The NCSN exam is constantly evolving. There are many items (also known as questions) that are currently active or that are waiting to become active on a test. There are also many items in development to keep up with new research, position statements, and school nurse resources. New exam forms are developed each year; there are three different forms each year. No two tests in any one year are exactly alike. New test items are written every year.
Exam items require knowledge of a wide breadth of school nursing topics so you may apply, analyze, and evaluate clinical scenarios presented on the test. Whenever you might hear advice to “definitely memorize the immunization schedule” or “no need to worry about immunization storage” please know this advice comes from a test takers personal experience and not knowledge of the active exam items. Remember that this is a national test and is geared to global, not local, standards.
Test development activities have to remain firewalled from any test preparation activities, individuals involved in test development cannot be involved in test preparation and vice versa in accordance with accreditation standards. Any sample questions that you may come across are representative of the type of questions that are on the exam, not specific questions from the exam.
Although there is no single study guide, the List of Resources included in the Handbook for Candidates may be helpful in preparing. Many of those resources are available on the NASN website and through the NASN bookstore.
To guide preparation efforts, please plan to review the test blueprint found in the candidate handbook.
Online Practice Exams
NBCSN is currently moving the practice exams to a new platform to be available in late April. Be sure to check back soon.
About the NCSN Practice Exams
This test preparation product from NBCSN features two practice exams, each with 75 randomized questions on current school nursing practice. Taken on a computer or tablet, the NCSN Practice Exams are designed to help nurses simulate the real test day experience. The practice questions cover all subject areas found on the NCSN exam.
The NCSN Online Practice Exams provide candidates an opportunity to experience an online exam that is similar in format and content to the real test, though shorter. They may also assist candidates to monitor their progress as they prepare for the NCSN exam. None of the questions will be found on the actual NCSN exam. Other features include:
- 75 randomized questions covering all of the NCSN exam subject areas
- Purchase of the practice exam entitles you to one exam attempt per purchase
- Summary score displays the percentage of correct answers
- Missed questions are shown at the end of the exam with the correct answer
Please note: These practice exams have only one version and each contains only one set of 75 randomized questions. Multiple purchases of these products will not provide different question sets/versions of this practice exam.
How to use the practice exams
Partially completed exams may be saved and completed at a later time by clicking the “save and continue” option at the top of the exam screen.
If a user closes his/her browser without clicking the “save and continue” option, the practice exam answers will not be saved. At the end of each attempt, users will have the opportunity to review the correct answer for each missed question.
This product is best used on a laptop, computer or tablet.
Please note: NBCSN encourages all candidates to use a variety of test preparation methods to build critical thinking and analytical skills, as opposed to rote memorization. Of course, school nurse practice, when based on current best-practice guidelines and standards, should be the best study aid of all. Informal study groups may also be helpful.
Successful candidates note that, in addition to reflecting on their own professional practices, they reviewed relevant books and web-based resources, including but not limited to:
- NASN Position Statements
- Selekman, J., and Wolfe, L. (2010). School nursing certification review. NASN.
- Selekman, J. (2012). School nursing: A comprehensive text. NASN.
- Forming a study group with other candidates from the area
- Joining the NASN National Exam Candidates Discussion Group/Online Study Group via the NASN School Nurse Net discussion board
- NBCSN Exam Bibliography – this is a list of references used to develop exam questions
UPDATE ON PRINT MATERIALS AVAILABLE FROM NASN
During this global pandemic, NASN must pause distribution of publications and merchandise that require a shipment from the NASN office to the customer, which includes the School Nursing Certification Review book. All orders received through March 30, 2020 at 2PM Eastern have been filled and shipped.
Please note that the suggestions above are not exhaustive, and review will not guarantee success for every candidate. The NBCSN does not publish or endorse any specific study guide or program.