States with Unlimited NCLEX Attempts

States with Unlimited NCLEX Attempts

No one wants to think about what happens if they fail the NCLEX, but it is important to be prepared for all outcomes. Although most states allow you to retake the exam as many times as necessary, some have limitations and there may be additional hoops to jump through if you fail the NCLEX multiple times.


All about the NCLEX Changes
Sophia M.


May 23, 2024

Which states give unlimited NCLEX attempts?

NCLEX guidelines vary by state and they change frequently, so it is important to check with your local board of nursing to confirm the current NCLEX guidelines in your area. According to the official NCLEX website, test takers can retake the exam 45 days after initially taking it. If you fail it again, this is where policies start to vary from state to state. 

Many states, such as California and New York, allow you to continue retaking the exam as long as you wait 45 days after your last test date. This means that you could take it a maximum of 8 times in a year with no limit on the total number of attempts. 

Other states are a little more strict. For example, both Florida and Hawaii require you to pass the NCLEX by the third retake. After retaking it three times, you are required to take a remedial course before being allowed another attempt. 

Some states are more concerned with the amount of years between graduating and passing NCLEX than they are with the exact amount of attempts. For example, North Carolina requires that test takers pass the test within one year of your first attempt. If you do not, you have to develop a remedial plan with the state’s nursing board in order to sit for it again. 

Overall, NCLEX retake rules can be a little tricky to understand on a general level. Check with your specific state’s current policy to get the most accurate guidelines. 

List of states with unlimited NCLEX attempts

Make sure to double-check the official information by the state’s board of nursing: 

What does retaking the NCLEX look like?

These are the steps you need to take when retaking the NCLEX:

  • Contact the board of nursing and inform them of your plan to retake the exam.
  • You’ll then be informed about any fees or retake materials that are required to make you eligible to test again.
  • Re-register with Pearson VUE and pay retake fees.
  • You may have to wait some time to receive an Authorization to Test (ATT).
  • Once you receive your ATT, you can schedule your retake. 

How much does it cost to retake the NCLEX?

In order to retake the NCLEX, you have to pay a $200 fee to Pearson VUE and a $75 reapplication fee. So, you can see how overtime the expenses of retaking the NCLEX multiple times can start to add up. For this reason, you should take steps to prepare as best as possible so that you can feel confident going into the exam the second time around. 

How to prepare to retake the NCLEX

Nclex rn ngn qbank v2

Master your NCLEX® with Lecturio

Review your performance report

If you fail the NCLEX, you will be given a score report called the Candidate Performance Report or CPR. Although your CPR won’t share actual questions and answers, it will break down some information about your score, such as inwhich content areas you met the passing standard and in which ones you were below the passing standard. This will help you see what areas you need to focus on studying more. 

Target weak areas 

Once you’ve determined which subject areas are weaker for you, you can begin to prioritize study time. If you have a hard time putting in the time to study, then you may need to write up a schedule in order to hold yourself accountable. 

Practice, practice, practice

You will definitely want to read up on specific subjects that you’re unsure about and do plenty of practice questions. If staying focused for the entire test duration is challenging, taking a practice test can serve as a valuable practice run to build your endurance. 

Utilize a review course

An online or in-person NCLEX review course can also help you learn about testing strategy and review helpful questions so that you can pass NCLEX on the second time around. 


Failing the NCLEX may feel like the worst case scenario, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t succeed the second (or third, or fourth) time around. Every state has different rules when it comes to how many times you can attempt the NCLEX. It is important to research your specific state’s retake policy so that you can know what to expect. Reviewing your score report, prioritizing study time, and completing an NCLEX review course can help you ensure that you pass your NCLEX retake. 

Don't go alone.

Take Lecturio’s support with you and pass the NCLEX with confidence.

Study success starts with the right resources!
Lecturio will help you prepare for the NCLEX reliably and efficiently.

Lecturio's Anatomy Course with Prof. Pickering

Further Reading

All of the hard work and dedication that you’ve put into nursing school will culminate on the day that you ...
Every new nursing grad knows that it isn’t over once you walk out at graduation–you still have to pass the ...
From the moment of starting nursing school, every piece of knowledge and skill mastered is geared toward one goal—earning a ...

User Reviews