Study material for Excelsior exams.


  • Specializes in Certified Diabetes Educator. Has 20 years experience.

I just wanted to post and tell those of you starting that most all of the books that Excelsior recommends can be purchased used from and/or Ebay. When I studied for these NC1-7 tests, I used my old nursing books and got the texts that I felt I just had to have like the Pediatric text and the Management texts. I didn't pay over $20 for any of them.

You can down load the study guides for FREE. I think, but am not sure, that you don't have to be enrolled in Excelsior to get NC 1 and NC 2 guides, but you do for NC 3-7. Excelsior will also mail them to you if you call and request them.

The NC tests are worded to test your knowledge of assessment, analysis, planning, implementation and evaluation----the nursing process. You will have to use your knowledge and be able to apply it to the nursing process. Many of the questions will ask you what is the PRIORITY. Watch for the word "EXCEPT" in the questions.

The tests are divided into categories. For example NC 2, 20% of the test is related to nutrition, 15% to elimination, 20% to oxygenation, 25% to fluid and electrolyte balance, 10% to Activity and Mobility, and 10% to rest and sleep. You must pass in all areas to pass the test. If you fail oxygenation and do outstanding on all the other areas, you still fail. All tests are 160 questions, but only 100 count---you do not know which 100. So, nutrition will have 32 questions, but only 20 count.

I'm giving an example from the study guide to show you that you don't need too many extra books if you still have your nursing texts. For elimination, they recommend: Drugs for Urinary Tract disorders (the test questions will be related to pt teaching and side effects, drug interactions and cautions) Diarrhea and constipation. (think about your nursing care plans, pt history, interventions, evaluations,) Fecal elimination and Urinary elimination (think of your risks and anatomy/physiology of norms vs abnorms and interventions) and when it comes to infant/child in these questions, you are concerned with growth and development and coping of family and pt. So, this would be toilet training---so a lot of anatomy/physiology, assessment, pt/family teaching and psych.

I hope this helps some of you in your studying. College Network study guides do not teach the nursing process.

Specializes in cardiology, psychiatry, corrections. Has 15 years experience.

My thoughts exactly. The textbooks that EC recommends emphasizes more on critical thinking. There is also nothing in any of the modules that teaches about drug classifications as does "Pharmacology: A Nursing Process Approach," 5th ed. (Kee et al) I believe TCN's modules do name drugs that treat some diseases and conditions, but that's about it. They also do not cover drug calculations. The College Network is a total ripoff.


38,333 Posts

And a reminder for those that want as much study material as they can muster, is that used copies of TCN material can be bought cheaply on ebay. You can also find study tips in the files sections of the many Yahoo study groups. I have found that my best studying has come from NCLEX test prep books; doing as many ?s as possible on the NC test areas.


39 Posts

Do Not, I repeat Do Not purchase any text books instead try doing what I did. I NEVER PAID ONE PENNY TOWARD BOOKS. I obatined all of my books through interlibrary loan through my public library after all isn't that what we pay taxes for (to support the library). Then I obtained the information as outlined in the free Excelsior exam study guide from these books. Although sometimes I could not obtain the most up to date version I passed every exam with flying colors. Buying the text books is a waste and I am a penny pincher.

I bought the major books via Amazon and, and one from Excelsior. They're all I've needed so far.


143 Posts

I f you need excelsior books go to the libary they have a libary exchange were you can get the books for free be specific on the editions that you ask for. I would also get online and get used books. Some of the old edition are not that bad eaither I got a older edition med surg book for 16 dollars I compared it to the newer edition in the Barnes and noble it was nearly the same info. Some students will even sell you books cheaper. I choose to get most of mine from the Libary the word FREE was sounding great to me.:D


4 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surge, Psychiatrics, Hospice. Has 4 years experience.

Are there blue prints to what the test are like? Or are there short cliff note like study guides to cover the exam contents? Anyone please reply?

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Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,741 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.

Yes. You can download exam content guides (free) from EC's website. Good luck!


74 Posts

Also - none of the exams are "NC" anymore - they were all replace several years back from what I gather. So if you look at EC for 'Nursing Concepts' exams you won't find them. The exams are called

Essentials of Nursing Care - there are 4: Health Safety, Health Differences, Chronicity and Reproductive Health,

Health Differences Across the Life Span 1, 2, and 3 and

Transition to the Registered Professional Nurse Role

But you can still find TCN and other study guides that are titled Nursing Concepts on ebay. Remember though, they are several years old.

Sorry - Just a FYI incase someone didn't know......kassie


543 Posts

Specializes in home health, LTC, assisted living. Has 10 years experience.

I rented textbooks from, free shipping both ways, this is my first unit so I will see how it goes, studying for Nursing Transition

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