NCLEX Updates, Tips, Reviews and News

Handy NCLEX Cheat Sheet

You may print this copy for your reference. A good and handy guide in preparation for your NCLEX exam. Nclex Cheat Sheet by LeeAnn Marie on... read more

How to Master NCLEX-Style Test Questions

As nursing students, there are several things you can do even now while in nursing school to help you master the skills needed to succeed at the NCLEX test. Some of these things include developing excellent study habits which mirror your personal learning style, as well as being in tune with the various tips and tricks to answering NCLEX style questions. One must self-discover and identify how you learn best. There are many different theories about learning styles but to keep things simple, one can be a visual learner, auditory learner, kinesthetic learner, or a combination. It has been said that people remember… 10% of what they read 20% of what they hear 30% of what they say 90% of what they say, see, hear, and do So the more active of a role you take in your own mastery of the nursing content, the better the outcome will be for you. Visual learners tend to understand best from pictures, metaphors, charts, graphs, videos, and highlighting when they read textbooks. Auditory learners will benefit from listening to live or taped lectures, discussing the content, and explaining the concept to others. Kinesthetic learners do best by studying in groups, touch models, practice procedures, action words, and demonstrations. Many students are combination learners and will do well to vary these different learning techniques to maximize learning. Active learning techniques that require hands-on and self-testing of concepts will benefit all learners and provide deeper learning (examples: creating your own flashcards and testing yourself out loud with various concepts, making concept maps from your memory on various disease processes with symptoms, meds, interventions,... read more

How to Interpret Heart Rhythms on EKG Strips

How to Interpret Heart Rhythms on EKG Strips | How to tell the difference between A-fib & A-flutter A-fib vs A-Flutter? How to read an EKG and interpret heart rhythms. This video explains how to interpret EKG strips and how to tell the difference between a-fib and a-flutter. It covers 5 easy steps on how to interpret any type of heart... read more

9 Tips from Graduates on Preparing for the NCLEX

Grad #1 As for prepping for the NCLEX, I was one of the few students who did not take a KAPLAN course, but instead bought a $5 book for my kindle that had approximately 500 NCLEX similar multiple choice questions with answers and rationales in the book. I started studying the day after I graduated, doing about 30 questions per night, and looking up the answers I didn’t understand. Some nights I studied with my friend that also hadn’t taken a KAPLAN course and we’d share our books. I scheduled my exam as soon as I received my eligibility letter (something I really recommend). I took my exam on June 2nd and was convinced that I had failed after it (who wasn’t?). I didn’t have any listening with headphones questions, or click on the diagram, but I did have plenty of select all that apply. My computer shut off after 75 questions which terrified me, but looking back I should have realized that I was getting progressively harder and harder questions because I was doing well. The best advice I had for studying is to study with someone, argue out your reasoning for the answer (it’s amazing from what you can learn from each other), and approach the select all that apply questions with a true or false attitude with each option. Grad #2 I would like to recommend to the nursing students to take the NCLEX as soon as possible. I was able to take my test in June, while I still had concepts fresh in my mind. I did not take an expensive Kaplan course but rather... read more

Cheat Sheet for Common Drug Stems

Drug Stem Drug Class and/or Stem Explanation Examples –alol Combined alpha and beta blockers labetalol, medroxalol –andr– Androgens nandrolone –anserin Serotonin 5–HT(sub)2 receptor antagonists altanserin, tropanserin, altanserin –arabine Antineoplastics (arabinofuranosyl derivatives) fludarabine –ase Enzymes alglucerase, dornase alfa –azepam Antianxiety agents (diazepam type) lorazepam –azosin Antihypertensives (prazosin type) doxazosin –bactam Beta–lactamase inhibitors sulbactam –bamate Tranquilizers/antiepileptics meprobamate, felbamate –barb Barbituric acid derivatives phenobarbital –butazone Anti–inflammatory analgesics (phenylbutazone type) mofebutazone –caine Local anesthetics dibucaine cef– Cephalosporins cefazolin –cillin Penicillins ampicillin –conazole Antifungals (miconazole type) fluconazole, oxiconazole –cort– Cortisone derivatives hydrocortisone –curium Neuromuscular blocking agents atracurium –cycline Antibiotics (tetracycline type) minocycline –dralazine Antihypertensives (hydrazine–phthalazines) hydralazine –erg– Ergot alkaloid derivatives pergolide estr– Estrogens estrone –fibrate Antihyperlipidemics bezafibrate –flurane Inhalation anesthetics enflurane, isoflurane –gest– Progestins megestrol –irudin Anticoagulants desirudin –leukin Interleukin–2 derivatives teceleukin, aldesleukin –lukast Leukotriene antagonists montelukast, zafirlukast –mab Monoclonal antibodies capromab, daclizumab, detumomab, –mantadine Antivirals rimantadine –monam Monobactam antibiotics gloximonam –mustine Antineoplastics carmustine –mycin Antibiotics (streptomyces strains) lincomycin –olol Beta–blockers (propranolol type) timolol, atenolol –olone Steroids (no prednisone derivatives) minaxolone –oxacin Antibiotics (quinolone derivatives) difloxacin, ciprofloxacin –pamide Diuretics (sulfamoylbenzoic acid derivatives) adipamide –pamil Coronary vasodilators tiapamil –parin Heparin derivatives and low molecular weight (or depolymerized) heparins heparin, tinzaparin, dalteparin –peridol Antipsychotics (haloperidol type) haloperidol –poetin Erythropoietins epoetin alfa, epoetin beta –pramine Antidepressants (imipramine type) lofepramine –pred Prednisone derivatives prednicarbate, cloprednol –pril Antihypertensives (ACE inhibitors) enalapril, temocapril, spirapril –profen Anti–inflammatory/analgesic agents (ibuprofen type) flurbiprofen –rubicin Antineoplastic antibiotics (daunorubicin type) epirubicin, idarubicin –sartan Angiotensin II receptor antagonists losartan, eprosartan –sulfa Antibiotics (sulfonamide derivatives) sulfasalazine –thiazide Diuretics (thiazide derivatives) chlorothiazide –tocin Oxytocin derivatives oxytocin, pitocin –trexate Antimetabolites (folic acid derivatives) methotrexate –triptyline Antidepressants amitriptyline -uracil Uracil... read more

IV Fluids and Solutions Cheat Sheet

Type Use Special Considerations Normal Saline (NS) 0.9% NaCl in Water Crystalloid Solution Isotonic (308 mOsm) Increases circulating  plasma volume when red cells are adequate Shock Fluid replacement in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis Hyponatremia Blood transfusions Resuscitation Metabolic Alkalosis Hypercalcemia Do not use in patients with heart failure, edema, or hypernatremia, because NSS replaces extracellular fluid and can lead to fluid overload. Replaces losses without altering fluid concentrations. Helpful for Na+ replacement 1/2 Normal Saline (1/2 NS) 0.45% NaCl in Water Crystalloid Solution Hypotonic (154 mOsm) Water replacement Raises total fluid volume DKA after initial normal saline solution and before dextrose infusion Hypertonic dehydration Sodium and chloride depletion Gastric fluid loss from nasogastric suctioning or vomiting. Use cautiously; may cause cardiovascular collapse or increase in intracranial pressure. Don’t use in patients with liver disease, trauma, or burns. Useful for daily maintenance of body fluid, but is of less value for replacement of NaCl deficit. Helpful for establishing renal function. Fluid replacement for clients who don’t need extra glucose (diabetics) Lactated Ringer’s (LR) Normal saline with electrolytes and buffer Isotonic (275 mOsm) Replaces fluid and buffers pH Hypovolemia due to third-space shifting. Dehydration Burns Lower GI tract fluid loss Acute blood loss Has similar electrolyte content with serum but doesn’t contain magnesium. Has potassium therefore don’t use to patients with renal failure as it can cause hyperkalemia Don’t use in liver disease because the patient can’t metabolize lactate; a functional liver converts it to bicarbonate; don’t give if patient’s pH > 75. Normal saline with K+, Ca++, and lactate (buffer) Often seen with surgery D5W Dextrose 5% in water Crystalloid... read more

NCLEX Drug Distribution Review

Bioavailability dependant on several things: Route of administration The drug’s ability to cross membranes The drug’s binding to plasma proteins and intracellular component Membrane Review: Membranes separate the body in components The ability of membranes to act as barriers is related to its structure Lipid Soluable compounds (many drugs) pass through by becoming dissolved in the lipid bylayer. Glucose, H20, electrolytes can’t pass on their own. They use pores. In excitable tissues, the pores open and close. Movement occurs by: passive diffusion active transport facilitated diffusion endocytosis Passive Diffusion Review: No energy expended. Weak acids and bases need to be in non-ionized form (no net charge). Drugs can also move between cell junctions.  BBB is exception. Must be lipid soluable to pass through pores. Osmosis is a special case of diffusion A drug dissolved in H2O will move with the water by “bulk flow” Usually limited to movement through gap junctions because size too large for pores. Active Transport Review: Requires energy and requires a transport protein Drugs must be similar to some endogenous substance. Can carry substances against a gradient Some drugs may exert their effect by increasing or decreasing transport proteins. Facilitated Diffusion Review: Requires transport protein Does not require energy Very few drugs move this way Endocytosis: Drug gets engulfed by cell via invagination Very few drugs move this way and only in certain cells.  Regulation of distribution determined by: Lipid permeability Blood flow Binding to plasma proteins Binding to subcellular components Volume of Distribution (Vd) – is a calculation of where the drug is distributed. Vd   = amount of drug given (mg) concentration in plasma... read more

NCLEX Movement Terminologies

Flexion is bending, most often ventrally to decrease the angle between two parts of the body; it is usually an action at an articulation or joint. Extension is straightening, or increasing the angle between two parts of the body; a stretching out or making the flexed part straight. Abduction is a movement away from the midsagittal plane (midline); to adduct is to move medially and bring a part back to the mid-axis. Circumduction is a circular movement at a ball and socket (shoulder or hip) joint, utilizing the movements of flexion, extension, abduction, and adduction. Rotation is a movement of a part of the body around its long axis. Supination refers only to the movement of the radius around the ulna. In supination the palm of the hand is oriented anteriorly; turning the palm dorsally puts it into pronation. The body on its back is in the supine position. Pronation refers to the palm of the hand being oriented posteriorly. The body on its belly is the prone position. Inversion refers only to the lower extremity, specifically the ankle joint. When the foot (plantar surface) is turned inward, so that the sole is pointing and directed toward the midline of the body and is parallel with the median plane, we speak of inversion. Its opposite is eversion. Eversion refers to the foot (plantar surface) being turned outward so that the sole is pointing laterally. Opposition is one of the most critical movements in humans; it allows us to have pulp-to-pulp opposition, which gives us the great dexterity of our hands. In this movement the thumb pad is brought to... read more

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