NCLEX-RN Authorization to Test (ATT) | How to Manage Changes Due to COVID-19

November 17, 2020  |  Unistaff

ATT Article Header - NCSBN

The global pandemic has changed the way we live and affected the way we work. Likewise, it has also impacted aspiring US Registered Nurses seeking to take the NCLEX-RN. Testing procedures have been adapted to constantly developing events. Now more than ever, it is important to stay up to date with changes in the process.


We’re here to help you navigate these challenging circumstances and understand the necessary adjustments in place. Read on to clear away any doubts and get answers to frequently asked questions about the changes to the NCLEX-RN testing procedure. 


According to Pearson VUE, due to the continued concern around the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made to suspend NCLEX-RN deliveries in accordance with guidance from health and government organizations. This applies to every nurse around the world, and the respective test centers in which everyone is currently scheduled. 

Because of these challenges and the urgent need for more nurses in the United States, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) recently made significant changes to the NCLEX-RN to enable nursing students and others eligible to sit the exam do so in a safe and more timely way.

Pearson VUE Authorized Test Centers have been directed to follow guidance from local governments and health authorities, which could also have had an impact on your exam appointment.

5 Quick Points on the Authorization to Test (ATT)

Authorization to Test (ATT) sample


Before we go into the detailed changes and updates, here’s a refresher on the Authorization to Test (ATT):

  1. When planning to take the NCLEX-RN, you need to confirm your eligibility to test with the Nursing Regulatory Board (NRB). 

  2. Once the NRB has declared that you are eligible to test, you will receive your ATT via the email address you provided during your registration. The ATT contains the authorization number, candidate identification number and an expiration date. 

  3. You must have your ATT email to schedule an appointment to Pearson Vue before you can take your NCLEX-RN.

  4. Then, you will need to take the test within the validity dates on your ATT. 

  5. Remember: Each ATT is valid for a period of time specified by the NRB. And the average validity period of an ATT is 90 days. These validity dates cannot be extended for any reason.


Update on Pearson VUE – Philippines

Pearson VUE Philippines

Pearson VUE-owned and operated Pearson Professional Center (PPC) in Manila has suspended its testing delivery. PPC has implemented measures to help protect people’s health and safety. Exam delivery services will resume when it is safe for everybody to take the test. 

If you have already booked with Pearson VUE for an exam, and it has been affected by these delays, you should receive an email confirming the exam cancellation. And you can reschedule your exam at a later date. Visit the Pearson Vue Test Taker Home Page for more information.

Pearson Vue will continue to deliver exams via independent third-party test centers (PVTC and PVTC Selects) which have the ability to operate within the Philippines. Affected candidates are encouraged to confirm appointments with the scheduled test centers in advance due to the unpredictability of test center availability at this time. It may happen that: one minute you’ve booked your test, and the next minute, a government announcement may push back your testing date. 

Don’t panic. Be prepared and expect to manage changes.


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Submit State Requirements & Schedule Your Exam

Submit State requirements & schedule your exam

Once you have verified the State requirements that you need to meet and which dates they’re due, secure your Authorization to Test (ATT) and schedule your exam within your ATT validity period. 

But try to make sure that you submit your documents much earlier. Do not wait too long to submit! Otherwise, you might run out of time to test. 

It’s even more important to sort things out sooner because many testing centers remain closed. And those that are open are operating at a limited capacity.

If your testing date has been affected, please reach out to your school or exam sponsor for information about your next steps as soon as possible. And keep the exam cancellation email you have received from Pearson VUE.


Always Check for Updates Online

Pearson Vue logo

Expect that there will be a higher volume of calls and email inquiries to Pearson Vue. To save your time and energy, keep yourself updated by frequently checking the Pearson VUE’s COVID-19 webpage and NCSBN, as both are continuously updated with the latest information. 

To find a test center open near you, visit the exam program on the test-taker home page at Pearson Vue and log in to your account. You can reschedule for an earlier appointment, if possible.

Pearson Vue has put together a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page where you can find out about open testing centers, scheduling and rescheduling your exam, when you can take the test, and more. Check this page often as it is likely to be updated as global events continue to develop. 


Pearson VUE FAQs for NCLEX-RN Candidates

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Pearson Vue FAQs infographic #5


Preparing for & Taking the NCLEX-RN During COVID-19 

When you have secured a schedule to test, make sure to prepare yourself beyond simply reviewing for the NCLEX-RN. You will also need to build emotional strength and mental fortitude to survive a gruelling pandemic testing experience. 

Face masks are now required while testing at Pearson VUE-owned test centers. Click here for more information.

According to the Pearson Vue website, you can bring and wear gloves, but proctors will inspect them before and after the exam. Certain test centers may take your temperature before admitting you to the exam. Please check with your local testing center the day before your test to make sure that you have everything that you need and avoid any problems.

Remember the 7Ps: “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pitifully Poor Performance.” The difficulty of the NCLEX-RN is now compounded by the stress of COVID-19. During these tough times, it’s good to remind oneself that failure is merely a stepping stone to success. What matters most is to keep moving forward. Failing the NCLEX-RN does not mean it’s the end of the world. There is always an opportunity to take it again. But right now, keep focusing on what’s important. Put all your energy into achieving your goal of passing the exam. Build your strength and resilience -- and make the most of the resources available to you. You can and you will do your best! 





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Unistaff Content Team

This article was put together by Unistaff's team of researchers, creative writers and content creators. We pride ourselves by publishing the most updated pieces of content in our blog section to enable you to make well informed decisions.

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