I'd be lying if I said lurking these forum boards didn't help me as I prepared for the NCLEX-RN.
I appreciated the "How I Passed" threads the most because they were the most helpful to me. I'd like to return the favor as I know how stressful preparing for the NCLEX can be.
So, without further adieu, how I passed the NCLEX-RN on 1/31/2014:
- KAPLAN Live w/ QBank and QTrainers - after sitting for the exam this morning, I can tell you that Kaplan is VERY similar to NCLEX in format. Don't worry if your scores on Kaplan aren't so hot - I averaged about ~%55 on QTrainers and %54 on QBank and I passed in 76 questions.
- ATI RN Mentor app for iphone/android - I preferred the set up because after every question you were provided the correct answers with in-depth rationales.
- This study guide that floats around allnurses.com (i only read through it once though so I can't say whether it helped all that much. There were helpful mnemonics - be forewarned as a few are a bit vulgar.)
- "cram sheet" from the makers of EXAM CRAM
- This study guide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVZ7VwFgksk
- DISCLAIMER: It's 97 pages long and almost TOO in depth. Also, the maker of the study guide must have had a bad day while writing the OB section because women/expectant mothers are referred to as "pregnant *******" in almost every sentence. It got to be too much and I just had to skip that section. Also, the maker of the study guide quite literally starts out EVERY SENTENCE with "Realize that.." - if you can get used to it and adapt then you'll be okay. Also, I'm not even sure how legal this study guide is as it's quite literally just the rationales from Kaplan and Saunders organized into content sections. Anyway, it costs $50 via paypal if you're interested.
- LaCharity's Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment - I did all the questions and although they were tough, I think they definitely helped prepare me for all the priority questions thrown at me.
- NCLEX Mastery android/iphone app (free version)
- Quizlet's NCLEX section - it's a flashcard website and you can add sets to a folder and make your own and it's INCREDIBLY helpful for on-the-go studying and for when you just can get yourself to read from a book/study guide or answer questions. App available for android/iphone!
Well, that's it! I by no means used all of these resources extensively. I crammed for about 2 weeks before my exam and I honestly think that I would have done the same if I hadn't studied at all. Good luck to you as you prepare for the NCLEX-RN!