Kaplan Review and WINNERS!

The time has come… 🙂

I finally had a chance to sit down and flip through Kaplan NCLEX-RN: Strategies, Practice, and Review last night and overall was very pleased. I used their previous edition as one of my own study aids and found their test-taking strategy section to be especially helpful.

One thing this book is not is a review of nursing school content. If you feel you need to review your A&P, your patho, or your nursing assessments/interventions, you need to look elsewhere (I would recommend Hurst or Saunders). However, that is not to say the book is not helpful. The practice tests and questions will help you identify the content that you do need to review, and then you can seek out additional resources if needed. That’s how I did it. I went through this book first, analyzed my weaknesses and went from there.

Here’s how the book breaks down:

  • Part 1: Helpful hints about how to best use the book; an overview of the NCLEX-RN (they describe it as an “endurance test” – I would agree, and that includes the preparation); a helpful explanation about computerized adaptive testing; two chapters on test-taking strategies…definitely the most helpful part of the book for me!
  • Part 2: Content Review. Like I said, this book is not a review of nursing school content. However, it does review NCLEX exam content according to the revised 2010-11 test plan (one chapter for each content category). NCLEX questions are integrated, meaning they are usually not going to just test your knowledge of a single medication or disease. You’re going to get a question about an obstetrical patient who was preeclamptic and had a C-section, and be asked about a priority postop nursing intervention. 😉  See how that’s not just an OB question? Each chapter concludes with practice questions, and the answers offer not only rationales but provide the test plan content category so you can track the areas where you are struggling.
  • Part 3: Practice Test. Paper practice tests annoy me because they are nothing like the real NCLEX. But they are NCLEX-style questions, and the best way to prepare yourself for this test is to practice those questions and get familiar with how they ask them! I would encourage you to get your hands on as many practice questions as you can!
  • Part 4: Tips about the licensure process. Most nursing schools help you through this process, but there is a helpful chapter for international nurses preparing for the NCLEX in order to get licensed in the U.S.
  • Part 5: Other exam resources. I barely even glanced at these in my copy, but they’re there if you need ’em. There is a helpful nursing terminology glossary, which might be good to review before taking the test. You never know what unfamiliar terms might pop up on the NCLEX! 🙂
  • CD-ROM (compatible with both PCs and Macs): Full-length practice test that is meant to simulate the format of the actual NCLEX. I would recommend taking this in an environment that also simulates the NCLEX (no distractions, no music, no food/drink, just a piece of paper and a pen with you for calculations), to see how it feels and practice dealing with any test anxiety that comes up. After you take the test, you will get a detailed performance analysis – you will be able to see the answers with rationales and see a report analyzing where you need to review.

Kaplan does offer a “Passing Guarantee.” However, if you read the fine print, all this means is that if you are dissatisfied with the book you can return it and get your money back. They don’t offer remediation courses if you don’t pass the NCLEX using their book. And you have to return the book within 90 days of purchasing it.

So without further ado, here are our two randomly selected winners….

Nursing Anatomy


David Daigle

Congratulations! E-mail me at nurseteeny@gmail.com and I will get you your books! 🙂

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