NPLEX: The Basics

by Julie Tran

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on Naturopathy.

Highlights

  • The NPLEX is the required examination for licensing in all U.S. states that recognize naturopathic physicians.
  • The NPLEX has 2 parts. Part I covers biomedical science concepts. Part II covers clinical science concepts.
  • You should take Part I after your 2nd year of naturopathic medicine school and Part II after graduation.
The Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination (NPLEX) is a 2-part exam that qualifies ND students and graduates (from CNME-accredited medical colleges) for licensure. The test is offered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners. If an ND passes both parts, he or she is eligible to be licensed in the 16 U.S. states that recognize naturopathic physicians.

More info here: www.nabne.org/nabne_page_23.php

What Does The NPLEX Cover?

Part I (The Biomedical Science Examination) covers anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, immunology, and pathology. Test-takers must have met the coursework requirement by taking all these subjects and required labs.

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Highlights

  • The NPLEX is the required examination for licensing in all U.S. states that recognize naturopathic physicians.
  • The NPLEX has 2 parts. Part I covers biomedical science concepts. Part II covers clinical science concepts.
  • You should take Part I after your 2nd year of naturopathic medicine school and Part II after graduation.
The Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination (NPLEX) is a 2-part exam that qualifies ND students and graduates (from CNME-accredited medical colleges) for licensure. The test is offered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners. If an ND passes both parts, he or she is eligible to be licensed in the 16 U.S. states that recognize naturopathic physicians.

More info here: www.nabne.org/nabne_page_23.php

What Does The NPLEX Cover?

Part I (The Biomedical Science Examination) covers anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, immunology, and pathology. Test-takers must have met the coursework requirement by taking all these subjects and required labs.

Part II (Core Clinical Science Examination) covers diagnosis, diagnostic imaging, botanical medicine, nutrition, physical medicine, homeopathy, counseling, behavioral medicine, health psychology, medical procedures, emergency medicine, public health, pharmacology, and research.

Part II also has add-on elective tests. The Clinical Elective Acupuncture Exam and the Clinical Elective Minor Surgery Exam are both optional. You would take the acupuncture test if you’re in a state that doesn’t require a separate acupuncture license. You should take the minor surgery test only if you’re in a state like Arizona, where naturopaths are allowed to do minor surgery.

When Is The Test Administered?

The test is administered only twice a year in February and August. The 2012 test dates are February 7 and August 7 (Part I). Part II can be taken on February 8-10 or August 8-10.

ND students should take Part I after the 2nd year of their 4-year ND program. Test-takers should take Part II after graduating from an approved naturopathic medical program (ANMP).

Where Are The Test Sites?

August 2011 tests were held in:
  • Mesa, AZ
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Bridgeport, CT
  • Lombard, IL
  • Toronto, ON
  • Portland, OR
  • Seattle, WA
The specific test sites may vary depending on the test date, so check NABNE for updated information.

How Long Does The Test Take?

Part I is a 5-hour test, broken up into 2 sections of 2.5 hours each. There is a 1-hour break between sections.

Part II is broken into 3 sections, and students take the sections over the course of 3 days. Each section is 3.5 hours.

How Does Scoring Work?

The passing score changes every year as the test difficulty varies each year. After the passing score is decided, students are graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

How Much Does The Test Cost?

The Part I Exam has a $125 Application and Exam Administration Fee. On top of that, the Biomedical Science Exam Fee is $300.

The Part II Exam has a $125 Application and Exam Administration Fee. The Core Clinical Science Exam Fee is $500. The Elective Acupuncture and Minor Surgery Exams are each $100.
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