The 10 Best NCLEX Books

Updated May 19, 2017 by Quincy Miller

10 Best NCLEX Books
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We spent 21 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Getting your nursing license isn't brain surgery, but it can help prepare you for it. Passing the certification exams can be insanely difficult, especially when you think back on everything you learned in school. That's why the NCLEX books on this list are so valuable, as they'll give you a refresher on the things you already know, while equipping you with strategies to beat the test. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best nclex book on Amazon.

10. Lippincott's NCLEX-RN Alternate-Format Questions

If you're worried a question will pop up on the exam that you weren't prepared for, Lippincott's NCLEX-RN Alternate-Format Questions can set those fears to rest. It covers just about every scenario, from multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank to chart and audio problems.
  • great select-all-that-apply training
  • goes over everything on the test
  • questions aren't very well-organized
Publisher Lippincott Willi
Model n/a
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Saunders Strategies for Test Success

Saunders Strategies for Test Success isn't a typical review guide in that it doesn't cover the material on the test, but rather lays out techniques for handling the exam itself. It goes over everything from time management to dealing with anxiety.
  • excellent for beginning students
  • gives rationales for each solution
  • answers printed next to questions
Publisher Saunders Strategies for
Model n/a
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. HESI Comprehensive Review

The HESI Comprehensive Review adds a little extra value by preparing you for the HESI exam as well as the NCLEX. The info is mostly bullet-pointed, so it's useful for cramming, but unfortunately it doesn't have many practice questions with which to test yourself.
  • good for exit-level students
  • language is simple and jargon-free
  • contains quite a few typos
Publisher HESI Comprehensive Revi
Model n/a
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Zerwekh's Illustrated Study Guide

If you can't stomach the thought of another dry, boring text, Zerwekh's Illustrated Study Guide contains colorful drawings that double as mnemonic devices, letting you learn in an entertaining way. There aren't that many illustrations, though, so don't expect a comic book.
  • extremely well-categorized
  • font size doesn't strain eyes
  • doesn't go very in-depth
Publisher Zerwekh's Illustrated S
Model n/a
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Kaplan Premier

Kaplan Premier doesn't just teach you the material, it also lays out strategies for successfully tackling the exam. It comes with a digital copy of the book as well, so you can take your studies with you on the go. The information inside is fairly basic, though.
  • warns of tricks the test uses
  • ships with 2 practice exams
  • quizzes don't reflect concepts
Publisher Kaplan Premier
Model n/a
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Mosby's Comprehensive Review

If you want your boards to feel like a cakewalk in comparison to the studying you did for them, pick up Mosby's Comprehensive Review. It's one of the hardest guides on the market, so if you can handle this, getting licensed should be a day at the beach.
  • questions are worded like the exam
  • good for visual learners
  • repeats some questions
Publisher Mosby
Model n/a
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Lippincott Q&A Review

If you like thorough explanations of why an answer is wrong, rather than just being told it is, Lippincott Q&A Review goes through each problem to explain why a certain choice was better than the other options. It also has a grid designed to help you track your progress.
  • sections broken down by body systems
  • color coded for reference
  • practice exams available on website
Publisher Lippincott Q&A Review
Model n/a
Weight 6.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Kaplan NCLEX-RN Drug Guide

The Kaplan NCLEX-RN Drug Guide is a must-have addition to other test prep manuals, as it goes in-depth on some of the drug questions you'll be likely to encounter on the exam. Everything's organized by category, making it a cinch to study methodically.
  • can be cut into flashcards
  • small and easy to carry
  • doesn't have much unnecessary info
Publisher Kaplan NCLEX-RN Drug Gu
Model n/a
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment

Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment isn't the thickest book on the market, as each section is only a few pages long, but it's the best option out there for getting the hang of prioritization. If you've struggled with management skills, you need this one.
  • helps to integrate knowledge
  • answers are very detailed
  • authors helped write the nclex
Publisher Elsevier
Model n/a
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Saunders Comprehensive Review

Saunders Comprehensive Review has more than 5,200 questions between the textbook and its online supplement, giving you plenty of opportunity to test how prepared you are. The material is laid out well, so you don't have to worry about suffering from information overload.
  • answer sheets after every chapter
  • 75-question pre-test
  • lots of helpful charts
Publisher Saunders Comprehensive
Model n/a
Weight 4.5 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

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Last updated on May 19, 2017 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.


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