Tennessee Registered Nurse License Exam
Need for a Registered Nurse License: A Registered Nurse is required to be licensed to practice nursing in the state of Tennessee.
Who Grants a Registered Nurse License: Licenses are granted by the Tennessee Board of Nursing.
Qualifications to receive a License: Applicants must graduate from an approved and accredited nursing program (diploma, associate or baccalaureate degree) and pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
Applying for State Licensure and the NCLEX-RN Exam: The application process consists of two parts which are completed together: 1) applying for Tennessee Licensure and 2) registering for the NCLEX-RN exam.
- First, obtain an application for Licensure by Examination either from your Tennessee nursing school or by contacting the Board per the instructions.
- You will need to attach one passport-type photograph signed by you as well as your nursing school administrator.
- You will complete a declaration of primary state of residence.
- You will need to complete a criminal background check with fingerprints.
- You will need to complete a declaration of citizenship along with required documentation. This form will require notary.
- You will need to have your nursing school submit an official transcript (unofficial and/or faxed copies are not accepted) directly to the Board at the following address: State of Tennessee Department of Health Division of Health Licensure and Regulation Office of Health Related Boards 665 Mainstream Drive Nashville, TN 37243.
- Second, the NCLEX exam is administered by Pearson VUE. You must register to take the NCLEX exam, in addition to applying for Licensure. Registration can be done online via the Pearson VUE website. Alternatively, you may call Pearson VUE NCLEX Candidate services (toll-free) at1.866.49NCLEX (1.866.496.2539), Monday-Friday, 7 am to 7 pm, Central Standard Time.
- Once the Tennessee Board of Nursing provides clearance to Pearson VUE, you will receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) notice from Pearson VUE. This allows you to schedule your exam at a convenient Pearson VUE location, typically within 90 days from receipt of the ATT.
NCLEX-RN Exam Content: The NCLEX-RN exam is a computerized test which utilizes “adaptive testing.” This means that the computer will determine your level of competency throughout the exam and the number of questions will vary based upon your competency level. A minimum of 75 questions and a maximum of 265 questions are administered. At minimum, 60 questions will be scored and 15 questions will be practice questions. The test taker will not know which are scored and which are not. You will have a maximum of 6 hours to complete the exam.
There are two optional breaks after 2.5 and 3.5 hours, respectively.
There are four subject categories and several sub-categories for the NCLEX-RN exam. They are as follows:
- Safe, effective care environment
- Management of care
- Safety and infection control
- Psychosocial integrity
- Physiological integrity
- Health promotion and maintenance
- Basic care and comfort
- Pharmacologic and parenteral therapies
- Reduction of risk potential
- Physiological adaptation
The NCLEX-RN results are pass/fail. Official results from the NCLEX-RN exam are delivered by the respective Board of Nursing within 2-4 weeks from the exam date. Unofficial results may be obtained 48 business hours after the exam through Pearson Vue Quick Results. There is a small fee for this service. If you do not pass the exam, you will receive a diagnostic profile which outlines your performance on the exam and will need to retake the exam at a later date.
Who Administers the Exam: The NCLEX-RN exam is developed and approved by the National Council for State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The test is administered at Pearson VUE testing locations.
License Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements: Tennessee RN licenses require renewal every two years on the last day of your birth month and can be completed online. There are no continuing education requirements.
Special Notice: Tennessee is a Compact State. The Compact State agreement allows nurses who practice in specific states to have License reciprocity in those other participating states. Therefore, if your primary residence is within another Compact State, you need not apply for additional Licensure from the Tennessee Board of Nursing.
For more information on licensing and exam prep, go to Tests.com's NCLEX-RN Test Guide.
And take Tests.com's free NCLEX-RN Practice Test.
For nursing exam preparation products and services, such as study guides, practice tests, flashcards and courses, go to Tests.com's NCLEX-RN listings.