Before you start to read my review of the two courses, let me tell you about myself. I am an older 30 year old male married with children who had very little if any experience other then nursing school in healthcare. I graduated from a much respected private university that had 98% of their grads pass the NCLEX the first time, according to the States statistics. Unlike many of my classmates, I had a hard time in nursing school. So I am not a smarty pants by any means. The reason why I am writing this review is because, just like you, you’re searching the internet to see what people are saying about the two most popular NCLEX review courses out there, Kaplan and NCSBN. When I was looking around I really didn’t find anything, so I hope this helps and points you in the right direction. Don’t get caught up by reading the testimonies from the review courses websites, they are obviously going to tell you how good they are and not tell you what is bad about their course. So with this in mind here is my review of the courses.
If you lack the knowledge aspect of nursing this review will help. Reviews basic phys then goes through the related patho. Sometimes felt a little overwhelmed with info that did not seem to be important. There are some things in the review that could have been left out, like the word jumble.
The review is made up of 8 lessons corresponding to the content area of the NCLEX and a question and answer (Q&A) section. I can only speak about lesson 1, 2, 8 and the Q&A portions of the review because I did not complete the whole review. Each lesson is made up of several sections. At the end of each section there is a review of the section which was helpful in summarizing the section. Then at the end of the lesson there is a post test.
I started this review 2 weeks before taking the NCLEX again. My thinking was, since these people are basically in charge of the NCLEX then their questions should be similar to the NCLEX, NOT QUITE. I noticed the wording was different and at times confusing (I didn’t know why the answer I picked was wrong). I concentrated on the Q&A section of the review and studied my weak areas according to the NCLEX-RN candidate report I got in the mail after I failed the NCLEX for the first time and the results from the Kaplan readiness report (which I will discuss later). The Q&A section only told you the reasoning for the correct answer and not why the other choices were wrong. It also did not tell you how you did overall or what areas you need to study/concentrate on. There was no way to go back and look at the answers to review. On top everything, the course has some technical glitches, such as accessing the glossary and access to Taber’s online was not working, they said they were having technical problems… NICE. The pretest by NCSBN did nothing for me but tell me what questions I got wrong and what the correct answer was. It did not tell you your weak areas or how you did overall. Bottom-line, I don’t think this course helped much, there is a reason why they don’t offer a guarantee.
Out of the two review courses I took I strongly recommend this review, at first the $500 seems a lot but think about the money your not earning if you don’t pass, believe me I sure did after I did not pass, IT SUCKS.
The course book, the best review book out of all the books I have (Lippincott’s Review for NCLEX-RN, Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX, Kaplan’s NCLEX-RN Strategies for the Registered Nursing Licensing Exam), the book has all the material you need to know to pass, no nonsense, no unneeded info. The only thing that Kaplan doesn’t really review is drug calc, this I believe hurt me taking the NCLEX for the second time. Once I missed 1, I kept getting the same kinds of questions throughout the test…NOTE TO SELF…1kg = 2.2lbs not 1lb = 2.2kg…DAM IT! So yeah, don’t forget the drug calc, matter of fact, I got the same kind of question again when I finally passed the test, nailed it and never saw another one like it.
Although the majority of the in-class portion of the review is just going over questions, the same questions you can go over yourself in the online portion of the review. The diagnostic and readiness tests are the most helpful, it tells you your weak areas and the questions are very similar to the NCLEX, unlike NCSBN, Kaplan tells you why the answer is correct and why the others are wrong. The readiness test, which you take during the second to last class, basically tells you if you’re ready to take the NCLEX, from the 6 people I knew in the class, 5 scored above the borderline level and all passed the NCLEX within 1-2 weeks after the course, the other person scored just below the borderline level, he spoke with the instructor, studied more and took the NCLEX about 3 weeks later and passed. Keep in mind Kaplan’s review course is very structured and if you follow their recommendations about how to complete the course you will pass the NCLEX, if I passed the NCLEX, you will too. Another important thing about Kaplan is that they have a guarantee, if you don’t pass the NLEX for the first time within 6 months of graduating nursing school they will refund your money. PLEASE LEARN FROM MY EXPERIENCE AND NOT GO THROUGH WHAT I’VE GONE THROUGH. IT SUCKED!
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.