam, arrive at the testing center early and bring a valid photo ID. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and is computer-adaptive, which means the difficulty level of the questions will adjust based on your answers. The exam takes about six hours to complete.

7) Receive Your Results: After completing the exam, you'll receive your results within 48 hours. If you pass, you'll receive your nursing license from the Illinois Board of Nursing within a few weeks. If you don't pass, you can retake the exam after 45 days.


Applying for the NCLEX exam in Illinois may seem daunting, but with this step-by-step guide, you can breeze through the process. Just make sure to meet the eligibility requirements, register with Pearson VUE, pay the exam fee, schedule your exam date, prepare adequately, and take the exam. After that, you'll be one step closer to becoming a licensed nurse in Illinois. Best of luck!
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