I’ve looked at a lot of NCLEX review books over the years. This is my review of the Saunders NCLEX book 2020 edition.
Yes people, real physical books are still relevant! And I love real books. However, with all the resources out there, you want to get the right book. You can go online all day long and watch videos and buy apps (which some I love, some I don’t). But a book keeps the content all in one spot without the distractions of the internet.
I’ll be doing an ongoing series of reviews for NCLEX books, with the same criteria for each. In these review blog posts, I will cover:
- How big is this book?
- What is covered?
- How up to date is this book?
- Perks the book includes
- Is the content visually appealing?
- Things I don’t like
- Things I really like
- Do I recommend it?
Let’s get started!
How big is this Saunders NCLEX book 2020 edition?
This book has 1087 pages! It is a large and heavy book.
What is covered?
This book covers:
- info about the NCLEX test plan
- the different types of NCLEX-style questions you may get
- discussion about the new NCLEX Next Gen questions they are testing out
- test-taking strategies
- extensive content review
- NCLEX style questions after every chapter for a total of 870 practice questions in the book
- thousands of additional questions to practice online
- 27 minute audio review of med content and how to answer med questions
- comprehensive test of 75 questions at the end
How up to date is this book?
The book has a new version every 2-3 years. In general, basic nursing content doesn’t change. However, every year there are a few changes and this book makes those changes.
They also include practice for the NCLEX Next Gen questions. Students will be prepared when that takes place in 2023 or later.
Some students think that the NCLEX style questions in the Saunders book are too easy. I don’t think they are too easy. The questions are equal in difficulty to the real NCLEX. Some students might be saying this because some sources out there such as Uworld and the NCLEX mastery app purposely make the questions harder so that the real NCLEX “feels easier”. You can be confident that Saunders does include “hard questions”.
Perks the book includes
- there is a list of the top 100 meds in the back based on the most common prescribed medicines
- there is an online portion of the book that includes:
- thousands of extra practice questions
- practice questions for NCLEX Next Gen
- 27 minute med audio review
Is the content visually appealing?
This book is printed in color. It includes many charts and illustrations. This makes reviewing easier and more enjoyable to look at.
Things I don’t like
- There is some repeated and redundant content.
- Many times you will feel like you are memorizing content instead of understanding content. This is because there is not a lot of discussion of WHY the client has the symptoms or WHY you do the assessment or interventions.
- The medication chapters are extremely overwhelming. There are too many meds mentioned and lists of side effects. This may cause a student to ignore these chapters. You will probably need a different source to study medications that has been simplified.
Things I really like
- This book contains a lot of content. This includes almost everything you will get asked about on the NCLEX and in nursing school
- After each chapter is a set of questions to apply what you just reviewed
- There are thousands of additional online questions
- There are lots of charts and pictures which makes it easier to review content
- To address the problem of too much medication content, they have included a 27 minute audio review of meds online
- It’s the only book so far discussing the new NCLEX Next Gen types of questions
Do I recommend this book?
As I come to the conclusion of my review of the Saunders NCLEX Book 2020 edition, there are at times, that the content can be overwhelming. You may need additional resources to simplify some topics you struggle with. This can include video, a tutor, flashcards or simplified study guides.
Overall, I do recommend this book! If you are just starting nursing school, this is a helpful book that presents the most common content. If you are studying for the NCLEX, I definitely recommend it so you can look up content and practice the questions. The new NCLEX Next Gen questions will start showing up on the real NCLEX in 2023 (or later). I predict that Saunders will be the first book preparing students for these changes!
I have the 6th Ed. and it’s been at least 5 years since my last attempt. Do you think it is necessary get the 8th Ed.?
I don’t think it’s totally necessary to get the latest edition. What you really need is the online practice questions from Saunders. See if the inside cover code works and if you can get access to questions (around 6000 to practice) – if you can, then just use that book. If you can’t, then get the newest hard copy edition that hasn’t been used.