New Grad RN/PN’s (Almost) Complete Guide to the Best NCLEX Review Guides!

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    warning: this is very long and drawn out…but hopefully, it’s helpful!

    hi there! :typing

    after much observation on this forum as to what is the best study guide(s) for new grads, i felt it would be best to allow the future nclex test takers to have a cohesive guide to what would help them succeed at acing the exam of all exams! from what i’ve gathered, it appears that there are ten books/resources out there that can help out anyone. i have them listed below, in their respective categories, as well as 1 or 2 reviews of the study guide.
    feel free to add your own if you feel that there are other study materials out there.

    good luck to everyone and may you all be amazing future nurses!

    prioritization & delegation

    1. prioritization, delegation, and assignment: practice exercises for medical-surgical nursing
    by: linda lacharity phd rn, candice k. kumagai rn msn, and barbara bartz rn mn

    description: this must-have workbook helps students learn the prioritization and delegation skills needed to pass the nclex-rn® examination and make the transition to practice in today's healthcare environment. students can answer questions similar to those they will see on the nclex-rn examination. part 1 is an introduction that provides a practical review of clinical delegation. part 2 consists cases of patients who have relatively straightforward health problems. part 3 consists of complex, unfolding cases involving patients who have multiple health conditions and patient assignments.

    [color=#00b050]review: “this concise and practical book contains exercises that help the reader focus on the prioritization content of the nclex exam. most of the recent nclex test takers with whom i have spoken have seen a big emphasis on these types of questions on their exams. i would say that 35%-40% of my questions on the nclex exam had a prioritization emphasis, so this book was a great supplement to my studies”.

    2. kaplan nclex-pn, 2009 edition: strategies for the practical nursing licensing exam (kaplan nclex-pn exam) & http://www.amazon.com/kaplan-nclex-r.../ref=pd_cp_b_1
    by: barbara irwin, patricia a. yock, and judith burckhardt

    description: includes: 2 practice tests, detailed answer explanations, the latest information on exam content and structure, review of alternate questions, analysis of all question types, exclusive strategies for exam success, free preview of kaplan's online nclex-rn/pn question bank with more exam-style questions.

    [color=#00b050]review: “i used this book for the last 2 weeks before i took my nclex. it was very helpful to teach you how to read the question and answer the question. they also guarantee you the price of the book if you fail the nclex not that that would make failing any better, but that is one positive thing.”

    also try: kaplan medication book: http://www.amazon.com/kaplan-nclex-r...ref=pd_sim_b_2

    infection control (universal precautions, infectious diseases, etc)

    1. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/
    by: department of health & human services

    2. hurst reviews nclex-rn review & hurst reviews nclex-pn review
    by:marlene hurst

    description:nclex-rn review breaks the mold of other review books by explaining how to apply critical thinking and test-taking skills, rather than how to re-learn course content. marlene shows you how to effectively work with the “think-on-your-feet” philosophy of the nclex-rn, not against it.

    features: over 1,000 skill-building nclex-style questions, complete with answers and rationales, valuable tips that reveal the rationale behind certain types of nclex questions and how to adjust your strategy accordingly, chapter-ending nclex practice questions that solidify important information and show you how it will be tested on the nclex examination, companion cd-rom with 300 additional nclex-style questions.

    [color=#00b050]review: “this book is different from other nclex review books and is a must have! this is not a content review - there is some - but rather a guided approach to those confusing nclex questions. it helps you dissect the question and answer using the knowledge you already have. my school exam scores went up after using her techniques. i have bought several nclex review books and feel this one gave me the best advice on how to approach the test”.

    content overview
    1. saunders comprehensive review for the nclex-pnâ® examination (saunders comprehensive review for nclex-pn) & saunders comprehensive review for the nclex-rnâ® examination (saunders comprehensive review for nclex-rn)
    by:linda anne silvestri rn msn phd

    description:it’s a complete content review and over 4,200 nclex-style questions in the book and on the free companion cd! only silvestri's comprehensive review for the nclex examination includes the kind of questions that consistently test the critical thinking skills necessary to pass today's nclex exam. all answers include detailed rationales along with test taking strategies that provide tips for how to best approach each question.

    [color=#00b050]review: “failing on my first nclex attempt (i scored a and b averages in school), results said "near passing" on all categories. i was pretty upset. i had used books (including kaplan passing strategies) that friends gave or lent to me, for my first attempt. for the second, i purchased this (saunders) book, and immediately wished i'd had it when i was in classes. this book is essentially a nursing program review. the disk-based test and review program allows you to pick up where you left off, if you don't finish your review when you shut down the computer. after reading this book, i passed my nclex with the minimum questions required. i cannot say enough about this book. if you get no other, get this one”.


    2. mosby's comprehensive review of nursing for nclex-rnâ® examination
    by:dolores f. saxton, patricia m. nugent rn, and phyllis k. pelikan rn aas bs ma

    description:content is divided into units covering the core areas of medical-surgical, pediatric, maternity/women's health, and mental health nursing. smaller chapters within the units break down information into smaller, more manageable pieces for a complete review of key content. nclex-rn examination-style questions, including the newest alternate item formats, follow each unit and help you master the content and practice with critical thinking questions seen on the exam. with over 4,100 questions with rationales in the book and on the companion cd-rom for practice in print and electronic formats, this all-inclusive review is a vital study tool for the nclex-rn exam.

    [color=#00b050]review: “i highly recommend the mosby's comprehensive review... 60th edition. the book is so well written that reading it isn't a chore! the program i was in just loved the hesi exam, this book got me through it and helped me to score higher than my schools ridiculous expectations! some details: the cd that is included is pretty nice, but the questions are very easy. i didn't use it to prepare for tests, just it for review! additionally, another reviewer mentioned some problems with the cd... those seem to have been solved. when you run the program for the first time, it connects to a server someplace and downloads a patch to make everything work well”.

    3. illustrated study guide for the nclex-pnâ® exam (mosby's illustrated study guide for nclex-pn exam) & illustrated study guide for the nclex-rnâ® exam (illustrated study guide for the nclex-rn exam)
    by:dolores f. saxton, patricia m. nugent rn, and phyllis k. pelikan rn aas bs ma

    description: a concise outline format summarizes essential nursing content, enhanced by multiple illustrations, including many of the authors' popular mnemonic cartoons. the easy, colorful design includes a special alert! feature that highlights frequently tested nursing concepts, and nursing priority boxes that identify priorities of care. the introductory chapter reviews the latest nclex test plan and new alternate item format questions, while separate chapters cover pharmacology and nursing management. the remaining chapters are organized by lifespan, basic nursing concepts, client populations, and body systems, for easy location of specific content. chapter appendixes summarize related medications, diagnostic tests, and nursing procedures. nclex examination style review questions close every chapter, and a companion cd-rom with over 1,500 questions (including alternate item formats) allows users to customize practice exams, and review answers and rationales.

    [color=#00b050]review: “i have used many books to review for the nclex board exam, but this one is really distinguished. it is colorful and well arranged. it comes with cd that has questions on every chapter. the other thing i liked about this book is the way they put the medications of every system as an index for that system as well the nursing techniques, procedures and tools. from my opinion, this book worth every single penny”.

    4. nclex-rn® review made incredibly easy! (incredibly easy! series) & nclex-pn® review made incredibly easy! (incredibly easy! series)
    by:springhouse

    description: this book reviews course content in an easy-to-read outline format. the book uses the well-known incredibly easy! approach to make it more interesting, enjoyable, concise, and less difficult. it provides solid clinical information and clear, concise rationales in a light-hearted manner that encourages knowledge retention by decreasing study anxiety. every area of nursing is completely reviewed and critical thinking questions accompany each chapter. the accompanying cd-rom offers more than 3,000 additional practice questions to help students continue their preparation.

    [color=#00b050]review: “although i used an earlier version of this book, it's still the one i recommend. when i graduated in 2000, i could only afford one review book and no review course. i looked at all the books available -- what i wanted was something i could pick up and put down; easy to read without being boring; well-organized chapters; and a cd-rom with practice questions. the cd-rom was easy to use, even for someone who (at that time) was fairly computer challenged. i studied hard while i was in school; i wanted something that would help keep that knowledge sharp and prepare me for the nclex -- this book was just right for me. i passed the nclex and i hope all of you do, too! good luck!”.

    nclex-style question banks (prioritization, infection control, and content)

    1. kaplan: http://www.kaplan.com/
    2. exam cram: nclex-rn exam cram (2nd edition) & nclex-pn practice questions (2nd edition) (exam cram)
    3. nclex 3500 & 4000: nclex® review 4000: study software for nclex-rn® (individual version)
    4. lippincott: lippincott's review for nclex-pn® (lippincott's state board review for nclex-pn) & lippincott's q&a review for nclex-rn® (lippincott's review for nclex-rn)
    5. learning ext (ncsbn): http://www.learningext.com

    that's all i have for now. good luck to everyone!

    nursethis21, bsn, rn
    uic alumna
    digitiminimi, Milla9436, nrcolee6, and 2 others like this.
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  4. 15 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Thank you nurse21...I will read this list carefully.
  6. 0
    Thanks this is great!!!
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    nursethis21 did u use hurst?
  8. 1
    Quote from ujones00
    nursethis21 did u use hurst?

    When I was in the bookstores for hours and hours, I picked up the Hurst book a couple of times and looked at certain sections (i.e. Cardiac, resp., infection control). Their content review was okay, but the questions were a bit too easy for my taste.

    I'd recommend it for light content review, but I noticed that some of the information was skewed, mainly because the book was a bit outdated (2006-2007) and I didn't have the opportunity to practice alternate item format questions. Hurst also has her own little way of processing information, and her method wasn't conducive to how I typically learn. To each his own, I guess! :chuckle

    The tools I did use thoroughly were:

    1. Saunder's 4th Edition: (1st 3 weeks of studying)

    2. Mosby's Illustrated Guide for NCLEX-RN: (2nd 3 Weeks of Studying). This book was slightly outdated as well, but the content was amazing and easy to read/remember!

    3. Exam Cram and NCLEX 3500: (Last Two-Three Weeks of studying)

    4. Kaplan 2010 Strategy Book: (Entire Study Period)

    Hope that Helps!!!

    NurseThis21, BSN, RN
    UIC Alumna
    Mrs. SnowStormRN likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from NurseThis21
    When I was in the bookstores for hours and hours, I picked up the Hurst book a couple of times and looked at certain sections (i.e. Cardiac, resp., infection control). Their content review was okay, but the questions were a bit too easy for my taste.

    I'd recommend it for light content review, but I noticed that some of the information was skewed, mainly because the book was a bit outdated (2006-2007) and I didn't have the opportunity to practice alternate item format questions. Hurst also has her own little way of processing information, and her method wasn't conducive to how I typically learn. To each his own, I guess! :chuckle

    The tools I did use thoroughly were:

    1. Saunder's 4th Edition: (1st 3 weeks of studying)

    2. Mosby's Illustrated Guide for NCLEX-RN: (2nd 3 Weeks of Studying). This book was slightly outdated as well, but the content was amazing and easy to read/remember!

    3. Exam Cram and NCLEX 3500: (Last Two-Three Weeks of studying)

    4. Kaplan 2010 Strategy Book: (Entire Study Period)

    Hope that Helps!!!

    NurseThis21, BSN, RN
    UIC Alumna
    Okay. Exam cram how long did it take u to move to the next level? I am still on level one. how often did u do the questions?
  10. 1
    I didn't really worry about getting through all three levels. That's mostly because I found out about the CD a little too late in my study regimen.

    Instead, I practiced approximately 300 questions per day in the adaptive drill section, four days a week (i.e. Monday-Thursday). I took a break on Friday and practiced several simulator tests (no less than 3) on Saturday and Sunday. I did that for the last three weeks so that I'd become accustomed to the types of questions I'd eventually see.

    In essence, I had about 1200 practice questions available for my use (from my 300/day) and they were implemented in my simulator tests, along with other questions from their q-bank.

    At that point in my study regimen, I was less concerned about the questions' rationale and more focused on whether or not I'd be able to pass a CAT-style (NCLEX) exam. As long as my simulator tests remained in the "Above Average" category, I felt fine with my progress.

    Let me know if you have anymore questions!

    NurseThis21, BSN, RN
    UIC Alumna
    Mrs. SnowStormRN likes this.
  11. 0
    Thanks soo much this was very helpful! So should try the stimulated exam to see where I am?
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    No problem! I'd go ahead and start focusing on the simulated tests. That way, you can see just how well you're progressing and eventually, you'll get used to the CAT-testing style. It's actually quite fun!

    If you feel that you are stuck in the "Average" zone, then take a few more adaptive drills to increase your confidence in that type of testing style. But I'm sure that you'll see your scores in the "Above Passing - Excellent" range in no time!

    Let me know how it goes!

    NurseThis21, BSN, RN
    UIC Alumna
  13. 0
    Thanks for the time and effort you put into this comprehensive review. You should get the site to make it into a sticky for the forum.


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