Because we are currently living with unprecedented uncertainty due to COVID-19, it is impossible to know what the situation will be like in February. NABNE is moving forward on the assumption that it will administer the NPLEX Part II – Clinical Science Examinations as planned on February 2-5, 2021. Circumstances continue to change rapidly, however, and there is an unlikely possibility that the exam administration might need to be cancelled at one or more test sites in order to comply with governmental public safety requirements. NABNE will continue to monitor developments of the COVID-19 situation and will update the website regarding the February 2021 NPLEX exam administration if changes must be made. In any event, by January 25, 2021, NABNE will determine if the February 2021 test administration will proceed as scheduled at all test sites.

The AANMC and the CNME have allowed students to access alternative pathways to completing graduation requirements, allowing students to take the NPLEX Examinations on the dates in February 2021 that were set originally. The NABNE Board recognizes that, with disruptions to class schedules, some students might not meet all requirements for graduation before the NPLEX administration in February 2021. If, in December 2020, you are on a path to graduate no later than January 11, 2021, but you do not expect to complete all requirements for graduation by then, NABNE will allow you to take the examinations in February 2021. By January 11, 2021, NABNE must receive a letter of pre-verification from your school, indicating that you will complete all requirements by March 31, 2021. Your exam results will not be released until NABNE receives confirmation from your school that you have completed all requirements for graduation. If you do not complete all requirements for graduation by March 31, 2021, the results from the examination(s) you take in February 2021 will be nullified.

NABNE requests that you register to take the February 2021 NPLEX examinations early in the application period, preferably within the first two weeks of November. This will ensure that NABNE staff will be able to make adequate testing arrangements for everyone.

NABNE has made arrangements at its usual testing sites and is making back-up arrangements for alternate venues within the same locale, to ensure that the examinations can be administered as scheduled. More information will be posted on the website when it becomes available. Because NABNE must comply with restrictions due to COVID-19, examinees should expect to experience minor inconveniences in the testing process.

NABNE is taking reasonable measures to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19. When you apply to take the NPLEX in February 2021, you must acknowledge and accept that, even with the precautions NABNE has taken to minimize risk of transmission of COVID-19, there will still be some risk. Your patience and understanding are deeply appreciated as we navigate this challenging time together.

To address some of the challenges that have occurred in light of the COVID-19 situation, NABNE has temporarily revised some of its policies. Please note, some of the policies described in the Bulletin will be in effect only through the February 2021 administration of the NPLEX.

Continue to check the NABNE website for updates pertaining to the February 2021 NPLEX exam administration.

FAQs About The NPLEX & COVID-19

Will NABNE be administering the NPLEX online?

No. NABNE will not be administering the NPLEX online. NABNE intends to administer the examinations, as social/physical distancing requirements permit, at pre-determined NABNE test sites.

Will I be able to change my test site after I have registered to take the NPLEX in November?

No. Due to the complexity of making adequate testing arrangements for everyone that comply with social/physical distancing requirements, you will not be allowed to transfer your seat to another test sites after you submit your application to take the NPLEX in February.

Is NABNE collaborating with other organizations in medical education and licensing to discuss potential solutions for examinees?

One of NABNE’s Board members is also a member of the AANMC, so the channel between NABNE and the schools is open. NABNE staff are also staff for the FNMRA (Federation of Naturopathic Medicine Regulatory Authorities), so NABNE is closely connected to the issues of the licensing agencies.

Will I be able to take the NPLEX Part II Examinations if I’m not able to complete my graduation requirements before the exam date?

The AANMC and the CNME have allowed students to access alternative pathways to completing graduation requirements, allowing students to take the NPLEX Examinations on the dates in February 2021 that were set originally. The NABNE Board recognizes that, with disruptions to class schedules, some students might not meet all requirements for graduation before the NPLEX administration in February 2021. If, in December 2020, you were on a path to graduate no later than January 11, 2021, but you do not expect to complete all requirements for graduation by then, NABNE will allow you to take the examinations in February 2021. By January 11, 2021, NABNE must receive a letter of pre-verification from your school, indicating that you will complete all requirements by March 31, 2021. Your exam results will not be released until NABNE receives confirmation from your school that you have completed all requirements for graduation. If you do not complete all requirements for graduation by March 31, 2021, the results from the examination(s) you take in February 2021 will be nullified.

What will NABNE do to keep us safe during the exam administration?

NABNE is taking all reasonable precautions to minimize exposure to SARS-Cov2 at all of its test sites. Specifically,

At the time of application:

  • Requiring that examinees agree that, for the 14 days prior to the exam administration, they will follow current CDC COVID-19 prevention guidelines (i.e., wearing a mask when out in public, maintaining 6 ft. (2 m.) social distancing, washing or sanitizing their hands after each potential contagion contact).

Two weeks before the exam administration:

  • Sending examinees and testing personnel a Reminder of Social Obligation to follow current public health COVID-19 prevention guidelines for the 14 days prior to the exam administration, to which they agreed at the time of application.

The day before the exam administration:

  • Requiring that all examinees and all testing personnel conduct a self-health screening and complete the NABNE Self-Health-Screening Form, and stay home if they are sick.

The day(s) of the examination(s), at the test site:

  • Requiring that everyone wear a mask (one that covers their nose and mouth, and fits snugly along the sides) at all times while at the test site, regardless of whether or not they are wearing a face shield.
  • Requiring that all examinees and proctors submit to a thermal temperature check and brief health screening each day.
  • Requiring that examinees maintain 6 ft. (2 m.) social distancing (marked by tape) at all times while at the test site.
  • Providing hand sanitizer at multiple places in the testing areas.
  • Limiting the number of examinees/testing personnel in a room to 25-35 people.
  • Maintaining a seating chart to ensure that each examinee sits at the same spot every day of the exam administration, and to facilitate contact tracing if required by the jurisdiction.
  • Seating examinees at tables that are at least 6 ft. (2 m.) apart.
  • Limiting the contact examinees and testing personnel have with documents and testing materials.
  • Requiring testing personnel to wear disposable gloves and masks when handling testing materials
  • Allowing examinee use of disposable gloves if desired (they must bring their own).
  • Disinfecting high-touch surface areas throughout the day.
  • Disinfecting bathrooms throughout the day.
  • Disinfecting the testing rooms every evening.
  • Compiling contact information and seating charts that will assist contact tracers if an examinee subsequently tests positive for SARS-Cov2.