The Dog Ate My Care Plan…

Just a mom/wife/nursing student extraordinaire trying to make it in the big bad city…

NCLEX-RN Review Course Compare & Contrast

Posted by isntshelovlei on September 6, 2011

Since I’m so close to taking my boards (knock on wood), I figured now would be a good time to look at a couple NCLEX-RN review courses. As studying awaits (and time waits for no nursing student), I am only going to compare two for now—NCSBN’s Learning Extension and Kaplan.

The price: Nursing students (well, any students in this economy) are interested in the numbers. How much am I gonna have to rob Peter (or the parentals) to pay Paul? Well NCSBN’s courses will cost you any where from $50 – $160 depending on how many weeks of access you are interested in; whereas Kaplan is gonna run you about $418 – $499 (this figure is based on my zip code, so double-check your own zip code for the most accurate price in your area). But holy moly cannoli!

The timeframe: NCSBN offers 3, 5, 8, or 15 weeks of access to their course. Kaplan provides 21-hours of class time, plus 3 months of access to their online resources (more on those coming up).

The format: NCSBN is a totally online “campus,” offerring 24-hour access and the ability to work at your own pace. Kaplan has three basic format options—Classroom, Classroom Anywhere, and On Demand. Classroom is basically an in-class, brick and mortar type of deal (like we nursing students want to go to anymore classes—but, to each his own)—set dates, set times, set locations. Classroom Anywhere courses still have set dates and times, but allow you to log in from wherever. And On Demand pretty much speaks for itself—you hold the reins, and can log on and do your thing pretty much whenever (within your 3 months of access of course).

The meat and potatoes: NCSBN boasts access to 1,100+ “NCLEX-style” questions, 2,000+ pages of content review, in addition to other resources such as medical dictionaries and other online references. And if the idea of no professor standing in the front of the room freaks you out have no fear—they do offer the ability to ask questions via their “Ask the Instructor” feature. With Kaplan’s program, after your 21-hours of class instruction (if you selected one of the “Classroom” options), you’ll have 3 months access to 3 online resources—Qbank (question bank), Question trainer (practice tests), and a Diagnostic and Readiness test. Kaplan also offers a pass-or-your-money-back guarantee (certain restrictions do apply).

So that’s an *ahem* brief overview of the NCSBN and Kaplan NCLEX-RN review courses. On the one hand my id is screaming “What are you waiting for? 50 bucks?!? Can’t beat that with a stick!” But on the other hand my ego is saying, “Well wait a minute now, they must be mighty confident to offer a 100% money-back guarantee…”

So what’s a girl to do?

8 Responses to “NCLEX-RN Review Course Compare & Contrast”

  1. While our website shouldn’t take the place of an actual review, have you checked out our NCLEX quizzes? http://scrubsmag.com/?s=NCLEX+quiz Their pretty comprehensive and best of all: FREE! :) Best of luck studying!

  2. Hi, Although its been forever since i took the boards lol- i’ve found that people who take those classes dont necc do better. I think its an individual thing. There are so many books, websites especially that provide you with questions, test taking techniques etc. I never took a class before my boards, and i did fine! So you could try that stuff out before you spend all that money on a class. Good luck!

    • isntshelovlei said

      I agree. I think it’s because those courses are more about test-taking strategies than content. And if you don’t know your content there’s no decision tree or other special strategy that is going to help you.

      Now on the other hand, there are some people who know their stuff but just suck at tests. I think these are the people that review courses are most beneficial for.

      JMHO…

  3. Valencia said

    Hi, Although its been forever since i took the boards lol- i’ve found that people who take those classes dont necc do better. I think its an individual thing. There are so many books, websites especially that provide you with questions, test taking techniques etc. I never took a class before my boards, and i did fine! So you could try that stuff out before you spend all that money on a class. Good luck!
    +1

  4. Dana said

    Hi- I know I’m a bit late on posting this, but I just found your blog. When I took the NCLEX almost 7 years ago I took the Kaplan review course and found it to be incredible helpful…not on content, but really how to best take the test. I just took my AC-PNP boards a few weeks ago and did not take a review course (b/c there is not one) and felt that I was much more prepared for undergrad boards. That being said, if you know “how” to take the test, you can just focus on taking TONS of practice questions and you’ll do fine! Good luck!!!

  5. […] Plan”. The author gives you great tips on surviving school and practical advice like what NCLEX review course to take. While your browsing her blog check out my october guest post on “The Warriors Guide to […]

  6. Colleen said

    I recently took the Hurst Review & absolutely loved it! I selected Hurst because it is a content-based course rather than strategy. The course did a fabulous job at explaining concepts, explaining the “why”, and connecting dots that hadn’t been connected in my years of nursing school. I’d highly recommend Hurst Review to anyone!

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