Kaplan vs Hurst NCLEX Review 2023: Who Has the Best Exam Prep Course?
Another popular name for the NCLEX review is the Hurst Review. Due to its rising popularity, it no longer comes as a surprise that it has been compared to Kaplan NCLEX. If you were to choose Kaplan or Hurst, however, you may be facing a dilemma.
Don’t worry, I have put up a comparison review to help you better decide between the two. Hurst Review offers comparable features as Kaplan and is a lot cheaper than the ed-tech giant. With that said, is it safe to say that Hurst NCLEX is better than Kaplan NCLEX?
Hurst Vs. Kaplan for NCLEX: Course Content
When you talk about NCLEX test preparation, Hurst Review would most likely top the list among Kaplan and UWorld. The rising demand for this course provider is unstoppable as it both gives you the quality you need without overwhelming you with the price.
The Hurst Review was founded in 1988 by Marlene Hurst who is a popular name in the nursing field because of her tremendous work as a nurse educator. Furthermore, the Hurst Review also has a “must-know” content patterned after the NCSBN test plan (1), thereby making your overall prep as close to the actual test as possible. To access the so-called must-know content, you may choose from these course options:
- Hurst Qbank – This is a 30-day-access to more than 1,500 practice questions.
- Hurst Now – For 90 days, you can use the Qbank, take the four readiness exams, and learn through the on-demand review.
- Hurst Now PLUS – It has the same features as Hurst Now but the access length is more extensive which runs up to 120 days. There are also added features, such as the elevate study guide and payment plan.
- Hurst N-Stream or Live – This option gives you a 9-month-access to the Qbank and four readiness exams. Plus, you will have three days to watch a live stream or join an in-person class.
These courses also have the following features:
- Over 1,500 NCLEX-style practice questions
- Video lectures for streaming when you need to study at your own pace
- Accessible across all devices
- 4 simulated examinations to make you test-ready
- Must-know core content based on the official test plan
- Test-taking strategies for different question types
- Inclusion of a student workbook
- Tech support and online guidance by a nurse coach
- Free trial option
Hurst Review also offers a guarantee policy that runs alongside its principle of First Attempt Success. In their guarantee policy, you are eligible to either a free remedial class or a full refund if you don’t pass the NCLEX, as long as you meet certain conditions.
Meanwhile, let’s look at what Kaplan NCLEX has in store for us.
Considered as a giant in the ed-tech industry, Kaplan is one of the best NCLEX course providers. It’s been serving numerous students and professionals from different fields for 80 years now. When people think about standardized tests like NCLEX, Kaplan is usually the number one test prep company that they can think of.
What I love about it is the pass guarantee where you will either get a refund or take a remedial class for free. Given that Kaplan NCLEX has expensive price tags, these pass guarantee options make for a worthy investment.
Moreover, Kaplan offers a wide range of course options from on-demand online sessions to in-person classes as well as various practice choices that vary in terms of the inclusion of features. Here’s an overview of their courses:
- Self-Paced – Study on your own for six months with Kaplan’s live or recorded online classes. Set your schedule any way you please.
- Live Online – This is the interactive online class with a live tutor whom you can ask questions in real-time.
- In-Person – If you prefer to prep with an in-person tutor, then this is the option for you.
- Qbank + CAT + Nursing Channel – All the course content is good for 180 days.
- Qbank + CAT – You can access both course contents for the same 180-day-access length.
- CAT – If you simply need the CAT feature, then access it for 180 days with this option.
- Qbank – If Kaplan’s Qbank appeals to you, then access it for the same 180 days.
The first three courses have access to the following features:
- 3 full-length computer-adaptive tests (CAT)
- More than 2,100 test-like questions
- Video lectures covering over 300 essential nursing topics
- 8-hour-lectures taught by nurse educators
- NCLEX-RN content review guide
- Decision tree method
- 500-paged-ebook is included
- Mobile app access
- A wide array of courses
Kaplan NCLEX is indeed equipped with key features that can make you test-ready, but is it good enough or Hurst Review will take the lead?
Based on this course content benchmark, I would say that Hurst NCLEX is the winner. If you will carefully look at their course features, they are close to each other, plus both of them offer a pass guarantee of either a full refund or free remedial class.
I was also close to declaring it as a tie, but the fact that Hurst Review has a free trial option makes it a more worthwhile investment. For the hesitant ones, you will certainly find it beneficial as you wouldn’t want to shell out a huge sum of money without doing a test run.
Hurst Vs. Kaplan for NCLEX: Practice Questions
The Hurst Review offers four simulated exams so you’ll be familiar with the actual NCLEX exam questions and how to answer them. You’re also provide with with over 1,500 practice questions that also come in NCLEX-style formats.
Detailed rationales with the right amount of illustrations are given to you, so you will be guided accordingly in understanding why your answer is either correct or incorrect.
When it comes to Kaplan, it provides you with a massive collection of nursing information along with an NCLEX-style practice that lets you get used to the actual NCLEX.
Kaplan, on the other hand, helps you familiarize the exan through its massive collection of nursing information and practice tests. If you’re planning to prep at least three months prior to the NCLEX test day, then you can do as much as 75 practice questions per day to make yourself test-ready.
Moreover, you’ll have access to three full-length computer-adaptive tests that are all patterned according to the NCLEX format. The question bank of more than 2,100 practice questions also gives you sufficient training in various question types.
With a little downside here and there from both course options, I would say that both Kaplan NCLEX and Hurst Review NCLEX are satisfactory in terms of giving you quality practice questions and exams.
Hurst Review may have more NCLEX-style practice exams than Kaplan, but the latter also has more practice questions than the former.
Hurst Vs. Kaplan for NCLEX: Test-taking Strategies
Hurst NCLEX is guided by its proven and tested step-by-step approach that would make you confident for the NCLEX. It incorporates a 3-step-approach that is summarized by the following:
- Mastery of Hurst Review’s must-know content and the focus on critical thinking skills.
- The use of simulators that come in NCLEX-style formats.
- Specific test-taking strategies formulated by Hurst Review
It’s also noteworthy that Hurst Review follows strict adherence to the official test plan that helps it come up with a must-know content. This unique feature puts Hurst in the limelight of nursing students who wish to cut back on other topics that don’t reflect on the real NCLEX. With the must-know content, your overall preparation for the NCLEX examination is made efficient.
As with Kaplan NCLEX, it is known to be the perfect option for those who want to master their test-taking skills as NCLEX is all about displaying your critical thinking ability when faced with various nursing scenarios. Kaplan NCLEX gives you the kind of preparation that would make you confident through its decision tree method – the strategy it’s popularly known for.
The decision tree method is a diagram of a step-by-step approach to different nursing scenarios, hence developing your problem-solving skills needed from any entry-level nurse.
I would go for Kaplan NCLEX in terms of test-taking strategies because of the decision tree method that many students vouch for as effective. The strategies taught to the students are also clear because there is a diagram that would let you know whether or not a certain solution is feasible for the situation presented.
Hurst Vs. Kaplan for NCLEX: Pricing Options
The price range in Hurst NCLEX is from around $100 to $400. The most inexpensive course costs a little over $100, which I find reasonable enough for a 30-day-access to the question bank.
The rest of the courses ranges from around $200 to $400, with the most expensive course available in friendly payment plans. However, keep in mind that the time allowance for the payment plans is only for a few months, so it’s not that quite beneficial for those who are on a limited budget.
As with Kaplan’s pricing, the self-paced, live online sessions, and in-person classes start at around $400 while the practice packages range from around $100 to $300.
The prices in Kaplan’s practice packages are comparable to Hurst Review’s overall price range whose courses already offer in-person and online classes.
I would vouch for Hurst NCLEX when it comes to pricing options because they’re much cheaper than that of Kaplan’s. These less expensive courses also already provide you with in-person and online sessions that Kaplan cannot compete with in terms of the price.
Hurst Vs. Kaplan for NCLEX: Platform’s Ease of Use
If you’re a visual learner, you will absolutely find Hurst Review’s platform engaging. There are not many texts because the pieces of information are already congested to present only the gist. There is also the right amount of images mixed with the text format.
The interactive online instruction of Hurst’s nursing educators are also user-friendly. The live online sessions are also vibrant, which would inspire you to finish the session.
As with Kaplan’s platform, it is simple to use because of the brief and concise pieces of information. There are no elaborations but I could say that the first impression you would get is its text-heavy formatting. There are also images, but very minimal compared to other NCLEX providers. Overall, I find its instructional platform as outdated, although the necessary functions are present.
Clearly, Hurst Review NCLEX takes the lead here because of its interesting platform. Actually, it doesn’t have a wide gap with Kaplan NCLEX, because both have easy-to-use platform. However, when it comes to keeping you engaged throughout the class, Hurst Review is better.
Hurst Vs. Kaplan for NCLEX: Student Support
You will be able to reach out to Hurst Review’s student support by either calling the customer hotline number or sending an email. It is also visible on various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.
How about Kaplan NCLEX?
I find Kaplan more convenient to contact because it has a customer hotline number, live chat with a specialist, and email. You can also reach out to support through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. The frequently asked questions (FAQs) section on its webpage also proves useful and helpful.
Kaplan NCLEX is so much better than Hurst Review NCLEX when it comes to this benchmark because of its various means of communication. Not to mention its comprehensive FAQ section.
Hurst Vs. Kaplan for NCLEX: Additional Features
Hurst Review does not have many extra features, but I appreciate that it includes a student workbook. You can simply download it and utilize it as you prep for the NCLEX.
Also, the student workbook for the Hurst Now course is no longer available for download because it is already included as a printed copy in the course.
Kaplan doesn’t have many extra features either, but it does offer a 500-page e-book and a content review guide for supplementary reference.
Given that Kaplan NCLEX has more extra features than Hurst Review NCLEX, then I am going for Kaplan NCLEX. The extra features are also more helpful for any student who wish to have supplemental study materials.
Summary – Which is Better?
Using the seven benchmarks, we came up with an equal result between Kaplan NCLEX and Hurst NCLEX, which would lead us to say that they are better in their own ways.
Hurst Review tops this Kaplan vs. Hurst NCLEX-RN comparison review when it comes to course content, pricing options, and platform’s ease of use. Whereas, Kaplan takes the lead when it comes to test-taking strategies, student support, and additional features. They are also tie in terms of practice questions albeit a close competition.
Given all these, I would say that both Hurst Review and Kaplan are doing a great job as NCLEX test prep providers despite their flaws.
Use Kaplan NCLEX if:
- You need access to only the question bank or the simulated examinations because it is much cheaper than Hurst but has the same inclusions.
- You have around six months to prepare for the NCLEX and you want to study at your own pace.
Use Hurst Review NCLEX if:
- You want to prep for three months with video lectures, practice questions, and NCLEX-style exams because it is much cheaper than Kaplan but with similar inclusions.
- You want to prep either through an online session with a tutor or an in-person class because it is much cheaper than what Kaplan offers.
That’s it for now. Hopefully, this article has clarified a few things on Hurst vs. Kaplan. If you are curious of these two NCLEX providers, check the Hurst Review (2) and Kaplan (3) websites.