Nurses in Texas begin taking the state certified nursing examinations around two months prior to the start of the new academic year. For students who are seeking their first nursing degree, this is an excellent time to get started on the right foot. Many nurses receive multiple rejections on their applications for teaching positions so taking the test early makes it easier to qualify for teaching positions. The nursing community in Texas is highly competitive and the more experience a nurse has, the better chance they have to find jobs in the profession. The earlier you can begin the application process, the better.
Once the state nurse’s exam has been administered, a minimum number of continuing education credits are needed in order to renew your license. You should schedule a time to review the course work needed to meet these requirements. The state nurse certification board will provide you with a list of courses that have been approved by the nursing board and will be accepted for testing. Once you have made the necessary credits, you will be mailed your scores. Online testing services are available but will not be able to give you the same degree of accuracy that you can achieve from a testing site that actually holds the actual exams.
After receiving your official scores, you should review them and determine which tests you wish to take. Online testing services can give you a list of exams to study for and which ones will give you the highest scores in your chosen profession. Some of the classes you can take online include Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Paralegal. There are also several specialty classes that will help you prepare for licensing exams in your specific area of expertise. You should review the course requirements and examine the test scores to decide what is best for you.
State administered tests are typically held on a rotational basis, so there is no set schedule. The first tests will be offered to new career entrants and continuing education students. The second group of exams will be administered to those who have passed the initial licensing exam and who are in need of renewal of their licenses. Renewal exams must be taken at the designated times, so there is no set test date. It is a good idea to keep a running total of your times for each of the tests administered.
In addition to the tests administered at the state level, there are national exams that must be taken in order to become certified by one of the national boards. These examinations are often offered in conjunction with the CNA trainee programs that can be found at hospitals and nursing agencies around the country. Some of these exams are regional in nature and may be offered at the state level or at the national level. The National Council for Nursing certifies qualified nurses with a CNA designation.
The amount of time it takes to complete one of these programs varies by the state but can take from two to four years to complete. If you plan to work as a CNA before getting your Associates degree, you will likely be able to complete your first two years of training in a CNA program with few interruptions. Once you have completed your training and have been certified, you will then be able to work as an independent CNA providing care under a licensed nurse to learn the remainder of the CNA exam. Once you have reached this point in your training program, you will have to get re-certified every three years to maintain your certification.
It is possible for candidates who have not passed these tests to still sit for the test. However, if you choose to take the tests again, you should find some time to research the different tests and what requirements they require. This will allow you to study for the test without feeling rushed. You should also find a good study guide or class to help you with your studying. You will need all of the preparation that you can get when you begin to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam.