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?