wave banner
  • Blogs
  • arrow
  • How Many Times Can You Take the NCLEX
blog img

How Many Times Can You Take the NCLEX

Imagine going to work every day knowing that you're well compensated for your time and that your role makes a real difference in people's lives. This is one of the many reasons why people choose to become nurses.

There's no shortage of people who reap these benefits, as there are over 5 million registered nurses in the United States. Before you can begin practicing, though, you'll need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) so you can receive your nurse license.

This is the largest obstacle between you and the beginning of your nursing career, and it's imperative to prepare for it appropriately. Wondering how many times can you take the NCLEX?

We've compiled the key information you need to keep in mind. Let's explore what you should know before moving forward.

How Many Times Can You Take the NCLEX?

In general, you can take the NCLEX exam eight times per year. However, you need to wait at least 45 days in between attempts. Some states don't have a limit on how many times you can take the exam each year.

California and New York are some of the most notable. In contrast, certain states have additional rules for retaking the NCLEX. Let's explore them below.


In Alaska, you must pass the exam within two years of the first test. If you don't satisfy this obligation, you'll need to complete a remedial nursing program. You can then reattempt the exam.


Colorado only allows you to take the exam three times within three years of your first attempt. If you want to take the exam a fourth time, you must submit a petition. There's no guarantee your petition will be accepted, however.


After graduating, you can take the NCLEX for up to five years. There's no limit on how many attempts you can make during this period. If you don't pass within five years, you'll need to reach out to the state's board for further guidance.


In Florida, you must complete a remedial course if you fail the exam three times. The Florida Board of Nursing must approve the course. This makes it one of the more difficult states in which to become a registered nurse.


You have three years from the date you graduate from your nursing program to pass the NCLEX. Otherwise, you will be barred from further attempts. Getting in touch with the Georgia Board of Nursing could resolve this issue.


You can take the NCLEX as often as you'd like in Hawaii. However, you'll need to take a remedial course if you fail three times. After completing this course, you can attempt the exam again within six months.


There's a three-year period where you must pass after you initially attempt the exam. If you don't pass, you'll need to take an additional nursing course and apply for licensure again. This process continues to repeat until you pass.


You have three chances to pass the exam in Indiana. If you fail three consecutive times, you'll undergo a board review procedure. There's a chance the board could require you to take additional courses before attempting the exam again.


This state is rather strict with its guidelines. If you fail the exam twice, you'll receive a letter from the Kentucky Board of Nursing. You'll have to wait a certain period determined by the board and reapply for licensure, meaning you'll also need to pay an application fee and complete a background check if more than 6 months has passed since the previous one.


Practical nurses can take the exam up to four times within two years. However, you can't wait longer than three years after you finish your practical nursing program. If you fail four times, you must repeat the entire program. If taking the RN exam, you must pass in four attempts within four years of completing your nursing program.


In Michigan, you must pass the exam in under three years after you graduate from your nursing program. If unsuccessful, you must complete a certification of skills competency. You can also request an extension from the state's board of nursing.


There's no limit on the number of attempts you have. If you wish to retake the test, you must submit a request within eight months of your most recent attempt. If you do not retake the test within a year of your failed attempt, you will be required to reapply.


Within two years of graduating from a nursing program, you can take the NCLEX up to six times. After this number of attempts, you should reach out to the state's board of nursing with a request for further attempts. The board will review the situation and determine whether this option is suitable.


You must file an NCLEX application for each attempt. You will be required to submit the retake application and retake the exam within a year. Application fees can quickly add up, so it's recommended to study thoroughly before your first attempt.


You have four attempts at the NCLEX to pass. After that, the state's board of nursing will decide if it should grant further attempts. For example, it could allow you to take the exam a fifth time if there was an issue with proctoring during your fourth attempt.

New Hampshire

You can take the NCLEX up to five times within a three-year period. However, it's worth noting that this includes the attempts you make in other states. If you took the test once in New Hampshire and three times elsewhere, you'd only have one attempt left in New Hampshire. After three unsuccessful attempts, you will need to submit a remediation plan for the board's approval before you will be able to retake the exam a fourth or fifth time.

New Jersey

You must complete board-reviewed remedial training if you don't pass the NCLEX within three attempts. Afterward, you can make a fourth attempt. If you don't pass at this point, the board will provide further guidance.

New Mexico

You are allowed to take the exam up to five times within three years of your initial eligibility. In context, this means you have three years from the day you graduate from a nursing program.


You have two years in Oklahoma to pass the NCLEX after you complete your nursing program. If you don't, you must take a refresher course before your next attempt. You also have the option to complete coursework and supervised clinical experience.


You have three years to pass the NCLEX in Oregon. During this time, you have an unlimited number of attempts. With enough diligence, you shouldn't have any issues becoming a licensed nurse in this state.


If you fail the NCLEX two times, you must meet board-mandated requirements. These are decided on a case-by-case basis. You must enroll in another nursing program if you don't pass within three years.


In Texas, you must complete an approved nursing program if you don't pass within four years. The good news is that this is plenty of time to master the concepts on the exam. It's also one of the more generous time frames on this list.


You must pass the NCLEX within five years after graduating. If you don't, you'll need to complete an approved nursing program. You can then attempt the exam again.


This is another state that allows you five years to pass the exam. As you might expect, you'll need to enroll in another nursing program if you don't pass within this period.

West Virginia

If you fail the exam twice in West Virginia, you'll need to participate in activities approved by the state. The state's board will post approved activities on their site, and these are subject to change. If you fail four times, you must provide the board with proof you've taken courses to resolve deficiencies.


Within five years, you have 10 attempts at the NCLEX. This time frame begins after graduation from your nursing program. After you exhaust your 10 attempts, you won't be able to take the exam unless you contact the state's board.

A Note on Unlimited Attempts

If your state provides unlimited attempts, you must still follow the NCLEX rule of eight attempts per year. This is the maximum number of times you can take the test within 12 months under all circumstances. Keep this in mind when moving forward.

Prepare for This Exam Appropriately

As long as you prepare for this exam, you should have no trouble passing and becoming a registered nurse. Consider the above answer to "How many times can you take the NCLEX" so you can plan accordingly.

Archer Review prides itself on its ability to deliver top-quality test preparation and tutoring services. We've won numerous awards for our services and strive to constantly improve our methodologies and educational materials. This allows us to help you achieve the best results.

From here, you won't have trouble jumpstarting your career. You'll learn more about how we can help when you explore our NCLEX resources today.