The Best NCLEX-RN Review Books of 2021

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Once you’ve worked your way through nursing school, the last thing you probably want is to take another test, but that’s what you’re going to have to do. The NCLEX-RN is required in order to get your nursing license and start working on your own. But in order to pass it, you’re going to need one of the best NCLEX-RN Review books to help you.

We’re going to take a look at some of the best books you’ll find and what to review for NCLEX-RN. That way, you’re going to be ahead of the curve when it comes time to actually start preparing for the test. We’ll look at a few of our all-time favorite books that will give you the best start, some pretty good options, and a few budget-friendly options.

If you want to just get back to studying, get our top choice for NCLEX-RN review books here

Our Top Favorite
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN® Examination, 8e
Our Top Runner Up
NCLEX-RN Drug Guide (300 Medications You Need to Know for the Exam)
Our Top Value Pick
HESI A2 Practice Test Questions 2020-2021: 4 Full-Length Practice Tests for the HESI Admission Assessment Exam
Book Title
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination 8th Edition
NCLEX Drug Guide: 300 Medications You Need to Know for the Exam
NCLEX-RN Practice Test Questions 2020-2021
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Favorite
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN® Examination, 8e
Book Title
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination 8th Edition
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
NCLEX-RN Drug Guide (300 Medications You Need to Know for the Exam)
Book Title
NCLEX Drug Guide: 300 Medications You Need to Know for the Exam
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Value Pick
HESI A2 Practice Test Questions 2020-2021: 4 Full-Length Practice Tests for the HESI Admission Assessment Exam
Book Title
NCLEX-RN Practice Test Questions 2020-2021
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-08-31

Our Favorites for Best NCLEX-RN Review Books

We’re going to start with three of our favorite books. These are some of the best guides that will go over all of the information that you need and help you get really ready for the exam. They should go more in-depth and provide more comprehensive study material, whether it’s the best NLEX review book Reddit recommends or something those who took the exam want you to see.

Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination 8th Edition by Linda Anne Silvestri & Angela E. Silvestri

Saunders Comprehensive Review comes with over 5,200 practice questions, which provides you with an extensive amount of information. You’ll also get a comprehensive exam that allows you to see what the actual test looks like. Alongside the Saunders Comprehensive Review text, you’ll also get access to the online system that offers even more questions and content. Questions are included based on different categories, and there are even mnemonics that help make the information easier to read and understand.

There are audio review summaries for areas like fluids and electrolytes, acid-base balance, and pharmacology. There’s also additional information about triage management, prioritization, and delegation. In Saunders Comprehensive Review, you’ll find updated information that’s related directly to the current iteration of the test. On top of all of that, Silvestri provides case scenarios to help you learn more about applying assessments and concepts in real-life situations.

Why Choose This NCLEX-RN Review Book:

  • Pyramid Alert boxes highlight the most essential information, so it’s easy to find
  • Clinical Judgement Situations help evaluate critical thinking skills

What Makes This NCLEX-RN Review Book Unique:

  • Over 5,200 questions to provide even more review material
  • Offers access to online review materials as well as the text
On Sale
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN® Examination, 8e
  • Silvestri PhD RN FAAN, Linda Anne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1152 Pages - 10/07/2019 (Publication Date) - Saunders (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-08-31


Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN by Diane Billings & Desiree Hensel

Used by students as well as faculty, Lippincott Q&A Review is filled with questions that can help you keep on track while you’re studying for the NCLEX-RN. Lippincott Q&A Review relates to each of the four primary areas of the exam, including obstetrics, medical-surgical, mental health nursing, and pediatrics. On top of that, you’ll get six exams that help you get a better understanding of what the exam is going to be like and make sure you’re prepared.

Over 6,000 high-level thinking questions are included to ensure you learn the higher-order thinking and the active learning skills that you need to pass the exam. The questions are even written in the same style as they would be on the real exam so you can feel more comfortable when you get to exam day. Questions in Lippincott Q&A Review are focused on the most critical areas and the information that you’re most likely to see in your exam.

Why Choose This NCLEX-RN Review Book:

  • Provides in-depth information related to all four of the primary areas of the exam
  • Includes online access to offer even more content and educational material

What Makes This NCLEX-RN Review Book Unique:

  • Approximately 6,000 questions written in the style of the NCLEX-RN exam to help you get prepared
  • Offers practice exams as well as audio questions that are reminiscent of the actual exam
On Sale
Lippincott Q&A Review for NCLEX-RN (Lippincott's Review For NCLEX-RN)
  • Billings EdD RN FAAN, Diane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1152 Pages - 04/09/2019 (Publication Date) - LWW (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-08-31


Pearson Reviews & Rationales: Comprehensive Review for NCLEX-RN by Maryann Hogan

Pearson Reviews & Rationales is one of the top review books for those looking to study for the NCLEX-RN. You will get content that is followed with extensive practice questions, relative in difficulty to that of the actual exam questions. You’ll see information organized based on categories of client needs, and each section relates to different concepts that you will need to know in order to do well on the exam.

With Pearson Reviews & Rationales, you will get 1,600 questions as well as 4,000 additional questions via the online platform. The online platform allows you to access all of the information directly from your mobile device, so you have the ability to study while you are on the go. Through the online platform, there is even the opportunity to simulate an authentic exam or to focus the questions you’re looking at in specific areas.

Why Choose This NCLEX-RN Review Book:

  • Includes access to over 5,000 questions for extensive review
  • Offers customizable review questions formatting to focus on areas of struggle

What Makes This NCLEX-RN Review Book Unique:

  • Information is available on any mobile device through the online platform
  • Includes detailed reporting to showcase problem areas for students
On Sale
Pearson Reviews & Rationales: Comprehensive Review for NCLEX-RN (Hogan, Pearson Reviews & Rationales Series)
  • Hogan, Mary Ann (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1392 Pages - 01/09/2017 (Publication Date) - Pearson (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-08-31


Runner Ups for Best NCLEX-RN Review Books

Next up are our runner ups. These are books that aren’t quite as good as our favorites, but they’re still going to give you a good amount of information. They might be a little more general or focus more on a specific area rather than everything you need.

NCLEX Drug Guide: 300 Medications You Need to Know for the Exam by Kaplan Nursing

The NCLEX Drug Guide includes flashcard-style pages that detail information about 300 of the most essential medications for the exam. With Kaplan Nursing, you will learn about these most prescribed medications in a format that is easy to take with you on the go. Each medication is grouped according to the category that it falls under, and content is updated continuously to ensure it is as accurate as possible.

The index for NCLEX Drug Guide includes both generic names and brand names, so they are easy to identify and provides phonetic pronunciation keys as well to ensure you can better remember and discuss each medication. There is also an appendix included that provides medical abbreviations. All of the information is presented in a way that makes it easier to memorize for the exam.

Why Choose This NCLEX-RN Review Book:

  • Provides detailed information for 300 most prescribed medications
  • Organizes medications related to relevant categories for easier memorization

What Makes This NCLEX-RN Review Book Unique:

  • Includes brand names and generic names as well as phonetic pronunciation and medical abbreviations
  • Information is presented in a concise way that makes it easier to study in short time frames
NCLEX-RN Drug Guide (300 Medications You Need to Know for the Exam)
  • Kaplan Nursing (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 08/06/2019 (Publication Date) - Kaplan Publishing (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-08-31


HESI Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination by HESI 

The HESI Comprehensive Review includes over 900 practice questions that are written in the same format as the actual exam. You’ll also get hint boxes and tables that include the most relevant information to study. Critical thinking questions are designed to encourage you to think carefully about the data, and they provide rationales with the answers so you can see why different answers are right or wrong.

All of the information is organized in categories by different clinical areas, which makes it much easier for you to find the information that you need at different points in time. Along with that, HESI Comprehensive Review is organized the same from one chapter to the next, so all of the information is always laid out the same. There is also an online portion that gives you access to even more questions.

Why Choose This NCLEX-RN Review Book:

  • Online access includes an additional 300 questions for more in-depth study
  • Content is updated frequently to ensure it meets current requirements

What Makes This NCLEX-RN Review Book Unique:

  • Provides different types of questions to mimic the format of the exam
  • Contains pharmacology tables that detail information needed related to drug therapy
On Sale
HESI Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination
  • HESI (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 10/03/2019 (Publication Date) - Elsevier (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-08-31


NCLEX-RN 2019 & 2020 Study Guide by Test Prep Books

Test Prep Books has outlined everything you need in order to pass your NCLEX-RN exam. Each of the different sections that are represented on the exam is also represented directly in NCLEX-RN Study Guide. This includes areas like reduction of risk potential, basic care and comfort, and management of care. Also included are plenty of practice questions that are designed to help you prepare for the actual exam and the style of the questions that will be there.

Each question includes answers that are detailed and explained, so you know what you got right, what you got wrong, and why. You’ll also get some tips and strategies that are designed to help you pass your exam the first time through and a breakdown that shows all of the things you’ll need to know for the test. There is also a comprehensive review in each of the different chapters to make sure you understand the material before you move on to the next chapter.

Why Choose This NCLEX-RN Review Book:

  • Includes detailed answers so you can see what the correct answers are and why
  • Details information for each of the different sections on the exam

What Makes This NCLEX-RN Review Book Unique:

  • Includes test-taking strategies to make sure you are better prepared for the exam
  • Offers practice questions that are designed in the same style as questions on the actual exam

Last update: 2021-08-31


Value Picks for Best NCLEX-RN Review Books

The final section is our value picks. These books are great for those who need to study but want to do it in a little more budget-friendly way. Each of these books will help you get prepared but might not have as much detailed information.

NCLEX-RN Practice Test Questions 2020-2021 by Ascencia Nursing Exam Prep Team

If you want some study material in a quick and easy format, then NCLEX-RN Practice Test Questions are an excellent option for you. You will get over 1,000 exam questions that will help you to understand the material and continue to improve. You’ll also get a range of test tips that are designed to make it easier for you to get a good score on your exam. Ascencia Nursing offers graphics as well as real-life examples in the NCLEX-RN Practice Test Questions Guide, which help you get a better grasp on the information.

The goal of NCLEX-RN Practice Test Questions is to help you pass your exam the first time through. This is done through all of the different information that’s contained in the guide and the professionals who are responsible for creating the content as well. You’ll get not only the answers to the questions but also the rationale behind each of the answers.

Why Choose This NCLEX-RN Review Book:

  • Includes graphics and real-life examples to present the information in a more comprehensive way
  • Provides over 1,000 questions that are modeled after questions on the real exam

What Makes This NCLEX-RN Review Book Unique:

  • Includes rationales behind each of the answers for review questions in the book
  • Offers test-taking tips and strategies to make it easier to pass the exam the first time through
On Sale
HESI A2 Practice Test Questions 2020-2021: 4 Full-Length Practice Tests for the HESI Admission Assessment Exam
  • Ascencia HESI A2 Exam Prep Team (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 292 Pages - 01/17/2020 (Publication Date) - Ascencia Test Prep (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-08-31


NCLEX-RN Prep Plus 2019 by Kaplan Nursing

Newly updated for the latest version of the exam, NCLEX-RN Prep Plus 2019 is one of the best NCLEX-RN review books 2019 has to offer. Written by a company that’s well known for exam prep, Kaplan, you’ll get 10 different critical thinking pathways that present you with options for how you’re going to take the exam as well as how to think through each of the various questions that you’ll be presented with. There are a total of two practice tests in the book, as well as an additional on included in the online system.

With NCLEX-RN Prep Plus 2019, you’ll get video tutorial and review strategies that you can check out online from anywhere you want. You’ll also have hundreds of practice questions and a full digital version of the book. You will be able to take your information and your study with you wherever you go.

Why Choose This NCLEX-RN Review Book:

  • Offers 10 different ways to break down the questions within the exam for different styles of learning
  • Includes practice questions to help you learn more about critical thinking

What Makes This NCLEX-RN Review Book Unique:

  • Includes a total of three different practice tests to prepare you for the actual exam
  • Includes online access to all materials so you can efficiently study while on the go
On Sale
NCLEX-RN Prep Plus 2019: 2 Practice Tests + Proven Strategies + Online + Video (Kaplan Test Prep)
  • Kaplan Nursing (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 540 Pages - 03/05/2019 (Publication Date) - Kaplan Publishing (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-08-31


CliffsNotes NCLEX-RN Cram Plan by Michael Reid

If you’re looking to study in short bursts, you’re going to want CliffsNotes NCLEX-RN Cram Plan. You’ll get timed calendars that will help you figure out how to study, depending on the amount of time you have left. You’re also going to get a diagnostic test that can point you in the right direction for just how to study and make the most of your time. There are also subject reviews that offer lists for the most critical information.

CliffsNotes includes a model practice test that includes answers with explanations so you can see what the answers are and how to make the right choice. You’ll get more information about how to study and how to pass the exam no matter how much time you have left.

Why Choose This NCLEX-RN Review Book:

  • Offers schedules and guides based on how long you have left to study
  • Presents information in list formats that are easier to memorize in a short span of time

What Makes This NCLEX-RN Review Book Unique:

  • Includes diagnostic test to gauge where you are when you start studying to locate focus areas
  • Includes answers and rationales for questions on the practice test
On Sale
CliffsNotes NCLEX-RN Cram Plan
  • Reid M.S. RN, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 09/11/2018 (Publication Date) - Cliffs Notes (Publisher)

Last update: 2021-08-31


How to Choose the Best NCLEX-RN Review Books for You

If you’re not sure about the books we’ve mentioned or if you want even more help in studying, these are a few essential things you should be looking out for when it comes to choosing the right books.

Where do you struggle? What are the topics that you seem to have the hardest time with? Are you great in the management of care section but not so great with physiological adaptations? Maybe you’re strong on safety and infection control but not so much on pharmacological. These are areas that you should be looking for in the books you choose.

How much time do you have to study at once? Are you able to sit down for an hour or longer to study? Or do you need a guide that is broken into small, bite-sized chunks? If you’re studying on the bus on your way to work or school, you may need a book with bullets or quick information. If you’re going to sit down at home undisturbed, you could go with a standard chapter style book.

How do you learn best? Do you learn well by reading long textbook style writing? Do you learn best if the writing style is more interesting? Do you need questions or bullet points at the end of each section? Look for books that fit these basic needs or the basics of how you actually learn and start from there.

Wrapping Things Up: The Best NCLEX-RN Review Books

To sum up, here are the best NCLEX-RN review books we looked at today:

Our Top Favorite
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN® Examination, 8e
Our Top Runner Up
NCLEX-RN Drug Guide (300 Medications You Need to Know for the Exam)
Our Top Value Pick
HESI A2 Practice Test Questions 2020-2021: 4 Full-Length Practice Tests for the HESI Admission Assessment Exam
Book Title
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination 8th Edition
NCLEX Drug Guide: 300 Medications You Need to Know for the Exam
NCLEX-RN Practice Test Questions 2020-2021
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Favorite
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN® Examination, 8e
Book Title
Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination 8th Edition
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Runner Up
NCLEX-RN Drug Guide (300 Medications You Need to Know for the Exam)
Book Title
NCLEX Drug Guide: 300 Medications You Need to Know for the Exam
Prime Eligible?
Our Top Value Pick
HESI A2 Practice Test Questions 2020-2021: 4 Full-Length Practice Tests for the HESI Admission Assessment Exam
Book Title
NCLEX-RN Practice Test Questions 2020-2021
Prime Eligible?

Last update: 2021-08-31

If you’re looking to get some great review books, you can absolutely find them here. In our favorites column, we have Saunders Comprehensive Review, which really does go over a whole lot of everything you need for the exam. Out of the runner ups, we have NCLEX Drug Guide, which gives you all of the information you need about 300 of the most commonly used and prescribed medications. And finally, the NCLEX-RN Practice Test Questions comes from our value books and offers detailed information as well as plenty of practice questions and study tips.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, check out our other medical book reviews here:

Here are a few other medical book reviews you may find interesting:

> Best HESI A2 Review Books

> Best NCLEX Review Books

> Best NCLEX-PN Review Books

> Best CCRN Review Books

> Best CNA Study Guides

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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