Kaplan NCLEX vs Hurst NCLEX

NCLEX Review Courses, like many other utilities that you shop for, can leave you baffled for you have Lots of Choices! So many review courses and so many different opinions about each of them are enough to make you confused! But this decision of choosing the RIGHT Review course is really an essential one since it will be the core success determining factor for your NCLEX exam. Choosing the wrong review course will not only be a factor for your failure but it will eat up on your precious time. So, it is better to make an informed and wise decision in the first palce. 

To make your decision easy, first of all you should be aware of the NCLEX exam, what it actually demands? and then make a self assessment as to what you actually need. Identify your weak and strong areas. Just like for any product that you purchase you look for the one that fits in your needs, neglecting lucrative offers and fancy ads that your mind might be bombarded with, so take this decision in the same manner.

People’s needs differ and so does their choice. Some NCLEX takers are working people short of time, some are still students, some have good knowledge of content, and some need to brush everything up since it has been long since they passed out from the nursing school, while others a stuck with poor understanding and unfolding of the NCLEX questions. So, it is only you who can make the right choice and we can only guide you.


 We will help you in taking this decision! NCLEX Reviews upon a closer look reveal that they fall into three main categories.

  1. NCLEX review that focuses on good CONTENT: Such reviews provide you with concrete NCLEX oriented content, not cutting it short in any way, instead they aim to make it  easier for you to understand it as well as memorise it. They help to build your foundation for taking the NCLEX exam.
  2. Strategy oriented Reviews: If you are well versed with content, no student would disagree to the fact that NCLEX isn’t a cake walk. The questions are indirect, twisted and tricky. Also there is a great variety of questions offered to you in a go. So many reviews do not focus on providing you the entire content but they take care to provide you strategies and tips to deevlop good analysing nad reasoning power and brush up your clinical judgement skills to help you handle the NCLEX questions.
  3. Reviews providing extensive practice of Q/A: Many review providers assume that practice is the key to success, they aim at providing you zillions of NCLEX style questions such that you practice them and hence revise your concepts and build a good understanding.

So, you may assess reviews under the light of what we’ve mentioned. Identify your needs and make the right choice. “What we would suggest to any NCLEX test taker is that approach the exam in a very balanced way. None of the three aspects of the exam, be it content , strategy or practice of questions can or should  be overlooked. Exhausting your efforts too much on one aspect and losing out on the other would eventually cause you to regert later.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re looking for an NCLEX review program that not only provides you with updated and sound content, but helps you build the ability to think confidently, train you to analyse questions by making you acquainted with case studies, practical scenarios and simulation tests; we recommend Brilliant Nurse, which offer a variety of courses for RN as well as PN aspirants.

It is COMPLETE in every sense and touches all important aspects of the exam. Check out the given links: Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-PNÆ Test Prep Track and Extended (3 month access) NCLEX-RNÆ Test Prep Track

We will compare two very popular Review providers KAPLAN NAD HURST!

Keep in mind that both of them are very different in their approach. Although you might have heard many success stories about both of them, but it depends on what the individual’s needs was and why cloud they reap benefit out of them. 

KAPLAN is one of the most popular  NCLEX review course provider. A trusted guide for NCLEX preparation, Kaplan makes hefty promises and guarantees to get you through.They have authored some of the best preparation guides for NCLEX and have nursing faculty to teach and guide; and their course material is therefore updated and touches practical aspects.

But what sets Kaplan apart is their question solving strategy! So, this one falls in the first category of strategy oriented review providers. They are known for providng students with NCLEX style questions which are quite tough and force you to think critically. They provide pre set strategies to handle questions and choose the correct option. They call it ‘DECISION TREE’ that will help to break down and analyse the question guiding you to the right answer.

What else does Kaplan offer?

1. An impressively huge number of practice questions : Provide more than 3,000 practice questions for the NCLEX-RN course, and more than 1,000 questions for the NCLEX-PN course. They focus on making you well versed with handling NCLEX questions by providing you the best they can. You can get access to the questions separately if you buy the NCLEX-RN® Content Review Guide Ebook and not enrol for the complete course. 

2. Teach a unique method to analyse and answer questions using their ‘DECISION TREE’ : Helping you through the tricky and confusing questions, Kaplan has devised a decision tree for answering them all. If you have or not given the NCLEX exam you might still be knowing that sometimes it is difficult to comprehend the question itself, and while at  other times the options are so confusing that you cant make a decision. their “Decision Tree” method is a five step process to help simply the questions, analyse it better and hence answer it correctly.

3. Various options to choose from, with respect to the study schedules : They have a classroom instruction program with expert nursing faculty, or you can attend it in person or online (webinar). The live online course can be of greta help. While they also offer a ‘self paced’ course where they provide video lessons on demand (covering all the nursing content topics) so this one will provide you flexibility of learning according to your needs. 

4. Mobile Application : For the NCLEX-RN course they provide access to the question bank via mobile too. This will help you to practice questions while on the go, and get detailed explanations to rectify your mistakes. 

5. Identify weak areas : This is something unique that Kaplan does! When you take tests, they will identify your weak area help you to brush up tat one. So, if you enrol in a full time classroom study or webinar, or whatever their the takers get this facility of  customising the studies for you.  

6. Additional Resources : It provides you a huge library of content videos, covering all theoretical and practical aspects of nursing content. You can sort the videos  alphabetically and gain access to them via the online video library. Although some people have found the videos to be too long a repetitive.

6. Passing Guarantee : Kaplan, claim that the student will definitely pass the NCLEX exam if they opt for their course. For this they provide a 100% refund if you fail. or a three month extension fir you course, whatever may be your choice, but ONLy if you meet their criteria.

Despite offering a large database of videos and question banks and also help in uilding strategy,  Kaplan, lacks in some aspects. There have been reported dissatisfactions!


Their Decision Tree method has not been liked by many!  This method, devised by Kaplan to solve tricky questions has more often than not confused students. It is five step and very time taking process. To benefit, from this methodology, you need to first of all be well versed with your nursing content, and then apply their pre fromatted algorithm to solve every problem. Chances are that you will answer the question right, but sometimes the time you take to solve a question via this process ia quite too much, and of course this method does not fit in for every type of question.Students have reported that it causes confusion and over thinking! To train your mind to think the way, an algorithm wants you to, and that too in every situation, is a tough task in itself!


Marlene Hurst (MSc Nursing) is the founder of this program. She has been an efficient instructor in various nursing schools. Owing to her rich experience of teaching in various nursing schools and also a nursing practitioner, she developed workshops and trained students for NCLEX and later devised this comprehensive review program.

HURST’s NCLEX PASSING STRATEGY focuses on the right content, which may help you through. The mode of instruction at Hurst’s review programme is known for simplifying the complexity of the nursing content while also giving a chance to understand the practical application of what you learn. Most of the students have reported the lectures to be very engaging and interesting.  So, you might not feel bored and grasp the facts really well.

In a nutshell, HURST REVIEW will provide:

  • Comprehensive yet targeted study of the nursing content (from an engaging and lively speaker) 
  • More than 1,000 skill-building NCLEX-style questions with complete answers and rationales behind them
  • Learn strategies to answer tricky questions and save your time (develop clinical judgement)

What makes Hurst different?

“If you are from among those people who cannot easily cram or remember heavy nursing books. If you dread those thick books lying on your table, Hurst will help you, cut down all the unnecessay stuff and deliver to you as they claim, ONLY what is necessary!” It is a highly organised NCLEX study program will help you allocate enough time to review all the topics covered in the exam. Saves your TIME.


  • Hurst’s powerful Q Review practice platform
  • Specialty Area Lectures
  • Resource Documents and e-Books (Pharmacology, Infection Control and more)
  • The program entitles you to avail, for practice over 1000 NCLEX style questions for practice. They also provide online support and guidance.
  • Hurst provides money back guarantee (if you fail) with certain conditions that you will come to know when you register with them. Apart from redeeming your money, a student may also have a choice to enrol for free in a 45 day remedial course where he/she can brush up his knowledge and skills to be prepared to beat the NCLEX again.
  • They have three types of programs where you can enroll. 

1. HURST LIVE : It is a classroom program, where you will learn in an engaging and energetic environment. Lectures will be delivered by highly trained personnel. Apart from what you gain in class, it will give a 9 months access to online account from where you can access various resources.

2. HURST NOW: Hurst NOW will provide the same review experience as Hurst Live. with the difference that it is self-paced and can be completed as your schedule may allow. Hurst Now® is available online anytime via streaming videos of Hurst’s NCLEX® expert faculty. The benefits that you will avail will remain the same.Lectures will be delivered  by highly trained personnel in class will be accessible to you as per your convenience.. This one also allows a 9 months access to an online account from where you can access all resources.

3. HURST N STREAM: This one will allow you to attend LIVE lectures while being at home. It will give you the feel of the class, access to all queries that are put up by students in the class, and a fascination real lecture delivery at the comfort of your home. You will have to invest five hours daily to  learn and understand the CONTENT well, via the live lectures. 

The flip side of HURST!

Most of the students who have benefited from HURST NCLEX review are those who were weak in their content, and needed a better approach to study as well as understand the entire syllabus, since this is the first step towards success. Needless to say, that the story does not end here. Despite being sound in content, why do people still fail the NCLEX exam? 

Coming back to our very prime concern that, has NCLEX been designed to test ONLY your nursing knowledge? and the answer is a big NO!

You should know, how to apply that knowledge. NCLEX demands a trained mind that has deevloped cricical thinking sklls, and has sound clinical decision making power is also necessary. NCLEX makes you face quite a variety of questions, each demanding a differnt approach and way of thinking. So, it might happen that you may lack in this aspect when it comes to the HURST review program.

Though students have praised them for their organised content, at the same time there are others who have found it repetitive and also their teaching strategy not effective enough to control anxiety.

BOTTOMLINE: After comparing the two of them we conclude that, you can take up Kaplan if you want to learn their formatted strategies to help you handle NCLEX questions, while if you are weak in content, Hurst could be a good choice. It all depends on your needs.



“Be it NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN, you actually need an overall approach for passing the NCLEX that not only focuses on content, but application too. The review course should make you aware of the different types of questions and train you to handle them. Each question is unlocked with a different strategy and that’s what Brilliant Nurse will help you master, along with not neglecting the other aspects of NCLEX exam.” In a sentence, we can say that Brilliant Nurse Review is a comprehensive, fully fortified and affordable approach, where you have to add in only one thing and that is your hard work !

Check out for yourself: We recommend BrilliantNurse’s 6 months All access test prep tracks with daily assignments courses for preparation of NCLEX-PN® and NCLEX-RN®. Click the below links for further information, or for all their courses and options for 30 days and 3 months crash courses, check out this link.


Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-RN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments and Ultra-extended (6 month access) NCLEX-PN® Test Prep Track + Learning Path – with Daily Assignments






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