Passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) RN exam is one of the steps you must take on your journey to becoming a registered nurse. There are many NCLEX study materials on the market that will help you prepare for the exams. A simple search online will lead you to test prep books, all-in-one review guides, Q&A books, and so on.
The NCLEX-RN exam will determine whether you have the necessary skills and knowledge required to practice as a registered nurse at an entry level. Therefore, you should prepare well for the exam.
Below, we have outlined some of the best NCLEX prep books on the market. But first off, let’s look at the comparison table.
Best NCLEX Review Books – Comparison Table
|RANK||STUDY GUIDE||PRACTICE EXAMS/QUESTIONS||REVIEW||PRICE|
|1||1 practice exam|
|4||2 practice exams|
Best NCLEX Prep Books [REVIEW]
The best NCLEX prep book on the market is the Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN. This book has review sections that are comprehensive and span 1152 pages. The in-depth material available in the book will make you confident of tackling any questions that may be presented during the test day.
The NCLEX review book also have detailed answer explanations. The explanations will help you understand why a particular answer is correct and why another one is wrong. Going through the answer explanations will help you to identify your weaknesses and answering questions before the test day.
The Saunders Comprehensive Review has plenty of practice questions that will better prepare you for the test. The more you answer the questions, the more you will get familiar with the test questions, and the higher the likelihood of you passing the exam.
Below is an overview of what the Saunders Comprehensive Review has:
- 85-question comprehensive exam
- Questions are categorized by cognitive level, specific needs, and so on
- 5,200 NCLEX examination-style questions
One of the issues we noticed with the book is that some sample questions are a little too easy. This may end up giving you false confidence in your abilities only to be surprised by difficult questions on the exam day. However, these easy questions are few and far between.
The depth of material covered and comprehensive test questions make us rate the Saunders Comprehensive Review as the best NCLEX review book.
- Tons of practice questions
- The answers are explained in detail
- The concept review is in-depth
- Some sample questions are quite easy
Another excellent NCLEX prep book is the HESI Comprehensive Review. This book features green summary boxes that are a great way of helping you know what you should be focusing on for the test. The green boxes allow you to identify important points you should know that is likely to be tested in the NCLEX-RN exam. As a result, you will use your study time efficiently by focusing on the important concepts for the exams.
The HESI Comprehensive Review has in-depth reviews of different concepts across its chapters. The book features a consistent formatting and chapter organization, which makes it easy for you to move in between topics you may be reviewing.
Below is an overview of what is included in the HESI Comprehensive Review:
- Easy to move in between content thanks to the consistent format and chapter organization
- Has hint boxes that highlight important clinical information and concepts
- Comes with 700 NCLEX practice questions
The HESI Comprehensive Review is an excellent guide with in-depth reviews of concepts. We recommend the guide for students that need a refresher on the topics they learned in nursing school.
However, the book could have been better if it had more practice questions.
- Easy to move in between topics thanks to the consistent formatting and chapter organization
- The green highlight boxes help you know what you should be focusing on for the test
- Only has 700 practice questions
If you are looking for the best value NCLEX review book, you should get the Lippincott Q&A Review. This book focuses more on practice questions rather than reviewing concepts.
The Lippincott Q&A Review has tons of practice questions that will help you get familiar with what would be asked during the exam. By going through the questions, you will be confident of answering any question that you will encounter in the exam.
We love the Lippincott Q&A Review for its logical flow and organization. The questions are organized progressively, from easier ones to more difficult ones. The organization enables you to ramp up your studying and improve your test score.
Below is an overview of what is covered in the Lippincott Q&A Review:
- 6,000+ questions
- Detailed explanations of the answers
One of the downsides of the Lippincott Q&A is that some categories such as Leadership and Management are not introduced as topics. However, the questions for the topics are presented separately under other subjects.
If your goal is to go through NCLEX sample questions rather than read concept reviews, we recommend the Lippincott Q&A Review.
- Logical flow and organization
- Plenty of practice questions
- Has no concept reviews. Only focuses on practice tests
- Some categories such as Leadership and Management are not introduced as subjects
The Kaplan NCLEX RN is another excellent NCLEX review book you should check out. This book is arranged in chapters that are broken down in easy lessons, which make it easy for you to study for a short period of time. If you are busy with school or other engagements and only have a few hours to study for your NCLEX, this is the book for you.
The book also has practice questions that are similar to what you will see in the NCLEX exam. Many times, you will find the NCLEX questions are easier than what you would go through in the Kaplan NCLEX Review.
Below is what is included in the Kaplan NCLEX Review:
- 8 end-of-chapter practice sets that will help you put your critical thinking skills to use
- 60 minutes of video tutorials that you can view on DVD or online
- 2 full-length practice tests that will help you gauge your skills
One thing we noticed about the Kaplan NCLEX Review is that it focuses more on general test-taking strategies than reviewing the topics. However, the questions on the real NCLEX exam are more focused towards subject knowledge rather than strategies.
- Has questions whose difficulty is similar to that of the actual exam
- The chapters are broken down into easy lessons
- It’s mainly focused on test-taking strategies than reviewing of the topics
Making it on our list of the best NCLEX study material is the NCLEX-RN Practice Questions Exam Cram. This prep book comes with reference sheets that help you to study quickly and save time.
There is also a separate quick lookup answer and rationale pages that will help you to speed through the practice questions. You can quickly look up the answer to a question that you are confident about. If you got the question wrong, you can check the rationale pages for an explanation of the answers.
The quick answer lookup and rationale pages enable you to spend more time on difficult questions and less on those that are easy. As a result, you will use your study time more efficiently.
The NCLEX-RN Practice Questions Exam Cram Includes:
- Separate quick lookup answer and rationale pages
- Cram Sheet tear card that will help you to recall key facts and concepts
- More than 1250 sample test questions
We spotted a few errors in the answer reference section of the book. Moreover, the book has only brief concept reviews since it is geared more towards practice questions. If you would like to get in-depth concept reviews, we suggest you get the Saunders Comprehensive Review of the HESI Comprehensive Review.
Overall, the NCLEX-RN Practice Questions Exam Cram is a budget pick for anyone looking to brush their skills before the NCLEX exam by going through sample test questions.
- Has unique tips on reading comprehension
- Written by the authors who set the exam
- Does not go in-depth into concepts or strategies
Editor’s Verdict: Best NCLEX Review Book
The NCLEX prep books above will help you improve your skills and knowledge before the big day. We find the Saunders Comprehensive Review to provide the best value for any student looking to take the NCLEX RN exam. This NCLEX prep book goes in-depth into concepts and has tons of practice questions.
If you have a good grasp of the concepts and would only like to brush your skills by going through sample test questions, then the Lippincott Q&A Review would be your best NCLEX review book to buy.