to those who passed the NCLEX-RN

Nurses New Nurse


I am going to graduate from nursing school in MAY 2004. I am very happy to see that alot of you have passed the NCLEX. Even though May is still a couple of months away, I am already trying to prepare myself for the NCLEX. It looks like I am starting to forget alot of stuff that I learned in the past 2 years, since I can't even reach 70% on each of the testing areas. So here are some questions for those newly-licensed nurses:

How long did you study for the NCLEX?

Which lucky NCLEX review books did you use in order to help you study and pass?

Is it better to keep practicing with NCLEX style questions or to keep reading the outlines provided in some review books (which seems like a waste of time) ?

Please help the rest of us who have yet to struggle with this final semester and worry about the NCLEX.. Thanks!!!!


89 Posts

hey, i myself did the kaplan course online.. its a bit pricey but it helped alot... if you dont want to go that route.. i also did lots of practce questions, i did about 10 questions/day. after a 12 hr shift doing more questions was excruciating... but do at least 10+ to 20+ questions /day and time yourselff, just like as if you were doing the NCLEX. good luck.

Specializes in CCU (Coronary Care); Clinical Research.

I started a couple of months in advance and picked a system each week. I also tried to focus on that system during clinicals for the week. Harders systems I did for two weeks. I incorporated meds that were closest to each system in with that week. I left extra time for subjects that were harder for me. It was easier and and less mentally tiring to sit down and study for a half an hour each day each week on one system that to try and do it in bulk. I used the princeton review book from about two years ago that I got for five dollars at a used bookstore. Cheap and easy! I don't know, it worked for me.


109 Posts

Specializes in ED, PCU, Addiction, Home Health.

I can pass along a good tip-

I used the NCSBN's website....they have an online review and question course that's very cheap compared to others. I believe 3 weeks of unlimited access was $50 and longer is $80. I gave myself 3 weeks to finish it before I took the test. I figured, the NCSBN are the folks who write the darn NCLEX - best to go to the "horses mouth". They also have some practice "interactive/new item" questions too.

I got very bogged down in all the review books I bought. I'm usually very organized, but too much info to review started to mess with my head.

Just remember, we will never know everything, but we've got a lifetime to work on it.

Dawn from PA :D


285 Posts

First of all what I learned about preparing for NCLEX is that everybody's study habits are not the same. Some people take a review course, some don't, and both may be fine with that. I found that just doing questions from a book was not good enough for me; I needed more work on stategy. I took Kaplan online which ran about $375, but to me it was a comprehensive review- it took me a good 2 months to complete. It involves nursing content and stategies to approaching NCLEX style questions- what i liked about Kaplan is that it only focused on the analysis and application questions (which are NCLEX passing types of questions). It helped me refresh my memory on nursing content in all areas. Also, I think doing the questions in Saunders Comprehensive review helped me. But like I said, this worked for me, but may not work for everyone. I've had people tell me that Kaplan was a waste of their time and money. Some ppl just use books to study. Do what is best for you and best of luck to you.


Hi Bsngrad,

Congratulations on your future graduation! It is quite an accomplishment.

As many already said, it depends on what kind of learner you are, but reviews if anything can help build your confidence. If you are more of a visual learner, than reviews can help you tremendously. If you are anywhere near the Ohio area, I know of a wonderful review course I just took and it is the reason I will pass this time.

Another source is Lippincott for their review book, Saunder's I have heard is also a good source. Kaplan also has a good CDROM when you buy the book. It contains 7 NCLEX like tests that can tell you where you stand. As far as studying, a good plan is at least a month. That way, you're not rushing into it, but giving yourself time to relax after your graduation and let the idea of taking the test settle in. Now before you graduate, I would suggest doing some questions each week, not too many, but enough for you to get used to the type of questions they ask, many times they are completely different than those asked in school.

Overall, use what you've been doing in school. If you're a reader and read all the lectures ahead of time and then study from that, do that with a good comprehensive book and then do questions regarding the material you just studied. If you only browsed things because you think you know the material well, do questions first perhaps and find your weaknesses, then study that material. Either way, don't exclude any one way of studying from the NCLEX, they really do test it all!

We are here for you, and when you graduate come on back and we can help you more if you wish.

God Bless,



189 Posts

I did not do a review course. I am better at studying on my own. I have to admit I procrastinated. I studied HARD for about a week before the test. I bought the Kaplan review book and did about 100 questions a night. I found it much easier and faster to do the questions on the disks I bought rather than the books. As far as a comprehensive review I really liked the NSNA review book. For disks I liked Mosby and Lippincott. Good's a stressful time but you'll feel so good when its over!!:)

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