Thursday, July 25, 2024

How to apply for NCLEX exams in Kenya, fees for US, Canada, Australia

Kenyans are constantly on the move, chasing new dreams and fresh horizons. One of the top professions always immigrating for greener pastures is nursing. Kenya is a country that actively contributes highly skilled nurses to the global healthcare workforce.

However, to practice as a nurse in some countries such as the US, Canada, or Australia, you have to get past the golden ticket; an NCLEX-RN exam. Foreign-educated nurses, including those from Kenya, must pass this exam to care for patients in these countries.

The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses and Practical Nurses, administered globally by Pearson VUE, is required for nurses to obtain their licenses for practising in the aforementioned countries.

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In the past, Kenyan nurses had to go through logistical challenges of travelling abroad to sit these exams. Luckily, an NCLEX exam centre has recently opened in Kenya, making it easier for aspiring nurses to take the test at home.

Other countries where you can sit for it include the UK, India, South Africa, and the Philippines.

Taking the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN in Kenya might seem daunting, but with the right guidance, the process can be manageable. It’s straightforward but requires careful attention to detail to meet all the eligibility requirements set by the Nursing Council of Kenya.


It’s also worth noting that the NCLEX exams come with structured fees that vary depending on the country where you plan to practice, and these fees can change over time.

NCLEX Exam Centres in Kenya

On 16th January 2024 marked a huge turning point for the nursing profession when Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi alongside Health CS Susan Nakhumicha opened a fully equipped NCLEX-RN Test Centre in Nairobi.

“This development positions Kenyan nurses to contribute to the Diaspora, creating opportunities for increased remittances, Foreign Direct Investment and fostering employment and enterprise development,” the Prime CS spoke during the inaugural launch.


Nairobi’s NCLEX facility has reduced exam costs by over 50%. Health CS Nakhumicha pointed out that many nurses trained at KMTC come from humble backgrounds and previously faced hefty fees to travel to South Africa or India for the exams.

Now, those additional costs have been waived. Globally, it is known that New York State is the most recommended location for foreign-educated nurses to sit NCLEX papers due to the easy and fast application process.

How to register for NCLEX in Kenya

It’s important to understand some prerequisites for registering for these exams. They include:

  • Have graduated from an approved nursing program.
  • Hold a valid nursing license in Kenya.
  • Have relevant work experience.

To sit NCLEX exams, one must register with Pearson VUE via the following options:

  1. Online: Register via the Pearson VUE website using a credit, debit or prepaid VISA, MasterCard or American Express card.
  2. TelephoneRegister via Pearson VUE Candidate Services using a credit, debit or prepaid VISA, MasterCard or American Express card.
  3. Online with Third-party Payment: Register via the Pearson VUE website using a third-party payment from nursing schools, agencies or employers.

To apply for the NCLEX, one will need to share their email address, program code and a valid payment option. Ensure that the first and last names entered during registration match those that will appear during the exam appointment.

After registration, candidates will receive a confirmation email within two days of registering for the exam. NCLEX registrations stay open for 365 days waiting for candidate eligibility.

It is recommended that studying for NCLEX papers be done for at least 2 months or 8 weeks.

Candidates sitting the paper get only 5 hours to complete. Each question begs for careful analysis because once a response is submitted, one cannot return to that question. NCLEX-RN has between 74-145 questions while NCLEX-PN has 85-205 questions.

NCLEX Exam Fees

For candidates pursuing licensure in the USA, the paper incurs a one-time registration fee of Sh. 25,000 ($200), while those aiming for Canadian licensure face a fee of Sh. 33,0000 ($360). As for candidates seeking Australian licensure, the fee stands at Sh. 17,000 ($200).

Additional charges may apply for services like changing the nursing regulatory body or exam type.

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