The Best NCLEX Review Courses 2018

Best NCLEX Review Courses

Are you getting ready to take the NCLEX and need to find the best NCLEX review course? Look no further.

It takes a special person to be a nurse. The poet Maya Angelou once said “As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul, and body of our patients, their families, and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Indeed, you are about to provide a service for which many people will be profoundly thankful.

To get your license to practice though you must first pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s (NCSBN) NCLEX. Depending on your nursing aspirations, you can either take the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN exam. To help you with either, we survey in the following the best NCLEX review courses.

Kaplan NCLEX Review

  • Best Classes
  • Self-Paced Study: $399
  • Classroom Instruction (Live or Online): $499

Industry powerhouse Kaplan understands how to deliver top-notch classes for high stakes test prep. They are the authors of one of the best NCLEX books, and they also excel with their outstanding NCLEX prep courses.

Kaplan offers 21 hours of classroom instruction with their expert nursing faculty, which is the most classroom instruction hours of any NCLEX review course on the market. You can take their courses in-person or online. Their live-streamed online classes are the best we’ve seen in any high stakes test prep course.  With Kaplan’s technology, you can raise your virtual hand to ask questions. Instructors will answer you in real-time, just like in an in-person class, giving you the instant clarification you need.

They also offer a self-paced course using on-demand video lessons covering over 300 nursing content topics and practice materials. This option gives you the flexibility to study at any time.

Kaplan’s curriculum for both their classroom courses and self-paced course is based on developing your clinical reasoning skills. You won’t just memorize right answers, you will develop good judgement and critical thinking skills.

Kaplan is also at the top of our list of the best NCLEX review courses as they offer so many opportunities to practice.  With both their classroom and self-paced courses, they provide 3,000 practice questions in a simulated test interface, 7 online practice tests, and access to additional questions in their online Qbank. Practicing the types of questions you will see on your actual NCLEX exam is a great way to boost your confidence.

Overall you can’t go wrong with Kaplan. They are an industry leader for a reason. They simply deliver outstanding test prep materials. If you learn best with classroom instruction, this is the best NCLEX review course for you.


  • Best Personalized Support
  • Virtual ATI: $500/RN; $475/PN
  • Live Review: $399

Coming in a close second in our Best NCLEX Review Course survey are the personalized courses offered by ATI, a company dedicated to nursing education. The 12-week ATI course is built entirely around your individual needs and study habits. When you register for the Virtual ATI course, you are assigned a Personal Coach, who is a trained nurse-educator. Your Personal Coach serves as your tutor, mentor, study partner, and champion as you prepare to take the NCLEX.

This course includes access to an online, mobile-friendly classroom full of study materials and videos. With your Personal Coach, you will develop an individual study plan that fits into your schedule. You will also take regular assessments, and your Personal Coach will work with you on your weaker areas so that you are fully prepared for test day.

ATI also offers Live Review sessions that include their online classroom features as well as in-person study group sessions. The locations for these sessions are limited though.

We also really like their mobile apps, which can be purchased even if you choose not to take one of their courses. These tools allow for quick study on the go, which is great when you are trying to fit studying  into your busy life. Their Active Stack App focuses only on the pharmacology portion of the NCLEX. They also offer a Mobile Mentor App that offers nearly 800 practice questions.

ATI boasts a 97% pass rate if you take their Virtual ATI course and a 99% pass rate if you attend their Live Review sessions. These are impressive numbers. If you do take their course and don’t pass, they offer additional services to support you in taking the test again. If you like having this level of personalized attention, the ATI course is a great option to help you pass your NCLEX exam.

Hurst NCLEX Review

  • Cram-like Class Schedules for Those Short on Time
  • Live Classes (offered in-person or streamed online): $425/RN; $325/PN
  • Self-Paced: $325/RN; $275/PN

The Hurst in-person and live-streamed classes offer a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on the must know core content areas of the NCLEX.  They do it over a few very intense days though, making this a great option if you want a full review course but are short on time. Their in-person classes are offered over a 3-day span, and their live-streamed classes are offered over a 4-day period. It is a lot of information to take in, but if you like to learn in classes but can’t take a course that stretches out over weeks, this is a great option for you.

In addition to their classes, they offer online access to core content lectures that reinforce what you learned in class. You can also use these to review your weaker areas. These courses also come with study resources and a question bank that includes 6 practice exams.

If you prefer a self-paced course, Hurst has an online platform that includes core content and specialty area video lectures, resource materials, a question bank, practice exams, and a student workbook.  With this course, you can also ask questions via email to a “Nurse Coach” who can provide the clarification you need.

While it is intense, their curriculum and support are good. This makes Hurst one of the very best NCLEX prep courses to help you pass your exam.

D & D NCLEX Review

  • Short lessons for better retention and flexibility
  • NCLEX Online Crash Course: 1 month: $50; 2 months: $85; 3 months: $125
  • NCLEX Online Plus: $300

D & D stands out as one of the top NCLEX courses because of their short lessons that are accessed on your favorite devices – including mobile! – which helps you retain the information better and allows you to fit studying into your busy schedule.  More educational companies are moving to shorter lessons in their instructional design as research is showing that people retain more information that is delivered in shorter chunks as opposed to longer lectures. Anyone who has nodded off during a 3-hour long lecture can probably relate to this! D & D has over 160 video lessons that are short.  You can fit them into your busy schedule and will retain the information better, which will help you on exam day.

They also offer an amazing value. With their Crash Course, you get a personalized study plan based on the number of hours you can devote to studying each week.  They also continually assess you to determine your weak areas, then offer advice and feedback for improvement. Through their online platform, you can access their video lessons, course content, practice questions, and email support. You get all of this for as low as $50 a month.

Their NCLEX Plus course includes 3-month access to their online platform. It also includes simulated practice tests using a Computer Adaptive Learning (CAT) program, just like you will encounter on the real NCLEX. This is a great way to learn test-taking strategies and to gain confidence in taking your exam.


  • Best Personalized Study Plan
  • Choose your course length: 3 weeks ($50), 5 weeks ($70), 8 weeks ($100), 15 weeks ($160)

Sometimes it is best to go straight to the source! The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), the group that develops the NCLEX test, has also developed online study tools to help you pass the NCLEX exam. Their curriculum and practice questions are among the best because they know exactly what you will encounter on the test!

The NCSBN course is self-paced. You subscribe for the number of weeks you plan to study. You are given a personalized study plan based on how many hours you can devote to studying each week. Their online resources include over 2000 pages of content organized by NCLEX test subjects and over 1300 practice questions. They also offer over 30 quizzes to help you build test taking strategies.  You can also ask questions via email, and a trained instructor will give you the answers you need to help you pass your exam. We also really liked their mobile app that focuses solely on pharmacology. This gives you on-the-go study resources to help fit studying into your busy life.

Board Vitals NCLEX

  • Best Simulation of Real Exam
  • Online Platform Subscription: One Month: $39; Three Months: $59; Six Months: $89

We will note below that the NCLEX uses a Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) platform.  The people over at Board Vitals have built a similar platform, offering you the best opportunity to take practice exams that simulate the real experience. This is a great way to identify your weak areas, develop test strategies, and gain confidence in your test taking abilities and knowledge prior to your exam day.

Board Vitals uses an impressive platform that includes over 3200 practice questions that come with highly detailed explanations. You can fully understand why the answer is correct and why the other answers are wrong. You can also build customized tests to get extra practice in specific subjects.  Board Vitals is very reasonably priced. You can choose different monthly subscription options, giving you flexibility in planning your study and budget.

Graduate X

  • Great for those on a budget
  • One year subscription to online platform: $289

Graduate X NCLEX review has made our list of best NCLEX review courses because of the value they deliver. For a flat fee of $289, you get a full year’s subscription to their online platform, which offers over 4500 practice questions, video lessons on NCLEX subjects, test-taking strategies, and access to their online community for extra support. They are continually updating content and adding questions so you will always have the most current resources to help you study. This is an incredible value. Their platform is available from all your favorite devices including mobile, which will help you fit studying into your busy life.


  • Best Practice Questions
  • Monthly subscription options ranging from $79 – $299

UWorld’s NCLEX Review is focused entirely on practice questions, and they have a lot of them. Their online platform includes over 1900 challenging questions. We found that their questions are sometimes more challenging than those found on the actual exam, which is a great way to prepare. If you can master these questions, you will do well on the NCLEX exam.

Further, UWorld also ties detailed rationales to each of their questions, which allows you to fully understand the right answer. You can study key concepts quickly by reviewing the questions and rationales for the subjects that are important to you. Their platform is well organized so you can quickly find the sections you want to study.  They have also built their platform to mimic the real NCLEX testing platform, which will help you familiarize yourself with the CAT testing style. Taking practice questions offered by UWorld will help you gain confidence for test day.

Brilliant Nurse

  • Best Flexible Course Options
  • Review Questions Option: Starting at $20 a month
  • Review Package: Starting at $75 a month
  • 30 Day Exam Prep: $199

Brilliant Nurse NCLEX review offers a variety of packages, which means you pay for only the options you want. If you are only looking for study materials, you can subscribe to their Review Package, which offers online access to their extensive learning library full of prep materials for each section of the exam. Do you only want to take practice questions? Then you can subscribe to the Review Questions option, which gives you a continuous stream of practice questions to help you prepare. These options are available on a monthly subscription basis, so you can choose how long you want to study and you can cancel at any time.

The bottom line is that on top of quality and affordability, Brilliant Nurse gives you tremendous flexibility. This winning combination is the main reason why they made our list of best NCLEX Review Courses.

Khan Academy

  • Great for people on a budget – it’s free!
  • Cost: Free!

If you are looking for free study resources, Khan Academy offers the best NCLEX review materials at absolutely no cost.  They offer comprehensive review materials for every subject found on the NCLEX. They also have exercises and practice questions to help you prepare for exam day. These resources offer a great option for self-paced study, or they can be used to supplement other prep course materials.

A Final Note

Both the NCLEX-RN and the NCLEX-PN exams are given using a program called Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT). NCLEX-RN test-takers will complete a minimum of 75 questions, and NCLEX-PN test-takers will complete a minimum of 85 questions. Based on your answers to these core questions, the system determines if you pass or fail the subject area standard or if you need to answer more questions. The CAT system will continue to ask questions until you pass, fail, or hit the maximum number of questions, which is 265 RN candidates and 205 questions for PN candidates.

Test taking can be stressful, but the NCLEX offers the opportunity to answer a minimum number of questions to pass the exam. We here at Test Study Guides would much rather answer 75 questions than 265, and we are guessing you would too! Taking an NCLEX Review Course is a great way to prepare to pass your exam with the minimum number of questions. Although using just the top NCLEX review books can also lead to the desired results, the best NCLEX prep courses will also teach you the right test-taking strategies and techniques and thus boost your chances of passing the exam on the first try, which we should all aim for.