Best NCLEX Reviewer

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Lindsay Smith
Last updated at June 30, 2021

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These days, it’s not hard to find the best NCLEX reviewer. There are literally dozens of prep books out there. The hard part is finding the best NCLEX review books that will help you strengthen your weak areas and boost your score. Below we've created a shortlist of the 8 best NCLEX prep books for 2021 and where to get them.

While it’s easy to study for an exam, the NCLEX is an adaptive computerized exam that makes preparing for it trickier than usual. It’s also what makes finding the best NCLEX prep books that can actually help you, pretty tough.

That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the best NCLEX review books out there so you can find the best practice questions that meet your distinct test-taking needs. If you like what you see here, you can also check out my roundups of the best stethoscopes, best scrubsbest shoes for nurses, and best compression socks.

Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN

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Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN®...
8,535 Reviews
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN®...
  • Silvestri PhD RN FAAN, Linda Anne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1152 Pages - 10/07/2019 (Publication Date) - Saunders (Publisher)

PROS

As best NCLEX review books go, the Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN covers all the basics. It's a good study guide for those who have completed nursing school and are just beginning to study for the NCLEX RN exam who are looking for a review for NCLEX RN.

The Saunders Comprehensive Review offers guidance from the get-go. Its study guide material is organized into units and chapters that cover all of the topics for the exam. As an all-in-one review for the NCLEX RN, it also includes tips, strategies, and practice questions. It also has answers and detailed explanations for each question.

The Saunders Review wouldn't be as valuable if it didn’t come with 5,200 NCLEX examination-style practice questions in the book AND online offering realistic practice exams. The online test that comes with the review for NCLEX RN mimics how the actual test reacts to your answers. This offers you a more realistic experience of what it would be like during the actual exam.

CONS

There is a redeemable set of online practice questions you can get access to if you register with the code that comes with the prep book. Readers found the registration process tedious but if it gives you more practice questions, then it can’t hurt. Some readers found it annoying to flip back and forth between the adult and peds sections.

Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-PN

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Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-PN...
2,648 Reviews
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-PN...
  • Silvestri PhD RN FAAN, Linda Anne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1040 Pages - 03/15/2018 (Publication Date) - Saunders (Publisher)

PROS

Just like the Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN, the NCLEX PN edition for becoming a practical nurse is designed to be an all-in-one prep book. This edition includes study material for all the subjects. This includes test, tips, and techniques for test taking strategies, and practice questions for reviewing.

Like the RN version, this NCLEX prep book also comes with practice questions for each subject. It also comes with answers and explanations for all the questions. I find that the explanations for the answers are usually the best way of retaining information and for gaining context for the practice questions.

More than just helping you review, the Saunders Review for NCLEX-PN goes out of its way to reinforce important points. It also helps introduce you to the adaptive test design via alternate item formats. For just the tons of practice questions with online tests to boot, this NCLEX prep book is a great buy.

CONS

There isn’t much that readers find wrong with the Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-PN. It's definitely one of the best NCLEX review books and does a good job of laying down the foundation for those who are planning to take the exam. However, keep in mind that it is still a comprehensive NCLEX prep book. This means that you may want to supplement it with other prep books if you want to cover some weak areas.

NCLEX-RN Content Review Guide

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NCLEX-RN Content Review Guide: Preparation for the...
377 Reviews
NCLEX-RN Content Review Guide: Preparation for the...
  • Kaplan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 648 Pages - 03/01/1920 (Publication Date) - Kaplan Publishing (Publisher)

PROS

Even though it doesn’t have the Kaplan name in the title, it is still a legitimate product of the test review powerhouse. The NCLEX-RN Content Review Guide is updated every year by Kaplan’s expert nursing faculty. As an NCLEX prep book, it focuses more on reviewing readers of information that they have already encountered in school. It also manages this very effectively with tables, charts, and other visual aids.

CONS

The downside to this NCLEX review book is in its digital version or kindle version. Because it relies heavily on visual aids to reinforce information and review important concepts, using a digital version of the book can get in the way of easy learning.

The tables and charts tend to be separated from each other or from the text that pertains to the visual aid which forces the readers to have to scroll or swipe back and forth. Spare yourself the trouble and just buy the textbook instead of the e-book.

NCLEX-RN Prep Plus 2020 by Kaplan

NCLEX-RN Prep Plus (Practice Tests + Proven...
1,005 Reviews
NCLEX-RN Prep Plus (Practice Tests + Proven...
  • Kaplan Nursing (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 540 Pages - 03/03/2020 (Publication Date) - Kaplan Publishing (Publisher)

PROS

The NCLEX-RN Prep Plus by Kaplan is all about helping readers understand what the exam is asking of them. It also helps them to develop critical thinking skills and higher-order thinking skills. As opposed to rote memorization which would not work well in an adaptive test like the NCLEX, this textbook is all about understanding the answers behind the practice questions and the rationales behind the answers.

This review for NCLEX RN is a more in-depth take on studying for the exam. And with 60-minute video tutorials and reviews of all the question types found in the exam, this prep book is for the more determined test-takers; or at least those who want to add a lot more points to their score.

CONS

If you have older versions of this NCLEX review book, then you may want to think twice about getting the newer version. While this is one of the best NCLEX prep books on the market today, some practice questions may appear in the old versions as well. Still, it is a good buy for updated strategies, critical thinking guides, and highlights.

NCLEX-RN Drug Guide: 300 Medications You Need to Know for the Exam

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Davis's Drug Guide for Nurses
2,274 Reviews
Davis's Drug Guide for Nurses
  • Vallerand PhD RN FAAN, April Hazard (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1488 Pages - 05/21/2020 (Publication Date) - F.A. Davis Company (Publisher)

PROS

The NCLEX Drug Guide by Kaplan is a must-have for all aspiring nurses who will be taking the NCLEX-RN. It's an important reference to the drugs that are relevant to the exam and to become a nurse. Because of its pocket-sized design, the NCLEX RN Drug Guide is handy. It can easily be carried around when you’re studying in different locations.

This latest edition of one of the best NCLEX books does have additional perks. More than just being a reference book for drugs, drug families, and brand names, it will also be offering guides for how to study the drugs effectively and how to retain the information. It also has phonetic pronunciation keys as a bonus.

CONS

This is purely a reference book for drugs, brands, and drug families. It fills a very specific niche for studying for the NCLEX-RN. For studying the subjects of the exam, you will need to refer to a comprehensive study guide. This book is not that.

Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment: Practice Exercises for the NCLEX Examination

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Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment:...
2,371 Reviews
Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment:...
  • LaCharity PhD RN, Linda A. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 360 Pages - 12/26/2019 (Publication Date) - Mosby (Publisher)

PROS

Just like the title says, this Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment: Practice Exercises for the NCLEX Examination prep book is designed similarly to how the NCLEX is designed, by emphasizing prioritization, delegation, and assignment. Consider that the NCLEX is an exam for skills and knowledge with very practical applications.

This prep book helps facilitate learning and studying in a way the reader can relate the information to practical applications. This helps with retention. More than just feeding readers information without context, the book builds on knowledge and skills that can be used in real scenarios.

If you are going to purchase this prep book, make sure that you purchase the latest edition. The latest includes a lot of new updates that can be very useful for taking the exam. These new updates and content include helpful chart-format questions and additional practice questions for the subjects covered by the NCLEX.

CONS

Mastering the NCLEX is all about understanding your learning process and what works for you. In the case of this book, creating situations and context for the reader is one method of learning that is effective for some but not for others. Choose wisely.

Also, because this book does not emphasize practice tests as much as other NCLEX prep books do, I would advise you to supplement it with more practice tests, both written and online.

Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN Examination

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Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN (Lippincott's...
683 Reviews
Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN (Lippincott's...
  • Billings EdD RN FAAN, Diane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1152 Pages - 04/09/2019 (Publication Date) - LWW (Publisher)

PROS

The Lippincott Q A Review for NCLEX-RN is the book to buy if you want to access realistic exam questions. With realistic test questions, you can gauge your performance better. You can also get a better idea of how you’re going to do on the actual test and spot your weaknesses early on.

The Lippincott Q A Review has both written questions and online exams that mimic the actual NCLEX. This means you’ll get an idea of how the real test will feel and won’t be surprised on exam day.

Even if you are buying other prep books as study guides, I would still recommend you supplement them with the practice questions offered by the Lippincott Q A Review, even if it’s just for the practice tests.

CONS

The strength of the Lippincott Q A Review book is practice tests. However, it's not a comprehensive study guide and won’t be as in-depth at covering subjects of the test. I would strongly suggest that you use another prep book as your main study guide while using the Lippincott Q&A for more access to realistic practice tests.

For a list of frequently asked questions straight from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), check out this page. Or, check out my NCLEX study guide.

HESI Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination

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HESI Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN...
632 Reviews
HESI Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN...
  • HESI (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 10/03/2019 (Publication Date) - Elsevier (Publisher)

PROS

The HESI Comprehensive Review is an all-in-one review of the information you need to know to take the NCLEX. It is written in outline format to help you focus and reviews content by key concepts and clinical areas.

This study guide offers more than 900 easy to understand practice questions and answers in both study and practice exam formats and comes with access to a website that lets you practice test-taking in electronic format using various question types.

The hint boxes are very helpful in highlighting important types of questions you need to know. The format is also easy to understand and is similar to how you learn subjects in nursing school using Q A review. Chapters are organized by clinical area which is easier to digest.

CONS

The strength of the Hesi Comprehensive Review book is that it gives simple rationales and covers all test questions and topics for the NCLEX RN test. However, some complained that it offers too few practice questions.

NCLEX Review Book Best Sellers

SaleBestseller No. 1
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN®...
8,535 Reviews
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN®...
  • Silvestri PhD RN FAAN, Linda Anne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1152 Pages - 10/07/2019 (Publication Date) - Saunders (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 2
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-PN®...
  • Silvestri PhD RN FAAN, Linda Anne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 984 Pages - 03/10/2021 (Publication Date) - Saunders (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 3
NCLEX RN 2020 and 2021 Secrets Study Guide: NCLEX...
159 Reviews
NCLEX RN 2020 and 2021 Secrets Study Guide: NCLEX...
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Mometrix Test Prep (Author) - Annie Falcone (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)

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