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 an overall percentile ranking score of 50 or greater will receive transfer credit for that exam. Students will be notified of their score within 72 hours of taking the exam. The Registrar's Office will be notified to update student degree audits approximately 30 business days after receiving a passing overall percentile ranking score of 50 or greater. Please contact your Program Advisor after 30 business of taking your exam if the update to your degree audit is not reflected.   

All NLN Exams offered at the University of Massachusetts Boston are timed computerized exams. Students are allowed  up to 151 minutes to complete each NLN exam. Calculators are NOT permitted for any NLN exam and all NLN exams are in a multiple choice format. Students must create an account before logging into exams; it is recommended that this be done prior to your exam date. Please visit the National League for Nursing's testing website. For more information on NLN exams, please visit the National League of Nursing's main website.

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

Not all students need to complete an NLN Examination. If you have successfully completed (with a 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.

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
4/11/2016 Thursday, April 14, 2016 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM -  Lorusso Tech building – Room 103    
5/27/2016 Wednesday, June 1, 2016   4:00 PM - 6:30 PM -  Lorusso Tech building – Room 103

Click Here: Schedule Cape NLN Exam


NLN Examination Dates Administered at UMass Boston

Registration Deadline Exam Dates Exam times
06/20/2016 Thursday, June 23, 2016 2:30 PM-5:30 PM
08/12/2016 Wednesday, August 17, 2016 10:00 AM-1:00 PM
08/23/2016 Friday, August 26, 2016 12:00 PM-3:00 PM
09/02/2016 Wednesday, September 7, 2016 9:30 AM-11:30 AM
09/08/2016 Monday, September 12, 2016 3:00 PM-5:00 PM

Future exam dates to be posted each semester. 

Click Here: Schedule an NLN Exam


NLN Exam Cancelation 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 an Overall Percentile Ranking of 50 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 with an Overall Percentile Ranking of 50 or greater, 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. 

Please note: On 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.

CNHS offers Pharmacology online in the summer, fall, and spring only for RN-BS students. There are also online options for the other science prerequisite courses. Please contact your Program Advisor for more information.

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. Please fill out the form found here and scan and email to or fax or mail to:

Ross Center for Disability Services
Campus Center, UL Room 211
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd. Boston, MA 02125-3393
Phone: 617.287.7430 Fax: 617.287.7466