In 2020, on the NCSBN website there were approximately 28% of all candidate nurses who did not pass the NCLEX-RN exam in the year of 2020

The number 28% may not seem like that many nurses, but also keep in mind there are over hundreds of thousands of nurses who are entering into the nursing field and almost 3 million nurses inside the United States.

So 14% can actually be a large number of nurses who did not pass the exam.

The first thing I want to tell you is that if this is you, you can first breathe, you can relax.

I know it seems like the end of the world but I promise you that it’s not.

There are plenty of nurses who were unsuccessful with passing the exam on the first try or even multiple times, and have went on to have very successful careers in nursing.

They still go on to work, they still go on to become charge nurses, preceptors and managers so you don’t have to feel as though failing one time or more will hinder you from becoming a great nurse.

It’s not always a matter of how many times it takes you to get there, just as long as you get there.

So I want to encourage you right now that it’s not the end of the world, you just have to make some choices where you do things differently in order to make sure that you pass the next time.

Because there is a saying that goes that you if you keep doing the same thing over and over again you’re only going to get the same result.

So it’s the exact same thing.

The next thing is there are different measures that you need to take if you failed one time as opposed to if you failed two or more times.

However everybody is different, not everything that this article shares is going to be the cut and dry for everybody. This is just general advice to follow by.

One of the reasons why is because I cannot calculate how much effort you put in the first time, I cannot calculate what type of the strategies you implemented the first time or the amount of effort you did while you were studying. Therefore this is why there is not one blanket answer for everybody.

This is just something that I have found for some people.

For some people if you didn’t pass the first time you may just need to be more aggressive with your studying the next time and implement more strategies the next time you in order to be successful in passing when you take your exam again.

Some people they just needed that extra studying time, that extra time going over the content and the material.

They may not have done as much studying as they know they could have done the first time they took their exam.

Now if you have failed two times or more, then this requires a higher level of investment. Because the more times you go without passing the exam, the longer it takes you to pass your exam then the less likely you are to eventually pass. One of the things that I mean by a higher level of investment may include putting more time for example. You going to need to invest more of your time to help you get the results you want.

Keep in mind that this is only a temporary season it’s not forever. You’re also going to have to invest in more resources, not too many resources, but however the right ones.

Some people may only need a Saunders book to read through front and back and can pass the exam the next time whereas others may need to invest at a higher level and seek out tutors, review courses, or other outside help for them to get to the end result.

It really depends on the person as well as how many times they have taken the exam.

Some people really need more hand-holding, they need more personalized attention, they need more insight and strategies in order to help them see the whole picture.

Everyone is different.
However one thing that I do believe is that the sooner you get help, regardless of how many times you have taken your exam, the more likely you are to pass.

So the sooner you get help, the higher your chances are of passing sooner than later.

For me personally I remember that I was willing to invest whatever it took, I didn’t care how much I would have to spend, because I was so focused on that end result.

I know sometimes people may not want to make the investment in resources. The way you need to look at it is that the longer it takes, the more time you are losing.

And your time is something that you’re never going to get back. This is time that you could have been working and making thousands of dollars a month.

The average starting pay for a new grad nurse (depending on the area though), is roughly $40,000-$50,000 a year which breaks down to over $3,000 a month.

So every month you’re not producing that income is a month where you’re losing that income. Therefore I encourage you to always considered the resources as an investment.

You also need to act quickly, you need to respond right away.

I know it’s easy to become so discouraged that you decide you want to take a break from studying and preparing, but if you waste too much time your dreams of becoming a nurse may not happen.

The purpose is not to pressure you but it’s to incite you to take action sooner than later because the longer you go without passing your exam the less likelihood there is that you will eventually pass the exam.

If you go 6 months, 9 months, a year plus, the harder it will be to get back into the groove of studying. Therefore it’s important to come up with a plan so that you can Implement so you can pass your exam.

If you can come up with a 3 month plan, then that would be an ideal to help steer you in the right direction so you can pass.

Also the thing about it too is that maybe you do pass your exam five years later but then at that point now you have to really learn the language of nursing all over again because of the number of years it took you to get your license.

Once you start working on the floor nursing may be different for you than the time you graduated to the time that you passed your exam.

Want to download our free guide, “Top 10 Biggest NCLEX Mistakes You Must Avoid”? Click here to download it now.

If you need my help, you can email me at for more information.