As far as studying for the NCLEX I know two major companies that provide a review course and countless books you can buy. I choose between Kaplan and Hurst review and I ended up going with Kaplan for several reasons. I also have the Saunder's NCLEX comprehensive review book but I honestly haven't used it, I bought it more for my HESI Exit exam and used it more for that. Both Kaplan and Hurst offer some great programs for NCLEX and this is just my personal reasons for choosing Kaplan, please if you are preparing for NCLEX look at both programs. I'm just gonna list a brief over view of the programs and the reasons I choose Kaplan.
Hurst NCLEX Review:
They offer a ton of content and when I saw a ton I mean a TON! They almost retake you through nursing school in 4 days with quick to the point overviews of important topics. We had the Hurst videos circulating through my program for several years and if you know someone from the semester ahead of you or a faculty member who had them then you more than likely got a copy of the videos. However I think the videos are some of the older review videos from several years ago, Hurst does keep updated with the latest NCLEX test plan to provide the most current information. I got a copy last fall and tried to use them to study for HESI. Needless to say I couldn't cram all that info into an already fried brain. The women on the videos is hilarious and she keeps you entertained. If you feel you need a content review hurst is the way to go. Watching the videos I had so many "ahah" moments where things just made sense and I felt like "Duh why wasn't it this easy sitting in adult health one and two?!" however they don't offer much strategy I felt and I need strategy. A teacher helping me to pass my HESI told me "your really smart you just forget really simple things like turn your patient, or you can't remember how to look at a question and answer it". I needed a strategy to take the test not a review of everything I learned in nursing school. The videos were helpful and I did have some "ahah" moments where all the pieces fell together but they didn't provide me with enough strategy. I also went off the program people in the semester above me used because all of them passed their NCLEX the first time around (my school has an incredibly high pass rate for the NCLEX I think its like 98 or 99%). No one really used HURST before so I was a little unsure, this semester though quite a few people did sign up to take the review (I wasn't one of them).
I choose Kaplan because everyone from the semester above me took Kaplan and passed the first time, they offered me a strategy or a way to think during the exam, I was going to get a zillion practice questions (Hurst offers practice questions as well), I got NCLEX testing area specific review videos, for example one area is health promotion and maintenance, if your getting lower test scores on that area you can watch the review videos that only deal with health promotion and maintenance. This I really liked because you weren't reviewing cancer, or renal disease, or pregnancy, you were reviewing areas the nclex tests on like activities of daily living, mobility/immobility, nutrition, ect. You can also download a free book from kindle/amazon that goes along with the videos (hurst gives you a physical copy of their book during the review). I liked Kaplan's decision tree process and I really felt their thought process and the way they teach us to approach the exam was really helpful and suited my needs. You also got a book with Medication to know for NCLEX which I was in love with because I am weakest in pharmacology.
Overall the price for either review is around the same and they both offer a money back guarantee that if you fail the test they will refund your money. I really liked Kaplan and I recommend it to others but I also recommend hurst,when I get asked which I prefer I'm honest and tell them Kaplan suited my need for a strategy and a way to approach the exam. I ask others to think about what they need, do they feel comfortable taking exams and can knock any test out of the park (I have huge test anxiety and this is NOT me) but they struggle retaining the content from nursing school. Or are they one of those people who retains the info no problem, can repeat things verbally at the drop of a hat and does great with hands on stuff like clinical (this is me I am great at clinical and verbally explaining something) but when it comes to taking an exam you freeze up and you can't remember if a patient should even be breathing or why they are turning blue. Then I recommend one based on their response. I am really satisfied with Kaplan and I have friends and people on twitter who love Hurst. Please if you have any questions about either review or studying for the NCLEX in general leave a comment below or find me on twitter @Ellie_Mae0103 & ask me!
This is the little book I take every where! I love it and I really hope it helps me improve in pharmacology
*I was not paid my Hurst or Kaplan for my opinion or review of their product, this was my thought/opinion of the different
reviews offered for NCLEX.*
***UPDATE: I will NOT send anyone the videos that were shared with me and fellow classmates from an instructor. They are not the recent videos and the information does change especially with recent changes to the NCLEX. If you feel one of the these courses will benefit you in your NCLEX journey I highly recommend signing up for one of them. They do offer a money back guarantee should you fail the test. Please DO NOT ask me to send you the videos, I will not do it. Thank you