The NCLEX is made and administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. It comes in two forms the NCLEX-PN for those seeking licensure as a practical or vocation nurse and the NLCEX-RN for those seeking licensure as a registered nurse. This test is given and overseen by each state separately. There is a cost associated with taking this exam and it is professionally monitored. If the exam is failed you have to wait a grace period of about 45-90 days before you can retest. Each state decides how many times an applicant can take the test after failing it. Moreover, the test is varied in composition mixing multiple choice with fill ins and rankings, and it is time limited. The exam is what is called CAT computer adaptive testing which allows the computer to choose the questions in a certain sequence based on the test taker's previous answers. This provides an idea of the test taker's knowledge of specific questions related to certain aspects of nursing. Because of the cost, time and significance of the NCLEX you should definitely prepare for this exam.
You would never want the many years of nursing school to go to waste all because you failed to pass the NCLEX so you should definitely prepare for this exam. There are nursing school programs that do devote time to reviewing for the NCLEX but given all that has to be covered within a nursing curriculum seeking an additional source to prepare for this test is vital. After graduating from nursing school it should be a priority to take this test as soon as possible since much of what you have learned is still fresh. Seek the support of NCLEX study groups; purchase the many NCLEX review materials and study, study, study. Review everything especially triage information and pharmacology because there is a good chance there will be questions related to these topics. This test will determine whether you will be able to work so it is in your best interest to prepare!
The NCLEX is one of the most important tests you will take as a nursing school graduate. Showing competence on this test by successfully passing it shows that you have truly taken the steps needed to become a qualified licensed nurse.