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NCLEX Bootcamp Review
An RN's thoughts on the new NCLEX Bootcamp review course
Relatively new to the game, NCLEX Bootcamp is making a bit of a splash and has been getting a lot of chatter on reddit. And with a review course 100% focused on the new Next Gen format of the exam, we can see why. But being a relatively unknown commodity, most people want to know whether Bootcamp is worth it. To answer this question, we take a deep dive and closely evaluate this NCLEX prep course in a detailed review.
Given that this is a lengthy and detailed review, please find jump-to links above to help you quickly navigate this article.
Video Review: Is NCLEX Bootcamp Good?
In the video above, John from the Test Prep Insight team covers the major pros and cons of NCLEX Bootcamp. For more information, be sure to continue reading out full written review below.
Some Opening Thoughts
I feel compelled to start this review with a quick overview of how NCLEX Bootcamp works, because, to be honest, this course is very different from all of the other NCLEX courses we’ve taken and reviewed to this point.
The interesting thing about NCLEX Bootcamp is that is was specifically designed for the Next Gen NCLEX. The whole course was literally built from the ground up for the new version of the test.
And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, before April 2023, the NCLEX was radically different from how it looks today. There were totally different question types, and the exam was a different length and style. It’s just a night and day difference.
Thus, most of the NCLEX prep companies that existed prior to the Next Gen rollout simply adapted by adding a bunch of new question types to their Qbanks. However, because the Bootcamp team launched their course at the same exact time as the Next Gen rollout, every component of the course was built towards the Next Gen exam, which is cool and definitely unique.
In any event, with that in mind, let me quickly break down what you get and how the Bootcamp course works.
How The NCLEX Bootcamp Course Works
Looking at the course from a high-level, Bootcamp is essentially a group of three main study materials: a Next Gen Strategy Course, Next Gen Cases, and Next Gen Standalone Questions. I’ll explain each of these course components below.
The Next Gen Strategy Course is a 9-part video series that explains how the Next Gen format tests you, gives you tips and strategies for approaching the varying problem types and case studies, and even walks you through a full case study in detail. In short, it’s a mini-course that teaches you how to take the new format of the NCLEX.
After the Strategy Course, there are the Next Gen Cases. This has been one of the biggest changes to the NCLEX. Rather than straight multiple-choice questions like before, every exam administration now gives you three case studies with a six-item answer set.
In other words, you get a detailed patient-based scenario with six accompanying questions based on that hypothetical.
The Bootcamp course gives you 42 of these case studies to drill on, and each one has a detailed video breakdown showing you how you should have solved for each of the six questions in the case.
Finally, the third component of the course are standalone questions. These make up the majority of questions you’ll see on test day. Of the minimum 85 questions you’ll get on test day, only 18 will be tied to the three case studies. The rest will be standalone questions.
And that’s exactly what this portion of the course is designed to help you with. It’s a big Qbank, with over 500 problems to drill on, and each problem comes with detailed solution. Some even come with visuals and graphics.
Now, without any guidance, this three-part setup on its own would give the course a sort of unstructured feel. However, overarching everything in the course is the study schedule.
Basically, to tie everything together, the Bootcamp team has created a really detailed study schedule that gives a day-by-day breakdown of exactly what you need to be completing.
You can choose between a one-month study plan, two-month study plan, or three-month plan. Regardless of which one you choose though, they all do essentially the same thing: telling you exactly what to study each day.
That’s about it. You follow your study schedule and work your way through all of the study materials in the course (case studies, standalone questions, and strategy sessions). That’s really it.
NCLEX Bootcamp Price & Discounts
Before diving into the individual pros and cons of NCLEX Bootcamp as we see them, let’s briefly talk about cost and the different course options. Bootcamp has three options:
One-month subscription = $49
Three-month subscription = $99
Six-month subscription = $149
Putting these price tags in perspective, Bootcamp is a whole lot cheaper than competitors like Kaplan and Hurst, as well as UWorld.
The standard cost of an NCLEX course today seems to be about $250 to $400, so NCLEX Bootcamp’s standard three-month plan is basically a third of the cost.
Essentially, Bootcamp is still relatively newish to the prep industry and they’re trying to gain some traction and market share with lower price points, which is awesome for early adopters.
In fact, on that point, it’s important to note that despite the pretty approachable price point, Bootcamp still frequently runs sales and special promotions, and a lot of times you can find their packages on sale, so be sure to check for discounts before buying.
What We Like About NCLEX Bootcamp
Now that you understand how NCLEX Bootcamp works and what it costs, I’m going to give you three things I like about NCLEX Bootcamp, as well as three things I also wasn’t crazy about. Let’s start with those pros.
Next Gen Focus
The first advantage of NCLEX Bootcamp has to be the fact this course was specifically designed for the Next Gen format of the exam that’s now been fully rolled out. While other prep companies are still playing catch up, and only a small fraction of their materials apply to the Next Gen format, 100% of the materials in the Bootcamp course apply to Next Gen. Not to mention, they’re all very good.
The case studies and standalone problems closely mirror all of the different item types you’ll see on exam day, and they are a great match for the real thing. I don’t what else to state here other than that this is a major leg up for Bootcamp over competitors.
The Next Gen format is radically different from the old version of the test, and you 100% need to practice on problems that actually simulate the real thing. If you don’t, you will be caught totally off guard on test day and unprepared. That’s the first major highlight that Bootcamp has going for them.
The second advantage for Bootcamp is their problem solutions. The problem rationales that Bootcamp has created to go along with their questions are awesome. They’re in-depth, written in understandable, plain language, and a lot of them contain a bunch of useful visuals.
Plus, most of them even have this cool “key takeaway” feature that gives you one or two parting bullet points of critical things to take away and remember from each problem.
Also, the video breakdowns are very good as well. The Bootcamp instructors take a very slow and practical approach to explaining how you should have solved a particular problem, and they were just easy to understand. In short, both the written and video problem explanations in the NCLEX Bootcamp program are very good and get high grades.
My third and final pro to note is the Next Gen Strategy Course. In a way, this sort of piggybacks on my first advantage—the dedicated strategy course Bootcamp has created is great.
It breaks down how the Next Gen testing format works, how it’s scored, and most importantly, provides a bunch of great little tips and tricks for solving case studies and problems (as well as how to avoid falling into trap answers).
The fact that it directly addresses how to take the Next Gen test and provides strategy for attacking it is super useful. You don’t get this test taking strategy element with a lot of other courses, like Archer or UWorld.
What We Don’t Like About NCLEX Bootcamp
Next, let’s get to the negatives, of which I have a few.
No Live Instruction
My first complaint is that there are no live classes, or even live office hours, with this course. Everything in the Bootcamp course is on demand and self-paced. Without a fixed class schedule, this generally means that there isn’t anything holding you accountable and keeping you organized.
Of course, the study schedule is intended to provide just that, but it’s totally self-driven. Thus, if you’re the type of student that struggles to get motivated or stay committed on your own, Bootcamp might not a be a great fit. You might need a course with a fixed, live class schedule, such as Kaplan.
No Written Study Materials
Next, it’s kind of a bummer that there aren’t any hardcopy prep books or written study materials with this course. All of your written review material comes in the form of the problem answer explanations.
That is where you’re going to get the meat of your instruction—by reviewing. That’s fine, but personally, I’d like to see Bootcamp add a written study guide and cheat sheets which directly attack content review to their suite of resources. I think that would be a nice upgrade.
No Centralized Study Calendar
Finally, the study schedule is a separate PDF. I personally think it would be great if Bootcamp would integrate the study schedule right into the dashboard in calendar form.
If Bootcamp had an interactive study plan in calendar form right on the dashboard where you could check off your daily items off and move things around to accommodate your schedule, that would be a really nice upgrade as well.
The separate PDF calendar is fine, but making it more interactive would be a game changer.
Verdict: Is NCLEX Bootcamp Worth It?
For the price of just $99, I think NCLEX Bootcamp is worth it, without a doubt. Not only is their price point super appealing, but substantively, this is a great course. With their focus on Next Gen cases and item types, insightful explanations, and the strategy course, Bootcamp provides one of the most useful bundles of study materials for the new Next Gen NCLEX that we’ve seen.
I do think there’s some room for improvement by adding a couple of features, but all in all, I think this is an all-around effective prep package, and at just $99, we give Bootcamp a very high rating.
Is NCLEX Bootcamp good?
I was really impressed with NCLEX Bootcamp and it worked well for me. I have no problem recommending it to friends. Because the course is focused on the new Next Gen format of the NCLEX, the study material and practice problems are very on point. It’s a very good program in my opinion.
How much does NCLEX Bootcamp cost?
NCLEX Bootcamp is pretty affordably priced as compared to other NCLEX review courses. Their one-month subscription costs $49; their three-month subscription costs $99; and their six-month subscription costs $149.
Is NCLEX Bootcamp better than Archer NCLEX Review?
Yes, NCLEX Bootcamp is 100% better than Archer NCLEX Review in my opinion. I’ve used both programs and I think Bootcamp is a much better prep program. Their practice material (which is the most important aspect of a course) is more realistic of real problems.