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Choose the Best NCLEX Review Courses and Books!

Roadsign with various NCLEX Review Options

There are a two very basic, key things that EVERY student should do to prepare for the NCLEX.

  1. Make Sure You Know The Basic Content.
  2. Learn to Answer Application-Level Questions.

If you can accomplish these two things, you'll pass the NCLEX. To do that though, you need to learn how to choose and evaluate the books, courses, and study materials you'll use.

That's what the rest of this website is meant to help you do.

Read real student reviews. Read my honest opinions on these NCLEX companies as I dig into their online areas. Read about the different brands of books and their pros and cons. Make an informed decision.

Best of luck on your NCLEX - but remember: you CAN make your own luck.


Best NCLEX Review Courses of 2017

Hurst NCLEX Review

Hurst Review is the well-known leader in NCLEX Review, tied only with Kaplan in terms of popularity and trust. Hurst Review offers RN and LPN NCLEX Preps with online, in-person, and live-online options.

(15 Reviews, 4 stars)

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From: $275 to $425

Get a $50 Off Promo Code on any Kaplan Review

Kaplan NCLEX Review

Kaplan, along with Hurst, is the other NCLEX Review giant. Kaplan's NCLEX Review also comes in live, online, and live-online options for both RNs and LPNs.

(11 Reviews, 4.5 stars)

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From: $250 to $499
Read More... is an online learning system that offers a library of NCLEX Prep videos, cheatsheets, flashcards, and practice questions. Their goal is to be the leading online learning system for NCLEX Review.

(3 Reviews, 5 stars)

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From: $49/month

An In-depth View of's Online Area!

Initial Impressions Are Surprising: I was expecting slowness. I've come to expect that when I use online learning systems...Read More...

Let's See How Good The Content Is: We won't have time to go through everything in this Academy (there are 9 courses, each with a bunch of modules). So I'm going to pick a sample: Mental Health...Read More...

This Part Was A Bit Disappointing...Cheatsheets I happened to take a peek in the "Cheatsheets" course. It's broken up into 26 cheatsheets...Read More...

The SIMCLEX - NRSNG's NCLEX Simulator - Here's What I Found Out I actually took the SIMCLEX through three trial runs...Read More...

How were the NCLEX Practice Questions? The first thing I noticed:rationales for the answers. Wonderful! The second thing I noticed...Read More...

What's My Verdict on is indeed a solid contender and a great option for online learners... Read More From This Editor's Review...

NCLEX Mastery Mobile App

Setting: Apple/Android Application

(14 Reviews, 5 stars)

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Rachell Allen NCLEX Review

Setting: Live Only

(4 Reviews, 4.5 stars)

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Setting: Online, Tutoring, New York/New Jersey

(29 Reviews, 4.5 stars)

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Setting: Online Only

(6 Reviews, 5 stars)

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Brilliant Nurse NCLEX Review

Setting: Online

(5 Reviews, 2 stars)

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From: $75/month

A Detailed Review of Brilliant Nurse's NCLEX Course

My Initial Impressions of Brilliant Nurse's Interface: Whenever I review an online NCLEX Review, I first comment on the overall sign-up process and speed of their learning system. Brilliant Nurse had a very easy sign-up process...Read More...

Brilliant Nurse Didn't Give Me Access to Everything: I got immediately confused about this as soon as I signed up...Read More...

A 2500+ Question Bank - Not What It Seemed. Right away, I could see one thing: there weren't even 2500 questions in this question bank...Read More...

Brilliant Nurse's NCLEX Content: The Nail in the Coffin Moving on from the question bank, I clicked over to their Fundamental Review Library. I couldn't believe what I eventually found out...Read More...

Let's Just End This...Here's My Verdict. At this point, I've given up on any further analysis of Brilliant Nurse. I think it's clear...Read More From This Editor's Review...

MyGuru NCLEX Tutoring

Setting: Tutoring (Online or Live)

(2 Reviews, 5 stars)

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From: $45 per hour
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Best NCLEX Review Books for 2017

Content Review Books

Saunders Comprehensive Guide to the NCLEX

(1 Reviews, 4 stars)

LPN Version Available!

Best if: You feel like you haven’t retained a lot of information throughout school and you feel like you need a lot of re-learning and reviewing

Saunders’ book often comes up on the top of the list when searching for NCLEX books, because there is just so much NCLEX stuff packed into it. While the book reviews through nursing content topic-by-topic, the CD/online content contains the bulk of the thousands of practice questions. If you’re looking for a serious study guide, and want tons of material and the biggest bang for your buck, Saunders is probably it.

Avg Latest and Newest: $52
Avg Older and Used: $32


(2 Reviews, 4 stars)

LPN Version Available!

Best if: You’re taking the HESI, or you’re pretty confident in your test taking abilities and just want a easy-to-read book review to refresh yourself on nursing topics

The HESI book is a content book that gives you nursing topics in an outline form, similar to reading someone else’s (really good) notes. That said, it doesn’t delve as deep into details as other content books, and neither does it have a lot of strategy. Its strength is its straight-to-the-point presentation of facts. Many say that this book is better-suited for HESI review rather than the NCLEX (hence its name), and has a lot of useful HESI hints.

Avg Latest and Newest: $55
Avg Older and Used: $24

NCLEX Exam Cram

(0 Reviews, 0 stars)

LPN Version Available!

Best if: You want a combination of content review and practice questions in a neat and easy-to-read package.

This book differs from the other Exam Cram book because it goes over nursing content topic-by-topic, with over 400 NCLEX practice questions for good measure. According to the authors, these books cover 'exactly what you need to know' to pass the NCLEX and works great as a quick and mobile study guide.

Avg Latest and Newest: $24
Avg Older and Used: $20

Strategy Review Books

Kaplan's NCLEX Strategies, Practice and Review

(1 Reviews, 4.5 stars)

LPN Version Available!

Best if: You've grasped the information from nursing school pretty well, and you'd like to focus on getting a really good feel for answering all types of NCLEX questions right.

This book is all about strategy. Its content review is on the lighter side. Instead, it focuses on how to answer the types of questions you'll find on the NCLEX, including advocacy, client rights, delegation, informed consent, safety, and more (500+ pages worth more). It's a different way of reviewing: instead of going over all the content you learned in the last 2-4 years (like Saunders), Kaplan focuses on mastering the common types of NCLEX questions you'll encounter.

Avg Latest and Newest: $20
Avg Older and Used: $12

LaCharity's Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment

(0 Reviews, 0 stars)

Best if: You’re moderately confident about the NCLEX, but would like to improve how you answer common types of questions. This is also a really good supplement if you have Saunders.

LaCharity’s book is unique because it focuses on how answer those pesky ‘Prioritize which patient to see first,’ ‘Decide which staff member to delegate to’, and ‘Decide who to assign the new patient to’ questions. At 250-ish pages, it’s shorter than some of the other NCLEX Review books because it focuses on one thing and does it well. Many say the questions in this book are very difficult, but rightfully so, since it prepares you better for the real thing.

Avg Latest and Newest: $33
Avg Older and Used: $30

Q&A Review Books

Lippincott’s Q&A Review for the NCLEX

(0 Reviews, 0 stars)

LPN Version Available!

Best if: You like practicing NCLEX questions and reading rationales as a way of learning and reviewing. You know your content fairly well, and you want lots of practice.

Questions, questions and more questions. Lippincott’s book is divided by nursing topics. In each topic, you’ll be presented with practice questions (180 for each topic). At the end of those practice questions, you’ll read full rationales for each correct answer. Then you move onto the next topic and, you guessed it! Answer more questions.

Avg Latest and Newest: $31
Avg Older and Used: $15

Saunders Q&A Review for the NCLEX

(1 Reviews, 4 stars)

LPN Version Available!

Best if: You like practicing NCLEX questions and reading rationales as a way of learning and reviewing. You know your content fairly well, and you want lots of practice.

Saunders also has a Q&A book! It boasts over 5000 questions, so the number of questions matches Lippincott’s Q&A. Which is better? It’s hard to tell. They are both very reputable, with a lot of positive book reviews. Here’s a key difference: Saunder’s presents rationales with the questions, while Lippincott’s presents them in a section after each set of questions. A lot of people feel this is much more convenient (just cover the rationales rather than having to flip back and forth.) In any case, Saunders Q&A is a great way to practice for the NCLEX.

Avg Latest and Newest: $52
Avg Older and Used: $27

NCLEX Exam Cram - Practice Questions

(0 Reviews, 0 stars)

LPN Version Available!

Best if: You want a lighter, cheaper way to practice NCLEX questions, or you don't have a lot of time.

This Exam Cram series gets right to the point by presenting you with over 1300 practice questions with rationales. The organization of the book lets you quickly and conveniently check for correct answers and rationales without having to resort to searching or covering up parts of pages. It's also a great book to carry around with you because of its smaller size.

Avg Latest and Newest: $19
Avg Older and Used: $13

NCLEX Medication Guides

Medication Classes for NCLEX

(0 Reviews, 0 stars)

Best if: You want to improve your handle on NCLEX medications, and need to know which ones are most important to study.

This 93-page book is divided into 3 sections. Section 1 lists common prefixes and suffixes of medication names. Section 2 outlines medications divided by their use and category, including listing out one "gold standard" medication in each category. Section 3 is filled with 58 medication-related NCLEX questions. This quick reference is most useful for figuring out which medications to study in-depth. There are so many medications to potentially study for, but this book will help you narrow your range and focus on the most important NCLEX medications.

Avg Latest and Newest: $7
Avg Older and Used: $7

Kaplan's Medications You Need to Know

(1 Reviews, 5 stars)

Best if: You want to learn side effects and nursing considerations of 300 common NCLEX medications.

This book is arranged like a book full of flash cards: on one side is the medication's name, and on the other side is a list of side effects and nursing considerations. Multiply that by 300 and that pretty much explains this book!

Avg Latest and Newest: $7
Avg Older and Used: $5

NCLEX Book Buyer's Guide:

These factors determine whether a content review or a strategy review would be best for you. Basically, there are...

Three Styles of NCLEX Review

  1. Nursing Content Review: Content review focuses on refreshing you and re-learning all the nursing information you've forgotten over the years. Books and classes that focus on content review nursing topic by topic, similar to how you learned in nursing school.

    They usually go over the topics with a fine-tooth comb, delving into detail and re-teaching everything you've learned in a short span of time.

    The main idea is that the more familiar you are with nursing content, the better you'll do on the NCLEX.

    Saunders Comprehensive is the most popular content review book because it has really good content review, but also includes thousands of questions to practice on.

    Bottom Line: These books review core content rather than focusing on testing strategy.

  2. NCLEX Strategy Review: Strategy review takes a different approach. Instead of re-hashing everything you've learned, which can be quite tedious, you focus instead on being really good at answering NCLEX questions. You learn about the types of questions, how to prioritize answers, techniques to eliminate answers, and so on.

    These aren't 'general' test-taking tips, either. These are geared specifically for nursing questions.

    For example, LaCharity's Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment helps you answer those common ‘Prioritize which patient to see first,’ ‘Decide which staff member to delegate to’, and ‘Decide who to assign the new patient to’ questions.

    Kaplan is also famous for their test strategy teachings. Kaplan's NCLEX Strategies, Practice and Review is an excellent choice. Just taking a look through the table of contents on Amazon will give you a glimpse of all the nursing questions they teach you to answer.

    Bottom Line: These books review testing strategy rather than focusing on nursing content.

  3. Q&A Review: This type of review is dead simple. Answer lots of questions! The more you answer, the better you get. Reading rationales helps you learn as well. Not to mention, it is kind of fun to study this way! If your confidence level is pretty high, and you just want some light, non-stressful practice, answering questions is probably for you.

    Saunders Q&A and Lippincott’s Q&A are both great question books. They both have about the same amount of questions, and about the same quality too. Check it out!

    Bottom Line: These books have a lot of practice NCLEX questions with good rationales.

How to Choose an NCLEX Book

Here are the basics!

Choosing an NCLEX book depends on a few factors. They include:

How well you've retained nursing content during school.

  • Well: You probably won't need a content review, and would benefit more from strategy or Q&A.
  • Not so Well: You should consider a content review. It will boost your confidence and knowledge-base, and is the most thorough way to study.

How much time and effort you want to put into studying.

  • A Lot: Content review will give you the most depth for your study time. A good strategy would be to combine learning content, strategy, and answer questions.
  • Not A Lot: Try focusing on answering questions or reading up on strategies. These take less effort and are less stressful.

How long it's been since you've graduated.

  • A While: Definitely consider content review.

Question and Answer books focus on practice questions with rationales that help you learn along the way.

Learn More about Types of NCLEX Books Exit

Content Review books focus on reviewing core nursing content, refreshing your mind on all the things you've learned in nursing school.

Learn More about Types of NCLEX Books Exit

Strategy Review books focus on knowing how to deal with common types of NCLEX questions, prioritizing answers, and critical thinking skills.

Learn More about Types of NCLEX Books Exit

NCLEX Prep Buyer's Guide:

Do you know what type of NCLEX Prep Course you want? Here are some options you have:

Online NCLEX Review Courses

Easy Access: Most online courses let you log onto your computer and start those practice NCLEX questions anytime you want. This convenience is great, and is the reason most people buy online reviews.

Any-time Access NCLEX Reviews: Caring4You.Net, iSuperLearn, NCLEX Mastery Mobile App, EasyNCLEX, CIC, and Kaplan

Lower Price: Online review courses are cheaper. This is almost always the case. Companies save money on classroom space, transportation and educator costs, and general overhead. This benefit transfers to you, the student.

Lowest-Priced Online Reviews: iSuperLearn, NCLEX Mastery Mobile App, EasyNCLEX, and Lippincott's NCLEX 10K

Low Interactivity: The main disadvantage of an online course is that there's no real person in front of you. What if you have questions? What if you just prefer to have a live setting? Then perhaps a Classroom Review or NCLEX Tutoring is the right option for you.

Content: Will you get the same quality of education online? That may depend on who you choose to prepare for the NCLEX with. The format of online classes are different. Some variations are video reviews, audio reviews, and question banks.

Video Reviews: CIC, Kaplan Review
Question Banks: EasyNCLEX, Lippincott's NCLEX 10K, Kaplan

Live NCLEX Reviews

Real People: You want to learn from a person and not a computer screen? Get a live review course. You can ask questions, talk to your classmates, and interact on a personal level.

Prevent Procrastination: Are you the type who needs an extra push? A live review would be great, since they are scheduled. If you need to make sure you get your studying done without distractions, get a Live Review to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Less Accessibility: Since Live Review Classes are held in each local area, you'll need to find one that's near enough to be worth traveling there. Most bigger companies have a wide range of classroom reviews in many states.

Higher Price: Unfortunately, you might have to pay more for a live review.

Classroom/Live NCLEX Reviews: Caring4You.Net, Kaplan, and Rachell Allen

NCLEX Tutoring

Now this is quite a different ballgame. You have a one-on-one relationship with your very own instructor. If you like personal attention, or feel like you need it, maybe tutoring is for you. Hour for hour, it may cost the most out of all the options, but it will be worth it the moment you find out you've passed!

Convenient: Usually tutors will work with you to schedule a time and place. That means flexibility. You can do it online using video calls, or even the phone if that's what you prefer.

Price: Tutoring usually will cost you by the hour. That makes sense, seeing as how you have your very own expert to help you pass the NCLEX! Most tutors allow you to buy packages that give you a discount on tutoring.

Tutoring services: Caring4You.Net, MyGuru NCLEX Tutoring, and ASET Consulting