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NCLEX Strategies and Hints

Step One: Can you Identify the topic? Trap: "NCLEX" hides the topic of the question NO: Read answer choices for clues to identify the topic of the question YES: Proceed to Step 2 Step 2: Are the answers Assessments or Implementations? * Mix of Assessment & Implementation? Then read the stem to determine if you should assess or implement, then select correct answer * Are all answers assessment or implementation? if so proceed to Step 3 Trap: Is Validation required? Step 3: Does Maslow fit? Trap: Physical needs take priority over Psychosocial needs. (With NCLEX pain is psychosocial) NO: Are all answers physical? If so proceed to Step 4 Are all answers psychosocial? If so proceed to Step 5 YES: Eliminate psychosocial answers Do the physical answers make sense? Apply ABC's Step 4: Are ALL answers Physical? Trap: Don't automatically select Respiratory answers. NO: Proceed to Step 5 Yes: Apply ABC's Step 5: What is the outcome of each of the remaining answers? Determine the outcome of each answer and ask is it desired? Then select the correct answer Trap: Don't pick answers just because they "sound" right

Points to Remember:
1. You're always taking care of a patient 2. This isn't the real world...think "ivory tower nursing" 3. You always have an order 4. Don't pass the buck...Nclex wants to know what you the NURSE would do 5. Take care of patient first then the equipment 6. Know Lab Values (Na, K, Ca, Cl, etc.) 7. Communicate therapeutically 8. Learn to recognize expected outcomes 9. Learn How to answer positioning questions, ask what are you trying to prevent or promote? 10. DO NOT delegate Assessment, Teaching, or Evaluation. 11. Pay close attention to words such as "First", "Best", "Initial", etc.

* Communicate therapeutically, ELIMINATE answer choice that are authoritarian, "Yes/No" questions, "why" questions, answer choices that explore, and are Nurse centered. *With Positioning ask what are you trying to prevent or promote, think A&P and pathophysiology. Ask what position best accomplishes what you are trying to prevent or promote? *Establishing priorities: think, if you can only do one thing and then go home, what would be the outcome of your action?, Maslow, after Maslow use ABC's and ask does this make sense? *Remember "First" does not always mean assessment and "Action" does not always mean implementation. Assessment traps commonly on NCLEX: no assessment listed then you assess first, Incomplete assessment (validation required) then continue to assess, Incorrect assessment-does not make sense to the situation. * Evaluation Strategy: determine outcome of each answer choice, ask is this a desired outcome, Use this if all your answers are assessments or if they are all implementations, BUT FIRST MASLOW and if unable to Maslow then use this Evaluation strategy.

General NCLEX test taking Rules:

1) Identify the topic of the question 2) Select an answer by eliminating choices 3) Do not use background information unless absolutely necessary 4) Do not read into the question 5) Think about what the answer choices really mean Coma, Coma, And Rule: All parts of the answer must be correct! DO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS! Look for underlying concepts -- think about what each answer choice really means, don't have an emotional response ("Most" means there may be more than one correct answer choice you must choose the best) Remember DO THE LEAST HARM when caring for the patient.