A female nurse confidently holding up a document after passing the NCLEX examination on a Saturday.

You Took the NCLEX on a Saturday: Now What?

Congratulations on completing the NCLEX! Now, you might be wondering what happens next. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we will guide you through the process of result processing, how to manage your post-exam mindset, and what steps to take depending on whether you passed or failed. So, let’s dive in!

Understanding the NCLEX Result Processing

How does it work?

The NCLEX result processing is a systematic procedure that ensures fairness and accuracy in determining your exam outcome. Here’s a brief overview of how it works:

  1. After you complete the exam, your results are sent to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
  2. The NCSBN conducts a thorough review of your answers using a computerized adaptive testing (CAT) system.
  3. The CAT system evaluates your performance based on the difficulty level of the questions you answered correctly.
  4. Once the evaluation is complete, the NCSBN determines whether you have met the passing standard.

The normal time frame for result processing

Typically, it takes around 48 hours for your NCLEX results to be available. However, keep in mind that this timeframe may vary due to various factors such as weekends and holidays. So, if you took the exam on a Saturday, you can expect your results to be available by Monday or Tuesday.

Why weekend NCLEX Results can differ

Weekend NCLEX results may differ from weekday results due to the availability of resources and staff. On weekends, there may be a smaller team working on result processing, which could potentially affect the speed of result availability. However, rest assured that the NCSBN strives to maintain consistency and fairness in delivering your results, regardless of the day you took the exam.

Your Post-Exam Mindset

Managing anxiety while awaiting NCLEX Results

Waiting for your NCLEX results can be an anxiety-inducing period. Here are a few tips to help you manage your anxiety:

  • Remind yourself that you did your best during the exam and that the outcome is beyond your control now.
  • Engage in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga to calm your mind.
  • Seek support from friends, family, or fellow nursing students who can empathize with your situation.
  • Distract yourself with activities you enjoy, such as reading, watching movies, or pursuing hobbies.

Keeping yourself preoccupied

To avoid constantly obsessing over your NCLEX results, keep yourself preoccupied. Here are some ideas to help you stay busy:

  • Focus on your self-care routine, such as exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep.
  • Use this time to catch up on any pending tasks or projects you may have neglected during your exam preparation.
  • Explore new hobbies or activities that bring you joy and help take your mind off the waiting game.
  • Consider volunteering or shadowing opportunities in healthcare settings to gain practical experience and enhance your skills.

Reflecting on your performance

While waiting for your results, taking time to reflect on your performance can be beneficial. Here are a few questions to guide your reflection:

  • What were your strengths during the exam? What areas did you feel confident in?
  • Did you encounter any challenging questions or topics? How did you handle them?
  • What strategies did you use to manage your time effectively?
  • Are there any areas where you feel you could have improved your performance?

Reflecting on your performance can provide valuable insights that will help you grow as a future nurse, regardless of the result.

The NCLEX “Quick Results” Feature

The NCLEX “Quick Results” feature is an optional service provided by some State Boards of Nursing that allows candidates to access their unofficial results within 48 hours of taking the exam. This feature provides a quicker way to find out whether you passed or failed the NCLEX before the official results are released.

To access the NCLEX “Quick Results,” you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Visit the website of your State Board of Nursing.
  2. Look for the section related to NCLEX results or the “Quick Results” service.
  3. Follow the instructions provided on the website to access your results.
  4. There is usually a fee associated with this service, which can vary depending on your state. Be prepared to make a payment if you choose to use this feature.

Why “Quick Results” might not be available immediately

While the NCLEX “Quick Results” feature provides a faster way to obtain your results, it might not be available immediately after the 48-hour processing period. The availability of “Quick Results” depends on the State Board of Nursing and their processes. Some states may provide instant access to the results, while others may take longer to update their system.

What to Do If You Failed the NCLEX

Many successful nurses have faced this setback and gone on to pass the exam on their next attempt. Understand that failing the NCLEX does not define your worth or your capabilities as a nurse. Take some time to process your emotions and give yourself permission to feel disappointed, but also remind yourself that you can overcome this challenge.

Identifying your areas of weakness

Once you have had some time to process the news, reflect on your performance and identify the areas where you struggled. Understanding your weaknesses will help you develop a targeted study plan for your retake. Consider reaching out to your nursing school faculty or a professional tutor who can provide guidance and support during this time.

Preparing for a retake

Preparing for a retake requires dedication and perseverance. Here are some steps you can take to improve your chances of success:

  1. Review your study materials and identify any gaps in your knowledge.
  2. Create a study schedule that allows for consistent and focused studying.
  3. Utilize resources such as practice exams, review books, and online study modules to reinforce your understanding of the content.
  4. Consider enrolling in a review course or working with a tutor who specializes in NCLEX preparation.
  5. Focus on developing effective test-taking strategies and time management skills.
  6. Stay positive and maintain a growth mindset throughout your preparation.

Remember, passing the NCLEX is a milestone, and with the right approach and determination, you can achieve it.

What to Do If You Passed the NCLEX

Celebrating your success

If you receive the news that you passed the NCLEX, congratulations! You should take a moment to celebrate your achievement. Passing the exam is a significant milestone in your nursing career, and it’s important to acknowledge your hard work and dedication.

Getting your RN license

After passing the NCLEX, the next step is to obtain your RN license. The process for obtaining your license may vary depending on your state. Typically, you will need to submit an application to your State Board of Nursing along with the required documentation and fees. Make sure to review the specific requirements for your state and follow the instructions provided to ensure a smooth and timely licensure process.

Planning your next career steps With your RN license in hand, it’s time to start planning your next career steps. Here are some ideas to help guide you:

  1. Consider your desired nursing specialty: Think about the area of nursing that interests you the most. Whether it’s pediatrics, critical care, or oncology, exploring different specialties can help you determine your next career move.
  2. Research job opportunities: Start looking for job openings in your desired specialty and location. Networking with fellow nurses, attending career fairs, and utilizing online job boards can help you find potential opportunities.
  3. Pursue further education: If you have a specific career goal in mind, such as becoming a nurse practitioner or nurse educator, consider pursuing advanced degrees or certifications. Continuing education can open doors to new career opportunities and increase your earning potential.
  4. Join professional nursing organizations: Becoming a member of professional nursing organizations can provide you with valuable networking opportunities, access to educational resources, and a platform to advocate for the nursing profession.
  5. Set professional goals: Take some time to reflect on your long-term career goals and create a plan to achieve them. Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals can help keep you on track and motivated.

Remember, this is just the beginning of your nursing journey. Embrace the opportunities ahead, continue to learn and grow, and always strive to provide the highest level of care to your patients.


Q: What should I do if I have not received my NCLEX results after the normal time frame?
If you have not received your NCLEX results after the normal time frame of 48 hours, you should contact the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to inquire about the delay. They will be able to provide you with more information and help resolve any issues.

Q: Can I request a reevaluation of my NCLEX results if I believe there was an error?
No, the NCSBN does not accept requests for reevaluation of NCLEX results. The computerized adaptive testing (CAT) system used to evaluate your exam is designed to ensure accuracy and fairness. If you have concerns about your results, you can contact the NCSBN for more information or clarification.

Q: Is it possible to receive my NCLEX results earlier than the expected timeframe?
While it is uncommon, it is possible to receive your NCLEX results earlier than the expected timeframe of 48 hours. However, this can vary depending on various factors, such as the volume of exams being processed and the efficiency of the result processing system. It’s best to be prepared to wait the full 48 hours.

Q: Can I retake the NCLEX immediately if I failed the exam?
No, there is a mandatory waiting period before you can retake the NCLEX if you fail. The waiting period varies by state, so it’s important to check with your State Board of Nursing for their specific requirements. During this time, you can focus on studying and preparing for your retake.

Q: Can I apply for a temporary nursing license while waiting for my NCLEX results?
The availability of temporary nursing licenses varies by state. Some states offer temporary licenses that allow you to start working as a nurse while waiting for your NCLEX results. However, check with your State Board of Nursing to understand their specific requirements and application process for temporary licenses.

Q: What should I do if I have not received my “Quick Results” after the expected 48 hours?
You should contact your State Board of Nursing for assistance. They will be able to provide you with information and updates on the availability of your results.

Q: Can I retake the NCLEX using the “Quick Results” if I failed the exam?
No, the “Quick Results” feature is only available for candidates who have passed the NCLEX. If you failed the exam, you will need to follow the regular retake process as outlined by your State Board of Nursing.

Q: Can I retake the NCLEX if my passing result is invalidated for any reason?
If your passing result is invalidated for any reason, such as a violation of testing rules or misconduct, you will need to follow the retake process as outlined by your State Board of Nursing. This may include waiting periods, additional fees, or other specific criteria that you must meet before being eligible to retake the NCLEX.