The Best NCLEX RN Review Book: Our Top 5 prep books

The Best NCLEX RN Review Book: Our Top 5 prep books

the best nclex rn review book


For the majority of people, passing the NCLEX can be a major challenge because it is a very difficult exam. So many nursing student freak out over which review book they should use to study for the NCLEX and that is one of the reasons why I have put together this list, to help students use the information presented in this article to make the right decisions about which book best meet their needs.

First, let’s talk about how you study for the NCLEX RN exam.

To pass the NCLEX exam you must follow these helpful guidelines please check out my post The Best Way to Pass the NCLEX RN.

There are two methods of studying for the NCLEX exam. The first method is by using review books. The second method is by completing numerous online practice questions.

The best way to pass the NCLEX RN is to combine both methods, that is to use both the review book and online study questions method.

However, if you choose to pick option one, the books mentioned in this article are the best NCLEX RN review books out there.


1. Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX RN Examination – Our # 1 Recommendation


saunder comprehensive review for the NCLEX-RN examination


The Saunders comprehensive NCLEX RN review has several question categories from client needs area to cognitive level and integrated process.

In addition, It has over 5,100 online and in-text practice questions with the provided rationale to help students understand the reasoning behind each answer. There is a version strictly for Canadian test takers that can be found here Saunders Canadian Comprehensive review.

It also features alternate item format questions such as figure/illustration [hot spot], chart/exhibit, video, and audio questions, fill-in-the-blank, to give students an opportunity to practice and master prioritizing, decision-making, and critical thinking skills.

If you are a visual learner then you are in luck. This text is colour coded to promote easy navigation for visual learners.

Changes found in the new version of this text are the following:

  • Mnemonics
  • Priority nursing action box to explain why certain actions are of higher priority than others
  • Questions and content that reflects the level of difficult of the latest NCLEX-RN
  • Completely updated chapter on vital signs and laboratory values
  • Glossary of the Pyramid Terms which can be located at the back of the book to promote easy reader navigation.


Final statement for the Saunders Comprehensive Review

This review book is a must-have for Nclex exam review because it provides an in-depth content review for users’.



2. Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment: Practice Exercises for the NCLEX Examination

prioritization delegation and assignment practice exercises for the nclex examination


As the title suggests, the Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment help users’ to master their prioritization, delegation and assignment skills in increasing difficulty levels, using a three-part organization feature.

The skills and content found in this book have been updated to reflect the evidence-based practice.

This NCLEX review book provides practice questions and case studies that require application critical thinking and application skills. It also has additional interactive practice quizzes for users’ on the Evolve platform.


The new text version now includes the following changes

  • Questions that help users to provide patient-centered care for LGBT clients
  • Questions that place emphasis on infection control and antibiotic resistance
  • Written to include a pharmacology focus
  • More than 60 pages of new questions


Final Statement for the Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment NCLEX review

This is a very good book for those who want to practice their delegation and prioritization skills but it should not be used by itself to study for the NCLEX exam. It should be substituted with another review book.



3. Hesi Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination

hesi comprehensive review for the nclex-rn examination


This text is a great way to start getting your feet wet about writing the Nclex. Most successful NCLEX writers start using this review book very early on in the process.

In fact, for those candidates who believe it is never too early to begin preparing for the NCLEX, the HESI comprehensive review is a good fit.

Additionally, it has 700 practice questions to provide a testing experience similar to the exit and NCLEX exams.

The review is easy to follow as the chapters are organized by clinical area such as geriatrics, pediatrics, pharmacology, med surg, e.t.c.

Also, it has a companion study site online called Evolve where students can practice their critical thinking skills.

In this review book, there are spotlight information or hint boxes that highlights some commonly tested clinical concepts on the NCLEX exam.

The book also includes some alternate format question similar to those tested on the NCLEX exam.


What changes are in the new version of this text?

  • The new version has updated medications and nursing interventions have been added based on the latest evidence-based practice.
  • Has revised chapters on the following nursing areas: pediatric, maternity, psychiatric and geriatric nursing


Final statement for the Hesi Comprehensive Review

This book is good for content review but should be substituted with other Nclex review book because it does not provide enough NCLEX style questions to be used by itself.




4. Kaplan NCLEX RN Prep Plus

kaplan NCLEX-RN Prep Plus 2019


This review book has a combination of in-text and online practice questions.

It also has an additional 220 practice questions with 60+ minutes of video tutorials.

The Kaplan NCLEX review questions reflects the client need framework that is used on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) 2016 RN test plan.

The NCSBN is the organization that writes the NCLEX exam. By using the NCSBN test framework, Kaplan ensures that users’ are familiar with the NCLEX test framework.

These questions support and are written in the style used on the NCLEX. It also has an additional practice exam resource for users’ to gauge the users’ readiness to write the NCLEX exam.


Final Statement Kaplan NCLEX RN Review

Even though the Kaplan review is one of the top review books out there and comes with audio and online resources to help users’. Some users’ find it hard to follow and so it should be substituted with other review books to pass the Nclex.



5. Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN

Lippincott Q&A Review for the nclex-rn


The Lippincott NCLEX review book is great for Nclex takers in that it features more than 6,000 practice questions designed to develop a user’s critical thinking skills.

These questions support the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) 2016 RN test plan and are written in the style used on the NCLEX.

The text includes six comprehensive examinations to provide students a realistic example of the NCLEX-RN test, in which test items are randomized by subject area and difficulty.

It helps users’ master content in four major clinical areas such as med surg, mental health, obstetrics and pediatric nursing. The same flexibility for review and study.

Also, it has an online resource called PassPoint, which provides practice questions online to help determine the users’ weak areas of study and hone in on that area during practice.

Additionally, the book includes alternate-format type questions that provide strategies and tips to tackle all 8 formats of test items such as multiple-choice, multiple responses, fill up the blanks, chart/exhibit, hot spot, drag-and-drop, graphic items, and audio options.


Final Statement for Lippincott’s Q&A NCLEX Review

A very good review book that users’ can use to better their score and pass the NCLEX.



The Best NCLEX RN Review Book Comparison Table


NCLEX RN Review Book


Online resource

Video or audio resource

Practice Questions

Practice Exam

Alternative Format



saunder comprehensive review for the NCLEX-RN examination

$54 – 60


Video and Audio

Over 5,100

1 practice exam with 85 questions


4.7 / 5 stars


prioritization delegation and assignment practice exercises for the nclex examination

$30 – 45



Additional 60 pages of new questions



4.5 / 5 stars


hesi comprehensive review for the nclex-rn examination

$45 – 50



Over 700



4.2 / 5 stars


kaplan NCLEX-RN Prep Plus 2019

$23 – 25



200 additional questions

2 practice questions


4.1 / 5 stars


Lippincott Q&A Review for the nclex-rn

$36 – 40



More than 6,000



4.5 / 5 stars


If you have any feedback, questions or concerns I would like to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.

Also, if there is any NCLEX review book that you are currently using to study for the exam or have used in the past that deserves to be on this list please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading!


Pam is the founder and author of InfoWatchNurse and ThinkStethoscopes. Pam is an award-winning leader. In 2017, She pioneered the first ever peer tutoring program for nursing students at York University. She was also a Peer Tutor and Mentor for nursing students. Today, Pam creates posts and articles on health topics to give back to the nursing community.  She blogs about nursing, health, nursing skills and other health related topics on her websites. You can connect with Pam on Linkedin and Instagram.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. What an excellent review and help for anyone that is a student and has to prepare this exams. Thank you for posting it, nowadays not many reviews are made about school books and exams, it is always the fiction or non fiction books that seem to be popular. Even thou I am not a student myself I found your reading truly interesting and would recommend it to anyone before they but any books on the subject

    1. Hi Barbara,

      Thank you for your comment, I appreciate it. Have a great day!

  2. I’m convinced that this are The Best NCLEX RN Review Book, based on the kind of books listed here. I believe that anyone who takes this as listed, would have no problem with passing the NCLEX exam. This would make it easier to select the kind of books to study for the exam. 

    1. Hi Dhayours,

      Thank you and I hope you have a great day!



  3. Practice makes perfect. Every goal of a student is to succeed, most especially nursing students. In this site, the best way to pass the exam NCLEX RN has been stated. The two options are just superb sureway to success. Any student that wants to pass this exam needs to visit this site. Good work here. 

    1. Hi Kinggold19,

      Thank you so much. Have a great day!



  4. Hi there, Pam!

    This article is really helpful especially for the Nursing students like my cousin who is now in her 3rd year. I’ll definitely share your article and encourage her to buy one so she can prepare and review in advance for the NCLEX so she’ll be able to pass the exam.

    I just have one question though. I’ve been hearing that there are some leakages ( about the answers ) given or being sold to those who take NCLEX so they could surely pass the exam. How true is this? Grateful to hear your opinion on this matter.

    Many thanks,


    1. Hi Julius,

      I am not aware of any leakage so I can not answer that question at this time but I will look into it.

      Thank you so much for commenting and have a great day



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