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What Does NCLEX-PN Mean


Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is not just about graduating from the institution/school. But becoming an LPN is all about equipping yourself with knowledge, skills, and compassion. That’s where continuing education for LPNs comes in, a vital booster shot of information and skills to keep you flying high in the healthcare world. The NCLEX-PN stands for National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses, In the United States, every nurse must pass this exam. By passing the NCLEX-PN exam, a candidate is determined to be qualified to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).

These titles are essentially the same, with some states using LPN and others using LVN.

Beckfield nursing graduation

Why Continuing Education?

Most states require LPNs to renew their licenses every year to five years by completing a certain number of continuing education hours.

This ensures you’re up-to-date on the latest healthcare trends, best practices and regulations, and keeps a shining beacon of competence in the ever-evolving world of medicine.


Is it mandatory even after graduating from an accredited school?

The short answer is YES.

But let me elaborate on that.

Nurses graduate from accredited colleges or programs after completing their Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) coursework.

The NCLEX-PN exam serves a few important purposes even though they’ve gone through nursing school.

Let me summarize it in four points:

  • Standardized Benchmark:
    While LPN programs follow national guidelines, there can be variations between institutions. The NCLEX-PN ensures a consistent national standard for entry-level knowledge and skills for safe nursing practice.
  • Public Protection:
    Passing the NCLEX-PN demonstrates a baseline competency to perform nursing duties safely. This helps protect patients from unqualified caregivers.
  • Licensure Requirement:
    NCLEX-PN is a mandatory part of the licensing process in all U.S. states. Each state’s Board of Nursing uses passing the NCLEX-PN as a criterion for granting an LPN license.
  • Measure of Preparedness:
    The NCLEX-PN assesses knowledge and a nurse’s ability to apply that knowledge in real-world scenarios. This helps ensure new graduates are prepared for the practical demands of the job.


So, while graduating from an accredited program provides a strong foundation, the NCLEX-PN is a final hurdle that verifies an LPN candidate meets the national standards for safe and effective nursing practice.

Passing the NCLEX


What happens after passing the NCLEX-PN exam?

Many nurses continue their education to keep their skills and knowledge current.

This can include taking clinical courses to hone specific skills in areas like wound care, medication administration, or geriatric care.

Online modules are available on a wide array of topics, from infection control to legal and ethical issues in healthcare, allowing nurses to learn at their own pace.

Additionally, attending conferences and workshops allows networking with fellow nurses and gaining new knowledge at live events.

Continuing education plays a crucial role in a nurse’s career. It ensures nurses remain informed about the latest developments in healthcare and continue to provide their patients with the highest quality of care.


At Beckfield College, we offer the Virtual-ATI NCLEX Review. This innovative online program aligns with the current NCLEX test plan and provides students with a personalized, assessment-driven review. Through collaboration with virtual coaches and classroom instructors, our students receive targeted feedback, access to on-demand resources, and a guided review calendar to focus on areas needing improvement.

This approach has proven effective, with NCLEX pass rates nearing 100% for students who follow their coaches’ recommendations. Find out more about the Practical Nursing program (PN).



National Council of Licensed Practical Nurses (NCLPN):

American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC):

National League for Nursing (NLN):


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