We’ve interviewed nursing students to give you the best NCLEX review books to pass the NCLEX-RN exam on the first attempt. 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.
Best NCLEX Review Books Summary
|1. Saunders Comprehensive Review: Best Overall
2. Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment: Best for Reference Beyond NCLEX
3. Lippincott Q&A Review: Best Budget
4. Kaplan’s Next Generation NCLEX-RN: Best Score Guarantee
5. Mosby’s Comprehensive Review of Nursing: Best for Content Gaps
6. HESI Comprehensive Review: Best Online Resources
7. Davis’ Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN: Best NCLEX Practice
8. Kaplan NCLEX Medication Review: Best Review for Drug Reference
The 8 Best NCLEX Review Books
Saunders Comprehensive Review
The best overall NCLEX review book that is updated regularly to reflect the latest NCLEX-RN test plan.
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.
The Saunders Comprehensive Review is what I utilized prior to taking my NCLEX (almost 15 years ago). I encourage all students to purchase a copy to help compliment instructional material while in nursing school. Students really benefit from utilizing the Saunders guide while in the last semester/term of nursing school because it “puts all of the pieces of the puzzle together”. It is truly a great a resource to help prepare for the NCLEX.
One thing that I 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 5,200 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 and address any updates on the NCLEX. All of these features are what helped us to determine this book as the best NCLEX review book on the market to date!
See our 5-week NCLEX study plan that utilizes Saunders Comprehensive Review.
- Over 5,200 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
Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment
Best NCLEX reviewer book for work beyond the NCLEX
This practice book is great for the NCLEX-RN but can also be referenced for real-life scenarios beyond the NCLEX.
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!
This resource can truly benefit students enrolled in leadership and management courses as well. Those courses are a requirement for Baccalaureate students, as well as some of the content may benefit Associate Degree of nursing students. My current program has a leadership course, where students may benefit from having this resource as an adjunct learning resource. It is imperative that students are able to apply the theory behind prioritization, delegation, and assignment to NCLEX questions.
- 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
Lippincott Q&A Review
Best Budget NCLEX RN Review Book
Imagine getting comprehensive review for the NCLEX at a fraction of the price - well, you can with this Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN.
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 professor and contains questions that will show you exactly what to expect from the NCLEX-RN exam. The review contains questions that will show you exactly what to expect from the NCLEX-RN exam.
All aspects of nursing practice can greatly benefit from this review book including pediatrics, psychiatric/ mental health, and medical 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.
- 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
Mosby’s Comprehensive Review of Nursing
Best NCLEX Reviewer book for a budget
A high-value NCLEX-RN review book that covers nearly 800 pages of content for the exam.
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
HESI Comprehensive Review
Best Online NCLEX Resources
Among the best NCLEX study guides with a suite of online resources on their Evolve Companion website.
This resource will benefit students who take the HESI exams while enrolled in nursing school. For students who take other exams (ATI, Kaplan), there may be some slight differences in content. This stands as a helpful 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, making it among the best NCLEX study guides in this list!
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
Davis’s Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN
Best NCLEX question book
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 question 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 NCLEX question book is that the difficulty levels are also hard enough to provide enough of a challenge. In fact, most of the NCLEX 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
Kaplan Next Generation NCLEX-RN Prep
Best Score Increase Guarantee
New edition updates by Kaplan scrutinizes the Next Generation NCLEX question types and spells out how to answer each.
The current research is showing that students are performing better on the NCLEX now that NGN questions are part of the test – so preparing using resources that focus on NGN questions is very beneficial!
With the Next Gen NCLEX upon us, Kaplan’s made some changes to its NCLEX review edition. Included in its updates are step-by-steps on how to answer some of the new question types on the Next Generation NCLEX-RN – Matrix, Multiple Response, Cloze, Drag-and-Drop, Highlight, Bowtie, and Trend.
8 of its content chapters include practice sets to reinforce learning and to help to cement your learnings throughout each chapter.
- 1 full-length practice test in the book with answers and explanations
- 1 full-length computer generated NCLEX test online
- Detailed rationales for correct and incorrect question answers
Top Feature: Best study guide for next generation NCLEX
Who Needs This: Nursing students seeking a higher score guarantee
Kaplan’s NCLEX Medication Review
Best NCLEX Review book for drug reference
A pocket-sized medication review that is a handy reference for NCLEX and beyond.
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 NCLEX reviewer is updated to the most recent information so most of the information you need to know is 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 the 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
Best NCLEX Review Books FAQ
Which is the best NCLEX RN review book?
Our #1 pick for the best NCLEX reviewer is the 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 Kaplan’s NCLEX on demand. They keep all of their NGN 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 reviewer, 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.
When should you study for the NCLEX?
Students should start using the NCLEX review books during their last semester/term of nursing school so that they may take the NCLEX as soon as possible. The longer a student waits, the chances increase for them to not pass due to the duration of content lapse.
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!
Best NCLEX Review Books – Wrap Up
Finding the best NCLEX reviewer 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!
If you made it through this list of NCLEX books and are still unsure of what book you want, then we recommend you start with the Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN. In it, you’ll get a suite of tools and resources that are all updated regularly to reflect recent NCLEX-RN test changes.
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!