Best NCLEX Prep Books

The NCLEX exam, also known as the National Council Licensure Examination, is a standardized exam that each state board of nursing uses to determine whether or not a candidate is prepared for entry-level nursing practice.

Are you looking for the best NCLEX prep book to prepare you for the NCLEX-RN exams in 2017?  Have a look at our team’s hand-picked list of the 5 best NCLEX books for 2017 and read reviews on why we recommend these resources as the most effective study guides.

The comparison chart below will help you to choose which study guide is right for your situation and which is the best to prepare for the exam.

Helpful Comparisons + Best Pricing Options







COMPANY Saunders Review Kaplan Publishing Lippincott NCLEX Review Elsevier Exam Cram
PRICE  $48.86  $27.44  $96.51  $52.30  $23.79
PRACTICE QUESTIONS  5200 600  6000 700 1250
PAGES  1152 540  1180  408  496
FORMAT Paperback Book, Online Access Paperback Book Paperback Book, Online Access  Paperback Book
Paperback Book
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Internet Access Internet Access Internet Access None None
MORE DETAILS Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review

Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN


Organized in 20 units and 77 chapters, the book offers detailed reviews of all of the nursing content areas that are relevant for the NCLEX-RN. Equally important is the guide’s provision of practice questions: Each chapter includes targeted multiple choice and alternate item review questions and there is a comprehensive test covering all subject areas in the book’s final unit. Every question is accompanied by detailed answers and explanations.

The book comes with a companion CD-ROM that offers, among other helpful features, additional audio and video questions simulating the actual test format.

Written by the most trusted name in NCLEX review, Linda Anne Silvestri, and updated to reflect the most current NCLEX test plan, Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN® Examination, 7th Edition is the book of choice for NCLEX examination review.

NCLEX-RN Premier 2017 with 2 Practice Tests: Online + Book + Video Tutorials + Mobile


Kaplan’s NCLEX-RN Premier includes:

  • 10 critical thinking paths to break down what exam questions are asking
  • 8 end-of-chapter practice sets to help you put critical thinking principles into action
  • 2 full-length practice tests to gauge your progress
  • 60 minutes of video tutorials
  • Digital version of the book for mobile study

The book offers a full-length NCLEX practice test as well as an answer key and detailed explanations for all the answers.  In addition, it offers access to a second NCLEX practice test online. All in all, this Kaplan book is likely the best NCLEX review book to complement the Saunders Comprehensive Review.

Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN


Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN, 12th edition is designed to help pre-licensure nursing students prepare to take the licensing examination. Students and faculty also use the book is as a study guide and practice tests for preparing for faculty-made examinations.

With its impressive number of 6,500 questions and answers, Lippincott’s Q&A is the giant among NCLEX practice guides. Moreover, the online resource allows users to take questions in either study and review mode.

One weakness of Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN is that a few categories such as leadership and management are not introduced as topics. However, the questions for these topics are included separately under other subjects.

HESI Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination


The HESI Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination, 5th Edition provides a comprehensive, all-in-one review of the information you need to know to not only succeed on the NCLEX-RN exam but also on your program’s HESI exit exam. Written in an easy-to-read outline format, this trusted guide breaks down chapters by clinical areas and the concepts emphasized on the NCLEX-RN exam. Rationales are provided for any incorrect answers or areas of weakness to help strengthen your understanding.

The companion Evolve website also offers 700 practice questions in both study and exam formats to give you valuable practice using the same electronic testing format you will face on the nursing school exit exam and on the NCLEX-RN exam.

One weakness of HESI Comprehensive Review is that does not give enough practice questions to really get into what you will see on test day. It contains a little too much review and not enough practice questions.

NCLEX-RN Practice Questions Exam Cram


NCLEX-RN Practice Questions Exam Cram is one of the best NCLEX review books when it comes to efficient and focused test preparation. It targets precisely the content areas that readers need to excel in for the highest possible test scores. With its 545 practice questions, practice exams, quick reference sheets, cram sheet tear card and alerts that highlight the most important points to remember for the exam, this is the top NCLEX study guide for last-minute brush-ups. You may need to purchase another guide if you’re looking for a more comprehensive subject review.

One weakness of NCLEX-RN Practice Questions Exam Cram is that some of the answer references have editing errors or are incorrect. This leaves you sometimes confused when it was really right.