Passing Standard Required Entry Level Nursing Ability

What is Passing Standard?

The passing standards for the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN reflect the amount of nursing ability currently required to practice competently at the entry level. Because nursing practice changes over time, the NCSBN Board of Directors reevaluates the passing standards every three years when the test plans are reviewed.

Passing Standard Considerations

  • The results of a standard-setting exercise undertaken by the Panel of Judges. Currently, this exercise consists of a criterion-referenced standard-setting method, with additional statistical result compromise procedures. Also, a list of members on the Panel of Judges and their qualifications are included.
  • A historical record of the passing standard and annual summaries of candidate performance on the NCLEX since the implementation of the CAT methodology in 1994.
  • The results from the annual standard-setting survey, which solicits the opinions of employers and educators regarding the competence of the current cohort of entry-level nurses.
  • The educational readiness of high school graduates who expressed an interest in nursing. Currently, American College Testing service (ACT) provides this information.