Studying for the NCLEX?

Looking for practice questions?

Here are 8 different types of NCLEX questions you want to review:

1. Identify nursing interventions based on the symptoms given

What this means is that the exam will ask you questions that lists a bunch of symptoms but no diagnosis and then it will ask you to pick the correct nursing interventions in either multiple choice or possible SATA format. What a lot of people do wrong here, is that they completely miss the diagnosis the question is actually referencing and choose answer choices that reflect the symptoms. Make sure you don’t do this. Try and think about what is the diagnosis of all those symptoms.

2. Identify pharmacology dosage calculations

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This is more common on the NCLEX-RN exam versus the NCLEX-PN exam and will usually come in the form as a fill in the blank question where you need to choose the correct answer based on the mathematical equation.

3. Patient statements

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These are questions where the answer choices or even the question describes a statement the patient has said to the nurse and then you have to identify what is the correct response or which statement requires further teaching. These kind of questions are still identifying how well you understand a certain disease process or drug so don’t be discouraged by the way the question is formatted.

4. Priority questions

This kind of question comes in VARIOUS forms. A lot of being a good nurse honestly does come down to how well you can prioritize your care. So these questions are referencing those who do you see first kind of questions.

5. Nursing process questions

You probably never heard of this form of question before at least not with this title (I coined the title) but this is referencing questions that combine nursing interventions and prioritization. Meaning should you assess the patient first or should you isolate the patient first. A lot of people confuse this because they naturally assume the answer is always to assess which is not true.

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6. Key word based questions

Have you seen those beloved questions on the exam where it will say, “most important” or “best response” or “most appropriate”? Yeah I know I hate them too but I call them keyword based questions because they focus more on how well you can pick the answer based on the specific type of wording it’s giving you. With these questions, you want to not rush through the question and really think about what it’s asking you.

7. Side effect related questions

I think people get these questions wrong the most because it’s easy to mix up the side effects of different medications or not realize the question is hinting about the side effects. The best way to improve here is to honestly spend time reviewing the medications with their matching side effects.

8. Visual questions

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Ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a tachycardia, or fast heart rhythm, that originates in one of the ventricles of the heart. This is a potentially life-threatening arrhythmia because it may lead to ventricular fibrillation, asystole, and sudden death.

I mentioned this one because it’s becoming more and more popular on the exam. What this looks like is that you need to be able to look at an image (in the form of a question) and then identify what or where that image is pointing to. So this is the part where you really need to know your anatomy, for example the valves in the heart or knowing the correct EKG rhythms. If you don’t feel comfortable with the anatomy of the body then these questions may throw you off on the exam so go through and review your anatomy one more time.

NCLEX Question

The nursing team on the medical/surgical unit consists of an RN, two LPNs, and a nursing assistant. Which of the following clients should be assigned to the nursing assistant?

1. A client recently diagnosed with a seizure disorder.
2. A client two days post op a vaginal hysterectomy who needs to use the bathroom.
3. A client recovering from electrolyte imbalance.
4. A client recovering from appendicitis who has a few questions about recovery.

Answer is 2.

A client who has been diagnosed with a seizure disorder needs teaching and assessment by the RN, and the RN should also answer follow-up questions. The LPN can care for the electrolyte imbalance patient who is recovering. The nursing assistant helps with ADLs and therefore can assist the patient to the bathroom.

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