What I Learned From the Kaplan NCLEX-RN Review Course

August 2, 2017
Jacqueline Molina

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Choosing an NCLEX-RN review class or creating a study plan post nursing school graduation may seem stressful. There are many different resources to choose from, and everyone has their own opinion as to what works best and how to approach your plan of studying.

If you are the type of learner where you need to be in a classroom setting with a live teacher in front of you, the Kaplan NCLEX-RN review course offers a live classroom setting with many different locations and dates to choose from at your convenience. If you have a busy schedule and prefer the live online course, where you have a live teacher conduct the course in a chat-room setting at the convenience of your own home setting, Kaplan offers that as well.

I personally liked the live-online review course, so I opted for that route. Here are some of my favorite take away points from my experience from Kaplan’s live-online NCLEX-RN review course:

How to tackle NCLEX-RN questions

One major concept Kaplan taught me was how to approach NCLEX-style questions. You already learned the nursing content in school, so now it’s time to learn how to answer the questions, NCLEX style. The Kaplan NCLEX-RN review course did a great job of teaching me how to break down each question, weeding out the distractors or the “shiny penny” and really understanding what the question is actually asking. (My instructor used the phrase “shiny penny” for the answer that you would want to pick, had you not understand what the question was asking.)

The review course would always incorporate higher level, critical thinking questions during the sessions. A concept that the instructor taught was that of the decision tree, which is basically a process Kaplan uses to help you break down what the question is asking. I found it exciting when I would start to answer the questions correctly based on the tips and suggestions the instructor provided us in the class.

What is the NCLEX-RN really testing?

The review course placed a heavy focus on understanding the format of the NCLEX-RN exam. It included orientation videos on understanding the format of the exam. Once you understand that you can have a minimum of 75 questions, but a maximum of 265, you really only need to answer a certain amount of higher level questions. The instructor explained to my class that the computer is testing consistency. The instructor also explained that the NCLEX-RN is really assessing what you as the nurse would do to provide the patient with the answer that will provide the patient with safety. Knowing the nursing content is important, but knowing how to apply that knowledge into the various scenarios is what the NCLEX-RN is really assessing.

Practice, practice, practice

Aside from all of the helpful resources the live-online course offered (a pre-recorded video library of over 300 videos consisting of various nursing content), my favorite part of the live-online class was that it offered a readiness test. This was the last resource I utilized a few days prior to taking the NCLEX-RN. After completing the readiness exam, I watched the videos from the Kaplan video library of the content I struggled with.

The live-online course also gives you the option to look over the questions on any test or question trainer you complete and provides rationales. I also purchased a hardcopy of the Kaplan content review book (they offer an online version with the course, but I am a hands-on person and preferred the actual text). I also have access to the content after the course ends as well.

Regardless of your learning style, Kaplan offers different variations of nursing review courses that are aimed at your success on the NCLEX-RN. Whichever route you choose, always remember: you are smart, you are confident, and you are a great nurse.

Check out all our Kaplan Nursing NCLEX-RN courses—we have options for every learning style!

Jacqueline Molina

Jacqueline Molina Jacqueline Molina is currently a freshman in the nursing program at SUNY Morrisville. She has recently relocated from her native Long Island to Syracuse, New York, to embark on her nursing career. She attended SUNY Albany from 2004 to 2008, majoring in English with a double minor in education and Spanish. From there, she attended CUNY Queens College and earned two master’s degrees—one in English and one in education. She was a New York City high school English teacher for three years before making the decision to change careers and follow in the footsteps of her grandmother, a nurse manager in a leading Long Island hospital. Long term, Jacqueline hopes to become a successful oncology nurse and nurse educator. She enjoys rollerblading, traveling, and exploring the outdoors with her two dogs.

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