Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Women's Health Comprehensive Review Sneak Peek

A Few Words about the Kelsey Review Book

Why is the Kelsey book required for the course?

Our previous course coordinator started requiring the Kelsey review guide in Winter term 2019 because she surveyed students and found that almost everyone was buying it anyway. She decided that it was better to incorporate it into the course design than have a big part of students' review separate from this course.

What are the limitations of the Kelsey book?

  • It's comprehensive, but in a superficial way : Like any review book, the Kelsey book is a very abbreviated treatment of a large amount of content. Thus you'll find that there is a LOT missing from the book! Please do not think that it contains everything that you need to know for the NCC exam. You'll still need to draw from the readings, lectures, and learning experiences you had throughout your entire program. See below for some further guidance about when to go beyond the Kelsey book in your review.
  • It's not NCC-official: Although it's called a certification exam review guide, it is not endorsed, vetted, approved, or reviewed by the NCC or those who write the certification exam. Because certification exams are so secure, there is a solid separation between those who write the exam and those who teach students or write review books. Otherwise, there would be too much temptation to inappropriately teach to the test. This means that, if you find something missing or something that contradicts other sources, you shouldn't always conclude that the Kelsey book is "correct/complete." If you need help in a particular area, please post your questions in the discussion forum for that content area or email Jeneen or Kendra!

How to Decide Which Textbook Pages to Read During Your Review Process

As you review the content pages in the modules, you'll see that most pages have a box at the bottom that lists textbook readings to supplement the review materials on the page.

I provide textbook pages to save time so you didn't have to hunt for each topic. But that's not to say that you MUST read every page that's listed! Your time is limited and it's not reasonable for you to re-read everything you've read in the last 2-3 years!  Here are some suggestions for how to decide what to read:

  • For the most part, the Kelsey review book provides a nice summary of many topics. It doesn't include everything, as you know. Please note that even topics or details that are left out ARE still fair game for the certification exam. And there's a LOT of underlying conceptual information that you MUST have in your head but isn't spelled out in the Kelsey book. In other words, don't infer that because XYZ isn't in the Kelsey book means that it can't be on the certification exam. The authors of that book don't have any more knowledge about the exam than we do. Additionally, the Kelsey book is not perfect. There are some places where in its quest to summarize, it muddies the waters a bit and, occasionally, contradicts other sources. But, overall, it's an excellent overview and quite succinct. I recommend that, unless you are an absolute whiz at those topics, you read all pages that are listed in the Kelsey book for each topic in each module.
  • Many topics have page numbers in Varney's Midwifery (VM).
  • Some topics have page numbers in Prenatal and Postnatal Care (P&PC). This book provides an in-depth treatment of certain topics, often more detailed than VM. I recommend that you read the P&PC pages for topics that you feel most uncomfortable with or need a different viewpoint than what you're seeing in other resources to really understand it or areas that you didn't see much at all in clinical.
  • Some gynecology topics have page numbers in Managing Contraception (MC) or Contraceptive Technology (CT). MC, in particular, is very concise and a good use of your time to review those topics. One big reason I say that's it's worth your time is because contraception content is going to be tested based on evidence and not local protocols that you might see in clinical. The Medical Eligibility Criteria (found in both books and online) are very important to know for safety issues. I see lots of missed questions and lots of confusion about contraception topics from lots of students. I recommend that you read the MC pages that are listed for each contraception topic and then CT for topics that are quite confusing.