After successfully graduating from nursing school, a nurse graduate must sign-up to take a licensure exam called the NCLEX exam. All 50 states and U.S. outlying territories require that nurses successfully pass the NCLEX exam before they can work as a nurse in their state or territory. There are two types of NCLEX exams, the NCLEX-PN & NCLEX-RN. The NCLEX-PN exam is taken by licensed practical nurses (L.P.N.) and the NCLEX-RN exam is taken by registered nurses (R.N). These two exams are not the same. Each exam contains different material so when studying for these exams students should use the right study guides.
There are many great resources on the market for nursing students to use to help them prepare for the NCLEX-RN exam. In addition, nursing schools usually require their nursing students to complete the ATIs or HESI exams before graduating. These study aids (ATIs & HESI) are geared to help nursing students prepare for what the NCLEX-RN exam will be like and what type of questions will most likely be on the NCLEX-RN exam. Nursing schools who require students to successfully pass the ATIs or HESI exams typically have high pass rates on the NCLEX-RN exam. This means that almost all of their students passed the NCLEX-RN exam on the first try.
NCLEX-RN Review Courses
One of the most popular tools that nursing students use to help them prepare for the NCLEX-RN exam are review courses. The reason review courses are so popular is because they work and students have had great results with them. There are two types of NCLEX-RN review courses for nursing students.
Types of NCLEX-RN Review Courses
Lectured Styled Review Courses
The first type is a lecture style review course where the nursing student attends lecture styled classes for typically 4 days (depends on the company offering the review course). Here a professor will highlight the most important study areas that will most likely be on NCLEX and teach you how to analyze and answer NCLEX questions. Majority of the NCLEX questions are not fact based questions. They are critically thinking questions where the student must know the facts already and apply it to how a particular situation would be handled based on the problems identified in the question. These questions can be tricky and require the student to think before answering.
There are many pros & cons about lecture styled NCLEX-RN review courses: Here is a list of them to consider when deciding what type of NCLEX-RN review is best for you:
- It is a whole review of all the important material you learned in nursing school condensed into 4-5 days. You won’t have to fumble through class notes and stress about things that may or not be on the exam.
- Depending on when you schedule your review course to your NCLEX-RN exam, the material will be fresh on your mind allowing you to recall information easier.
- Material is typically taught by registered nurses who have taken the NCLEX-RN exam.
- Gives you tips on how to answer NCLEX questions.
- Some companies offer a money back guarantee if you don’t pass the NCLEX-RN the first try, they will refund your money.
- Expensive: These classes can cost anywhere from $300-500. Plus what ever you will have to pay for lodging, travel, and food.
- Inconvenient Times & Traveling: Most review courses are only offered at certain times of the year and there may be a lapse in time compared to when you will actually take the NCLEX exam. Plus you may be required to drive long distances if a course is not offered in your area.
- Lack of Practice Questions: One of the best ways to study for the NCLEX-RN exam is to answer practice questions (lots of them). In addition, practicing review questions up to when you take the NCLEX-RN exam is a great way to study. Lecture review courses usually don’t provide you with thousands of practice questions compared to online review courses.
- Some money back guarantees have hidden details and the company may not honor it because you failed to meet their requirements. Always read the details!
- You can’t learn at your own speed: Due to the nature of these courses and the amount of material they have to teach in a short period of time, you will be exposed to a lot of material that you can not possibly all remember. Also, if you are a person who learns best on your own this type of course may not be for you due to the fast pace.
NCLEX-RN Online Review Courses
Several years ago the only type of NCLEX review courses available where lecture styled courses. However now available (for half the cost) are NCLEX-RN online review courses. These online courses allow you to learn at your own pace from the comfort of your home. Most online review courses contain over thousands of NCLEX-RN practice questions which eliminates the need for a huge review book. In addition, online NCLEX-RN review course are interactive with animations, videos, audio, and other tools to help you learn the material.
However, it is very important to know that before you decide to purchase a NCLEX online review course to go with a reputable company that is known in the nursing community. If you do an online search through Google you will see hundreds of companies promoting their products, but they are no named companies. You must be aware of these companies because they are sometimes selling out-dated NCLEX-RN exam material. Always look at the year when the material was developed. Typically 2-3 years of the current year is okay.
Here are some pros and cons of NCLEX-RN online review courses:
- Cost less money compared to lecture styled review courses (usually $200-350). In addition, you will not have to pay for lodging or traveling because you will do it on your own time for your computer.
- Learn on your own time that fits your schedule. You will not have to take off from work or hire a babysitter because you can set up your own study times based on your schedule.
- You are not limited to 4-5 days to learn material like with lecture styled review courses. You can spend as much time as you want studying a specific area that you have trouble with.
- No driving back and forth to attend classes.
- Most online review courses contain over thousands of review practice questions along with pre-assessment tools that tells you what areas you need to focus the most on.
- Some companies offer Live videos for you to watch to help you study and ask questions.
- You can review NCLEX-RN exam material right until you take the exam. No lapse in time like the lecture styled classes where you have to schedule a date.
- Typically no money back guarantee is offered.
- Requires you have computer knowledge.
- You have to be self-motivated to keep studying.
- Some people learn better in a classroom rather than online.
- Not all online review programs are the same so research is important.
What NCLEX-RN Online Review Course is the Best?
There are many NCLEX-RN online review courses available. As stated above, it is best to go with a company that is known in the nursing community. There is one NCLEX-RN online review course that stands above everyone else and was developed by two of the most trusted NCLEX Review developers.
These companies are HESI & Saunders. HESI is a company used by hundreds of nursing schools in the U.S.. Nursing schools use HESI to help their nursing students prepare for the NCLEX. HESI provides nursing schools with entrance, mid-curricular, and exit exams. In addition to HESI, Saunders is the company that makes the best NCLEX study guides to help students pass the NCLEX-RN. Saunders NCLEX Study Guides are the most purchased NCLEX Study Guides on the market.
These two companies have came together to form a NCLEX-RN online review course. This review course is called: HESI/Saunders Online Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination. This online review course offers everything a lecture style course would plus more for a less price.
*Disclosure: While I highly recommend these resources which typically get great reviews from nursing students, I do want to disclose that our website does have an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com. So by purchasing these products you also help support our site.
When you purchase their NCLEX-RN online review course you get the following:
- 10 NCLEX Study Preparation Interactive Modules with Exams at the end of each Module (Review of Material you learn in Nursing School & material to expect on the NCLEX-RN exam)
- Developmental Stages and Transitions in Early Life
- Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
- Mental Health Concepts
- Psychosocial Alterations
- Management of Care
- Safety and Infection Control
- Basic Care and Comfort
- Pharmacology and Intravenous Therapies
- Monitoring for Health Problems
- Physiological Health Problems
- Pre-Assessment Tool that shows you what areas you need to study on the most.
- Based on your pre-assessment tool, you get a personalized study calendar that is individualized based on your troubled areas.
- Practice Test on the following areas:
- Adult Health
- Child Health
- Mental Health
- All questions include rationales and test taking strategies.
- Comprehensive Exam & Post-Test
- Review includes a total of 2,500 NCLEX styles Practice Questions
- NCLEX format questions such as multiple response, ordered response, fill in the blank, hot spot, graphic, chart, audio and video
- HESI Live Review Videos
- Study tools include: illustrations, animations, and audio
The HESI/Saunders NCLEX-RN Online review is a one of a kind NCLEX-RN online review course. It provides nursing students with all the necessary study tools they need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Unlike lecture styled review courses, the student can learn at their own pace from their home. In addition, it cost must less than lecture style courses. One of the ways to be successful on the NCLEX-RN exam is to answer practice questions which is something this online review course provides. The HESI/Saunders online review course is a great value and excellent study aid.