The 8 Best NCLEX Review Books 2021 [BUYING GUIDE]

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We’ve interviewed nursing students to give you the best NCLEX review books to pass the NCLEX-RN exam the first time. While you may already be in some great study groups and have a strong grasp on the information being tested on, there is still a lot to gain from a proper NCLEX book before testing. 

In an exam like the NCLEX that is prepared as a test of prospective nurses’ level of skill and knowledge, it is important that you get the best NCLEX reviewer book that works for you. While there are so many of these NCLEX books that you can use to prepare for your exam, having an overview of your top options is a great way to start your NCLEX study plan

Looking for more? Check out the best NCLEX review courses + DISCOUNTS!

Here is the #1 pick among nursing students as the best NCLEX review book:

TOP PICK AMONG REAL NURSING STUDENTS

Saunders Comprehensive Review

5/5

With over 3,000+ reviews from real nursing students who passed the NCLEX, this is a must-have in your NCLEX-RN prep. 

In a hurry? Check out our top 3 overall NCLEX book picks:

Preview
Best Budget
Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN (Lippincott's...
Best Overall
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN...
Best Practice
Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment:...
Model
Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN (Lippincott's...
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN...
Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment:...
Price
$46.90
$62.03
$45.99
Prime?
Best Budget
Preview
Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN (Lippincott's...
Model
Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN (Lippincott's...
Price
$46.90
Prime?
Buy Now
Best Overall
Preview
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN...
Model
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN...
Price
$62.03
Prime?
Buy Now
Best Practice
Preview
Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment:...
Model
Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment:...
Price
$45.99
Prime?
Buy Now

NCLEX Prep Books Quick Comparison

TITLE

RATING

PRICE

PRACTICE

QUESTIONS

YEAR

Saunders Comprehensive Review

5/5

$$$

5,200

2019

Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment

4.5/5

$$$

1,337

2021

Lippincott Q&A Review

4.5/5

$$

6,000+

2019

Mosby’s Comprehensive Review

4/5

$$$$

4,200

2011

HESI Comprehensive Review

4.5/5

$$$$

900

2019

Davis’s Q&A Review for NCLEX

4/5

$$

10,000+

2020

Kaplan NCLEX-RN Content Review Guide

4.5/5

$

2020

Best NCLEX Review Books

Saunders Comprehensive Review

5/5 Stars
5 of 5 stars

Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN...

This is the most highly-rated NCLEX prep book for the NCLEX-RN examination. Even though it’s quite a big book, it is filled with plenty of information and practice questions that are arranged in an easy-to-understand format. 

One thing that most nursing students notice from the Saunders Comprehensive Review is the arrangement of the text in sections. Each of the sections is written in language that is easy to understand in simplified grammar. With each new edition, you can notice that there is an emphasis to increase visual content such as charts, graphs, colored pictures that are properly annotated to ensure that students have something to break up the monotony of the text!

The Saunders Review also contains over 5,000 practice questions that are also available online. Questions are found at the end of each chapter so that studying and revising go hand-in-hand while the information is still fresh. All answers are properly explained for both correct and incorrect options, which helps students to be more conversant with the options given and how to approach each type of question. For those who prefer to study online, there is also an exclusive website that contains even more study resources that help to further clarify the book contents. All of these features are what helped us to determine this book as the best NCLEX review book on the market to date!

  • Over 5,000 practice questions available online
  • End of chapter review questions
  • Test strategy explanations are easy to follow
  • Updated visual content makes for easier learning

Top Feature: The most highly-rated NCLEX prep book among actual nursing students

Who Needs This: Visual learners 

Sale
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN...
  • Silvestri PhD RN FAAN, Linda Anne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1152 Pages - 10/07/2019 (Publication Date) -...

Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment

4.5/5 Stars
4.5 of 5 stars

Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment:...

Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment makes our list of the best NCLEX review books for its focus on helping studying nurses to get their skills right for their future. The study guide is divided into three parts that address the principles of prioritization, delegation and supervision. 

Where other study guides focus on practice questions and theories, this review book lays more of an emphasis on critical reasoning, problem analysis, and resolution. Patient care requires a lot of task management, delegation and prioritization and this book delves deep into instilling the right strategies and approach for real-life situations.

Multiple choice questions are also provided that become more difficult as you progress that will help you become familiar with most NCLEX exam question types. The newest edition of this book includes NGN-style questions to help you focus on new question formats and optimize study for the NGN!

  • Updated question format for the Next-Generation NCLEX-RN exam
  • Content for evidence-based guidelines and treatment protocols has been revised
  • Interactive online question format simulates NCLEX-RN questions
  • Answer keys after each chapter review

Top Feature: Best Guide for Patient Care Safety & Efficacy 

Who Needs This: Students seeking approaches for real-life scenarios beyond NCLEX

Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment:...
  • LaCharity PhD RN, Linda A. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 04/15/2021 (Publication Date) -...

Lippincott Q&A Review

4.5/5 Stars
4.5 of 5 stars

Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN (Lippincott's...

This is one of the best NCLEX-RN review books you can use to practice for the nursing exam. This is because it mirrors the actual exam in all terms of the question types, difficulty levels and formatting. If you already have a strong grasp of the NCLEX-RN syllabus and are looking to test yourself with a close replica of an actual NCLEX-RN exam, then this review book is for you. 

The author is an accomplished nursing instructor and associate profession and contains questions that will show you exactly what to expect from the NCLEX-RN exam.

All aspects of the nursing practice can greatly benefit from this review book in areas including pediatrics, medical health, and surgical practices. Completing this review book thoroughly is sure to fill any nursing student with the confidence to face the NCLEX-RN exam without any doubt. The arrangement of the questions in the practice test are also random in difficulty with explanations for all option types provided with details to assure you that you’re on the right path.

  • 6,000+ NCLEX-RN study questions
  • 7 practice tests
  • Separated by sections with color coding
  • Exclusive online study materials complement the book

Top Feature: Most affordable NCLEX book on this list

Who Needs This: Nursing students who are on a budget

Sale
Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN (Lippincott's...
  • Billings EdD RN FAAN, Diane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1152 Pages - 04/09/2019 (Publication Date) - LWW...

Mosby’s Comprehensive Review of Nursing

4.5/5 Stars
4 of 5 stars

Mosby's Comprehensive Review of Nursing for the...

The Mosby’s review book is one of the best NCLEX review books that you can add to your nursing school library! With over 800 pages to go over, the Mosby review guide comprehensively lays out the main topics required for the NCLEX. 

Despite being so voluminous, this book is arranged quite well, making it easy to read and organize study plans. There are plenty of practice questions to study with, as well as audio and graphic questions to prepare with.

Combined with the assortment of quiz questions and audio format, there is also an additional segment for nursing management. If you would prefer to have quizzes customized to your personal needs, then a companion CD is included to help you focus your study plans.

  • 4,200 practice questions and rationales
  • 2 comprehensive exams
  • 600 alternate-format question types
  • Downloadable audio summaries for topics on-the-go

Top Feature: The most content among the books listed here – over 800 pages

Who Needs This: Nursing students looking to fill any content gaps 

Sale
Mosby's Comprehensive Review of Nursing for the...
  • COMPANION CD ENCLOSED!!
  • Nugent RN AAS BS MS EdM EdD, Patricia M....
  • English (Publication Language)

HESI Comprehensive Review

4.5/5 Stars
4.5 of 5 stars

HESI Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN...

The HESI Comprehensive Review makes our list of the best NCLEX review books as it is an excellent study guide for nursing students who have a long study plan and have started well ahead of time to prepare. The book is arranged into chapters that take advantage of different teaching techniques to explain complex concepts from pediatric, psychiatric and neonatal nursing amongst others. 

Another cool thing about the HESI Comprehensive Review is that it is quite easy to understand and written in simple language and clear terms.

The layout of the book is well thought out and arranged in such a way that there are hint boxes, clues, short lessons, pictures, and charts that all contribute to a more enjoyable learning experience all around. This is especially important because of its preference by students with months to prepare for the NCLEX exam. The online resource center is also quite extensive and provides plenty of practice questions for students to sharpen their skills with.

  • 900 practice questions 
  • Chapters organized by clinical area 
  • Pharmacology tables
  • Includes Next Generation NCLEX question types

Top Feature: Easy-to-follow outline and organization

Who Needs This: Students looking for a very clear and organized NCLEX prep 

Sale
HESI Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN...
  • HESI (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 10/03/2019 (Publication Date) -...

Davis’s Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN

4/5 Stars
4 of 5 stars

Davis's Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN®

Using the Davis’s Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN is a popular option for many nursing students because it is said to have the highest number of practice questions of all NCLEX review books currently in the market, making it among the top 10 best NCLEX review books. This NCLEX prep book contains 2,750 questions in the book and another 10,000 practice questions online. Simply put, there are more than enough materials to get ready for the NCLEX when using Davis’s Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN! 

The beauty of this review book is that the difficulty levels are also hard enough to provide enough of a challenge. In fact, most of the questions are tougher than the NCLEX and need advanced understanding of nursing concepts to answer correctly. This means that nursing students who use the Davis review guide prepare at a higher degree of difficulty which helps them retain more and pass the NCLEX with greater ease.

The arrangement of the question types also helps students to easily identify their areas of deficiency for improvement. That way, you can then focus on working on these in order to ensure a better chance of success on the NCLEX. The rationales provided by Davis’s review guide are comprehensive and extremely detailed. There are also guidelines that help students understand different question types and recommend the best ways to handle them.

  • 10,000 practice questions (online)
  • 2,500 printed practice questions & answer rationales
  • 2 comprehensive exams
  • Student success center for analytics & feedback

Top Feature: The most practice questions among NCLEX prep books

Who Needs This: Students looking for lots of practice

Sale
Davis's Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN®
  • Ohman EdD MS RN, Kathleen A. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 992 Pages - 05/03/2019 (Publication Date) - F.A....

NCLEX-RN Content Review Guide

4.5/5 Stars
4.5 of 5 stars

NCLEX-RN Content Review Guide: Preparation for the...

This Review Guide is published by Kaplan, one of the foremost brands among the best NCLEX prep books. It provides a summary of all relevant nursing concepts that are tested on. Think of it as a refresher course on everything that you need to know. Because it uses the Kaplan Decision Tree learning method that has been so effective over the years, you can actually learn the NCLEX without having to go through the full course, making it among the best NCLEX review books on the market today! 

The materials are laid out in such a way that it is easy to understand, easy to access and follows a study path that allows you to cover the complete contents of the NCLEX question categories.

Kaplan uses a Decision Tree strategy that assists students in sharpening their critical reasoning skills. Kaplan prides itself in being at the forefront of test preparation and this review guide is another testament to the fact. This is one of the most best NCLEX review books and provides so much practice content, both online and offline, that helps students understand answer choices. Kaplan also provides reviews from nursing professionals that help students to better understand key concepts covered.

  • Kaplan Decision Tree Strategy
  • Covers all must-know content
  • Used by thousands of successful students annually

Top Feature: Best study guide for essential review only

Who Needs This: Nursing students looking for a quick study guide before the test

Sale
NCLEX-RN Content Review Guide: Preparation for the...
  • Kaplan Nursing (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 648 Pages - 03/03/2020 (Publication Date) - Kaplan...

Kaplan’s NCLEX-RN Drug Guide

4.25/5 Stars
4.25 of 5 stars

NCLEX Drug Guide: 300 Medications You Need to Know...

Drugs and medications are a critical part of the NCLEX-RN test and this portable guide provides all the information you need about the most frequent medications featured on the nursing exam. This book by Kaplan makes our list of the best NCLEX review books as it contains over 300 drugs explained using a flashcard format (see more pharmacology flashcard options). Each drug page contains drug terms, explanations, contraindications, uses, and other properties.

The book is updated to the most recent information so most of the information you need to know are readily available, including a new section of drug uses. A comprehensive index also features drug brand names and common names, their correct pronunciation and medical abbreviations.

This is a handy review of nursing Pharmacology that you can use to review drug information for the NCLEX. A nice touch that most students like is arrangement of the drugs according to category and not alphabetically. You can also look online for additional Pharmacology study guides.

  • Pocket-sized is easy to travel with 
  • Organized by category and subcategory 
  • Helpful for both nursing students and working nurses

Top Feature: Pocket-sized is easy to reference

Who Needs This: Students and nurses who need help with medical terms and details

Sale
NCLEX Drug Guide: 300 Medications You Need to Know...
  • Kaplan Nursing (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 08/06/2019 (Publication Date) - Kaplan...

Best NCLEX Review Books FAQ

Which is the best NCLEX RN review book?

Our #1 pick for the best NCLEX RN review book is Saunders Comprehensive Review. This is the highest-rated book among real nursing students who have taken the NCLEX-RN. It covers all sections of the NCLEX and includes alternate question formatting. 

Which NCLEX review course is the best?

Our highest-rated NCLEX review course is Boardvitals. They keep all of their questions and formatting adapted to the real NCLEX, so you know exactly what to expect on test-day so that you can pass on the first try. You can also read our full NCLEX Course Review.

Is Saunders good for the NCLEX?

Saunders is the highest-rated NCLEX prep book on the market today for the NCLEX-RN exam. They have built out an extensive online study platform so that students can get additional practice online. 

Is UWorld harder than the NCLEX?

90% of students who have taken the NCLEX-RN after studying with UWorld have reported that it was of the same difficulty or harder than the real NCLEX. If you do well on the UWorld practice tests, you can rest assured that you are ready to take the NCLEX!

Is Lippincott good for the NCLEX?

Lippincott has created great NCLEX prep books for practicing. We have ranked Saunders above Lippincott’s NCLEX prep books, however, due to real student reviews for effectiveness. 

Can I Pass the NCLEX without studying?

You should study before the NCLEX, regardless of how confident you feel going in without cracking open an NCLEX prep book.

How much should you study for the NCLEX?

We recommend a minimum of 1-2 months of NCLEX review before you sit for your exam. If you purchase one of the NCLEX books in our list, we expect that you will need at least this amount of time to get through all of the content, questions, and review.   

Where can I buy NCLEX review books?

You can buy all of the best NCLEX review books on Amazon. We have provided the links above so that you can get these NCLEX books immediately using your Amazon account! 

Conclusion

Finding the best NCLEX prep book for you can seem daunting, but we hope that we have helped to ease the burden with this list. If you are still on the fence of which book to use for your NCLEX prep, then we recommend you start with the Saunders Comprehensive Review. You’ll get all of the content review plus relevant test-like practice that will prepare you and give you confidence to pass on the first try on test day! 

We hope you enjoyed our best NCLEX review books List! Have you used these prep books? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

Preparing for the NCLEX? Know what to expect on test day and what to bring to the NCLEX!

TOP PICK AMONG REAL NURSING STUDENTS

Saunders Comprehensive Review

5/5

With over 3,000+ reviews from real nursing students who passed the NCLEX, this is a must-have in your NCLEX-RN prep. 

One Response

  1. Hello Kristine
    I would like to get a copy of the BKAT for NICU and PICU if possible.
    Also I’m trying to prepare for the NICU Certification Exam and need to have an abundance of relevant prep exam questions with rationales resource material etc etc. Hopefully my first attempt will be successful 🙏 Thanks

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