The NCLEX PN test, formally known as the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses, is a comprehensive and challenging assessment for men and women who wish to enter this rewarding and rapidly growing field of health care. The exam is developed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing in consultation with an expert team of test administrators.
Requiring approximately five hours to complete, the test includes somewhere between 85 and 205 items, 25 of which are pretest questions used to develop future versions of the NCLEX PN exam. These items are impossible to identify and do not contribute to the final score.
The NCLEX PN test covers four main content domains: safe and effective care environment, which covers the management of care and safety and infection control; health promotion and maintenance; psychosocial integrity; and physiological integrity, which addresses basic care and comfort, pharmacological therapies, reduction of risk potential, and physiological adaptation.
NCLEX PN exam scores are sent directly to the relevant board of nursing in the candidate’s jurisdiction. Test takers receive an unofficial score report about one month after the examination date. However, for a small fee, candidates can receive unofficial NCLEX PN test results 48 business hours after the examination.
NCLEX PN Test Practice Questions
1. A nurse works in the neonatal intensive care unit. Her responsibility in disaster planning includes which of the following?
a. Developing the plan for disaster response and providing practice drills weekly.
b. Following the instructions of the disaster coordinator when the disaster occurs.
c. Guaranteeing the safety of all patients in the area of the disaster.
d. Collaborating in the development and implementation of the plan.
2. The mother of an 11-month-old infant reports that her baby sleeps much less than other children. The parent asks the nurse whether the baby is getting sufficient sleep. Which of the following is the best initial response?
a. Reassure the parent that each baby’s sleep needs are different.
b. Ask the mother for more information about the baby’s sleep patterns.
c. Instruct the mother to decrease the baby’s daytime sleeping to increase night sleeping.
d. Inform the mother that her baby’s growth and development is appropriate, so sleep is not a concern.
3. A 9-year-old child is admitted to the pediatric unit for treatment of cystic fibrosis. The nurse is assessing the child’s respiratory status. Which of the following findings is consistent with cystic fibrosis?
a. Production of thick, sticky mucous.
b. Nonproductive, harsh cough.
d. Unilateral decrease in breath sounds.
4. A nurse is working with a schizophrenic client who has been prescribed a new antipsychotic medication since the former medication was no longer providing the expected symptom relief. The client tells the nurse that this new medication will not be reimbursed by the insurance company and he cannot afford to pay for it. Which of the following is the best nursing response?
a. Help the client to explore other financial options for obtaining the medication, such as applying to the patient assistance program of the drug company.
b. Suggest that the client contact his state representative about the situation.
c. Re-evaluate with the client and prescriber whether this particular drug is necessary.
d. Advise the client to accept that the medication is not available to him.
5. A nurse is working on an inpatient unit and is assigned a heavy caseload, including two clients diagnosed as suicidal with severe depression and previous suicide attempts. After reviewing the client care assignment, the nurse feels she cannot safely manage care. Which of the following actions is most appropriate?
a. Consult with the admitting physician about the clients’ conditions.
b. Ask the supervisor to move both clients to the same room, so they are easier to supervise.
c. Request that the client care assignment be changed.
d. Document the lack of staffing resources on the client’s chart.
1. Correct answer: D
The nurse must be involved in the collaborative planning for disasters, so she is aware of disaster concerns and plans. It is not the nurse’s responsibility alone to develop the plans or provide weekly practice drills, as disaster planning is a facility wide exercise. The nurse should be an active participant in the planning, not just following instructions after the disaster occurs. While ensuring clients are safe is part of the nurse’s responsibility in the unit, the nurse cannot guarantees that all patients will be safe during a disaster.
2. Correct answer: B
The nurse should seek more information about the baby’s sleep patterns before offering advice. The nurse can also reassure the parent that babies’ sleep needs vary and that most infants at 10 to 12 months sleep 10 to 11 hours a night with two naps in the daytime. Daytime sleeping at this age usually does not impact sleeping at night unless the afternoon nap is very late in the day. If the baby’s growth and development is good, then the sleeping pattern may not be of concern, but more information is needed as some disorders, such as infant reflux, can interfere with an infant’s sleep.
3. Correct answer: A
Cystic fibrosis is associated with the production of thick, sticky mucous. Children with cystic fibrosis often have repeated respiratory infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia. They may develop a chronic cough and wheezing because of obstruction of air passages, and sputum may be bloodstained at times. Other common symptoms include failure to thrive and loss of weight, abdominal discomfort and flatulence, clay-colored stools. Cystic fibrosis results in excessive loss of sodium in perspiration, so children may become easily dehydrated.
4. Correct answer: A
An important strategy to use in advocating for the client is to assist him in finding other financial options for obtaining this medication, such as applying to the patient assistance program of the drug company. Contacting his state representative could be a possible strategy to use after the client is assisted to explore his other options but may take an extended period of time to get a response, so this is not the first option to initiate. The drug was prescribed because of the client’s change in condition and symptom exacerbation, but the patient may need to be re-evaluated if he is not able to obtain the drug. Teaching the client to accept the medication is not available to him is not a strategy that advocates for the client.
5. Correct answer: C
The request for an assignment change will promote client safety and is a reasonable nursing action. Suicidal patients require frequent assessments, and the nurse would not be able to safely monitor both clients. The nurse is free to consult with the admitting physician; however, the assignment situation must be worked out at the nursing unit level. Moving the clients to the same room will not ensure client safety as other variables may serve as distractions or interfere with one nurse providing care to two suicidal clients. The nursing care priority is to institute safe and effective nursing care for suicidal clients. Documentation of the situation on a quality management improvement form or on an incident report may be an appropriate action if the caseload cannot be modified.
A licensed practical nurse (LPN), also known as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), is an important part of our health care system. They perform many diverse duties, usually under the guidance of a registered nurse (RN) or doctor. Their job is to administer medication, take vital signs, give injections, monitor equipment, conduct lab tests, dress wounds, and assist patients with their daily living activities. They are responsible for observing and recording patient reactions and reporting results to the doctor or RN in charge. Although an LPN cannot administer anesthesia for surgery, he or she can provide primary care in a medical practice. From time to time, they may be required to formulate nursing plans or teach community information courses.
An LPN may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private homes, nursing homes, dental offices, or mental health facilities. The LPN should have good interpersonal skills with a sincere interest to help people. Physical stamina and endurance are important in this job, as well as tact and sound judgment. Some people know that they are interested in the profession early in life. Good grades in high school courses, such as biology, chemistry, algebra, first aid, food and nutrition, and psychology, are good indicators that a student will do well in college-level courses. To enter into an LPN-accredited program, the student must have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
An LPN program takes about one to two years to complete and leads to a certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree. The certificate and diploma programs are the most popular, while the associate’s degree is advantageous for those students interested in pursuing more advanced nursing careers. An LPN provides the foundation for nursing jobs that pay higher wages and more responsibility. To evaluate an appropriate school, the prospective LPN student should look at the school size and faculty-to-student ratio. Schools that offer an LPN program as a part of a larger advanced nursing curriculum may provide the flexibility needed should the person decide to go back to school to pursue an advanced nursing degree. An LPN school should provide the student adequate clinical time and direct contact with patients. Look for the board pass rates, which are a sign of the quality of the program. Also look at the cost of the school and available financial aid.
These programs usually consist of classroom and supervised clinical care, and the student studies anatomy, phlebotomy, adult care, patient care, pharmacology, and patient care.
Becoming an LPN is one of the fastest ways to start a nursing career. Upon completing the accredited program, the individual should have a clean criminal record and must pass the National Council Licensure Exam for LPNs.
Students interested in specializing in a specific area, such as pediatrics, oncology, psychiatry, or obstetrics, can take additional training courses in these areas. Some LPNs decide to take additional training to become RNs or even doctors.
Employment opportunities for LPNs have drastically increased due to the growth in the elderly population. The increased need for long-term care has created a demand for trained nurses. The national average LPN salary is in the high $50,000 range with generous benefits. Larger cities may pay higher salaries. The highest LPN salaries come from health insurance providers. Some LPNs decide to take on travel jobs as a way to increase earnings. Some of the most popular employers for LPNs are the United States Army, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Amedisys Home Health Care.