The 10 Best NCLEX Books

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This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in May of 2017. Passing the certification exam to get your nursing license can be difficult, regardless of how well you did in school. The NCLEX books on this list are valuable aids in helping you get through this complicated process, as they will provide you with a refresher on the things you already know, while equipping you with effective strategies and tips for succeeding on the test. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment

2. Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN

3. Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-PN

Editor's Notes

September 15, 2020:

Our latest update saw us bring about half the items on this list to their most recent iterations, including Kaplan NCLEX Drug Guide, Saunders Strategies For Test Success, HESI Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN, and more. The exam is revised about once every three years, and so all of our selections are extremely recent. To stay in line with that priority, we removed Mosby's Comprehensive Review Of Nursing. This text is a challenging and rewarding one to use, but as it has not been updated since about 2012, we felt it had to go.

We noticed this list did not have any prep books for the NCLEX-PN and was solely focused on the NCLEX-RN exam, and so we set out to remedy that by adding Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-PN and Kaplan NCLEX-PN Prep Plus. The former has been recently revised to include NGN-style questions for the Next Generation version of the test announced by the NCSBN. While the changes aren't supposed to go into effect for a few years, if you're just starting the process of getting your degree or considering a vocational program in the near future it's never too early to incorporate the clinical judgment strategies you'll need for the updated exam. These are not arbitrary developments, either, as the test is being updated to reflect issues in the workforce regarding novices, so any aspiring nurse will want to practice these skills regardless of when they take the test.

By the way, if you're looking for tomes to provide extra guidance for your career path in general, you might also want to check out our list of nursing books.

April 10, 2019:

The big shakeup on a list like this year after year is going to come mostly in the form of new editions as a variety of advances in the medical fields trickle down into nursing. Still, we can accurately rank these books not just by their content, but by their presentation and their modes of educating readers. That's why Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment stayed high on our list in its new printing, as it not only maintains, but improves on its system of increasing the complexity of its lessons so reads have a firm foundation in basic principals by the time the text gets more demanding. That's the kind of material that instills confidence in test takers. On the other end of the quality spectrum, the Kaplan Drug Guide continues to struggle with layout issues that prevent students from easily comparing the benefits and side effects of certain medications, as well as discrepancies between its index and its page content.

Special Honors

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing The National Council of State Boards of Nursing is the independent, not-for-profit organization responsible for the development and administration of the NCLEX exams. Their official website proffers a host of valuable information, such as how to register, what to do before, after, and during the exam, test plans, and review. They also provide a multi-week online preparation course.

4. Kaplan NCLEX-PN Prep Plus

5. Saunders Strategies For Test Success

6. HESI Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN

7. Lippincott NCLEX-RN Alternate-Format Questions

8. Kaplan NCLEX Drug Guide

9. Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN

10. Illustrated Study Guide for the NCLEX-RN

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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