National League for Nursing (NLN) Examinations

What is an NLN Examination?

The National League for Nursing Examinations (NLN Exams) are available to registered nurses who do not have individual course credit in Pharmacology, Nutrition, Microbiology or Anatomy & Physiology I & II. Students who successfully complete an NLN exam with a score of 74% or greater will receive 3 transfer credits for that exam. Students will receive their score at the end of the exam.  Those students who pass with a 74% or higher will have their Degree Audits updated within 72 hours of taking the exam.   All students should check their degree audits to make sure the credit has been reflected.

All NLN Exams offered at the University of Massachusetts Boston are timed computerized exams. Students are allowed up to 90 minutes to complete 75  multiple choice questions in each NLN exam. Calculators will be permitted for Pharmacology Exams only.  

How do I register for an NLN Exam?

UMass Boston Students ONLY must create an account  with the National League for Nursing before registering for any of the NLN Exams.  

To download your instructions on how to create an account and then register : Please click here

How do I know if I need to take an NLN Exam?

Not all UMass Boston students need to complete an NLN Examination. If you have successfully completed (with a letter grade of C or higher) any of the following courses at an accredited academic institution, you may receive this as a transfer credit.  

  • 4-credit course in Anatomy & Physiology I
  • 4-credit course in Anatomy & Physiology II
  • 4-credit course in Microbiology
  • 3-credit course in Nutrition
  • 3-credit course in Pharmacology

If you are unsure if you need to take an NLN Exam please check your degree audit through WISER or contact your Program Advisor.  You may log on to WISER here. Click here if you have issues logging into WISER.

Please note: When performing a degree audit, always select "Run New Audit" for the most current information available. Please click here for a tutorial on running your UMass Boston degree audit. 


NLN Examination Dates Administered at Cape Cod Community College 

Registration Deadline Exam Dates   Exam Times

Click Here: Schedule Cape NLN Exam


NLN Examination Dates Administered at UMass Boston

Registration Deadline Exam Dates Exam times
03/12/17 Wednesday, March 15, 2017 3:00 PM-5:00 PM
3/24/17 Tuesday, March 28, 2017 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
4/6/17 Monday, April 10, 2017 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
4/24/17 Friday, April 28, 2017 3:00 PM-5:00 PM
5/14/17 Wednesday, May 17, 2017 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
5/29/17 Thursday, June 01 2017 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
6/15/17 Monday, June 19, 2017 2:00 PM-4:00 PM

Future exam dates to be posted each semester. 

Click Here: Schedule an NLN Exam


NLN Exam Cancellation Policy

The following is the College of Nursing and Health Sciences' Cancelation Policy for NLN Exams:

  • Cancelations must be received via email to Belinda Clanton, Program Assistant at at least 48 business hours prior to your scheduled exam otherwise Students will be responsible for the full $100 fee.
  • Students who miss their Exams will be marked as a  "no show" and will be required to pay the full fee amount of $100.
  • Any student attempting  to register for an NLN Exam with an outstanding balance for missed exam(s) will be dropped from the roster until all fees are paid in full
  • Students who register multiple times for  NLN Exams will be subject to the same cancelation policy stated above. 

What if I do not obtain a passing score on my NLN Exam?

If a student does not receive a score of 74 or greater they will not receive credit for that exam. Students are allowed to take each type of NLN Exam a maximum of two times. If you do not pass the exam on the second attempt, the student will then be required to take the course. The National League of Nursing asks that students wait at least three months before retaking an NLN Exam but it is up to the student’s discretion.

Please note: There will be no reimbursement of the $100.00 NLN Exam fee after a student has taken an exam. 

IMPORTANT NOTEBeginning September 1, 2016, the passing score for all NLN Exams will be 74% or higher.  We will no longer be using an Overall Percentile Ranking System.  We feel this will cut down on student confusion.

Study Guide Information for NLN Exams

There is no official study guide offered by the National League of Nursing for any type of NLN Exam. Students who have successfully completed the Pharmacology and Nutrition NLN Examinations indicated that the questions included on the Examinations are similar to those on the NCLEX Examination. It may be useful to obtain an NCLEX review textbook, a Nursing Pharmacology review textbook or a Diet Therapy/Applied Nutrition review textbook. 

ADA Special Accommodations

Any student requiring disability-related accommodations for a NLN Exam should contact Ross Center for Disability Services at least four weeks prior to the NLN exam date registration deadline.