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Best Review Books for the NCLEX

Preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) involves many months of going over all that you’ve learned in nursing school. Even the mere task of selecting a good review book is crucial in making sure that that preparation is efficient and effective, especially with myriad choices on the market. Which publishers & editors have had great success in the review book industry? What are the trusted names? Are there better options that are less expensive? In this guide, we introduce to you some of the best review books for the NCLEX. 

Best of luck–we’re rooting for you! 

Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination

By Linda Anne Silvestri and Angela E. Silvestri

The Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN is considered by many to be the best of the best in terms of test prep. The 8th edition is the most updated version and it contains over 5,200 questions with an online accompaniment. Rationales and explanations are provided together with the answer key, allowing students to understand their choices. Many test-taking strategies are included as well, even non-academic ones. 

Saunders truly lives up to its being “comprehensive” and many nurses who’ve successfully gone through the NCLEX-RN themselves swear by this review book. 

Purchase the book here.

Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN

By Diane Billings and Desiree Hensel

The 13th edition of the Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN is the most updated version of this test prep book. It is packed with quick practice questions that are consistent with the style and format of the exam itself. 

Like the Saunders, there is an online counterpart to the Lippincott Q&A. It also has 7 comprehensive exams, so that you can conduct timed mock tests for yourself. 

Purchase the book here.

Illustrated Study Guide for the NCLEX-RN

By JoAnn Zerwekh

What’s special about the Illustrated Study Guide is that it makes test prep much more enjoyable through colorful drawings and cartoons. There are very witty mnemonics included, too. By making the exam more visual, studying becomes less intimidating. 

About 2,500 questions are included in its online companion that can be tailor fit to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. 

Overall, the Illustrated Study Guide is a light test prep resource that could supplement your regimen in a uniquely gratifying way. Purchase the book here.

NCLEX-RN Content Review Guide by Kaplan

By Kaplan Nursing

Kaplan is a household name for test prep across all kinds of examinations. Their NCLEX-RN Content Review Guide is no exception. It puts heavy emphasis on must-knows and formats them in outlines and summary charts. The tried-and-tested strategies that have put Kaplan on the map guide the flow of the book. Updated annually, Kaplan, too has a well-known online complement that will assist you in your study. Purchase the book here.

We hope we’ve helped you narrow down your choices in the search of the best NCLEX-RN review book. Always take into account your study style and what will work best for you. What works for the majority might not apply to your unique way of learning.


Nonetheless, what should be common to everyone is to study well, take lots of practice tests, and familiarize yourself with the exam format. It will boost your confidence and help you on your way. 

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