Everyone at some point or the other while taking NCLEX wonders what exactly to study. If you open up your content book, it gets so overwhelming that we end up thinking its just impossible to study all thats there in the book. But the Key to nail this exam is to know everything that is in your content book. I have come up with the check list of topics you must cover to pass NCLEX-RN. The list is nothing new. Everyone of us who took NCLEX or are going to take NCLEX know all of the topics that I have listed below. But I feel like listing it down will help to put things into perspective and for the ones who are wondering what to study, it will give some kind of direction.
For some doing practice questions is more than enough. But for some its not. Ask yourself how much you know about these topics and try to familiarize yourself with them. I really hope this will help NCLEX takers.
Please do not get overwhelmed with the volume of the check list. Know that it is doable if you allocate enough time for each of them. It only looks impossible if you dont start. Once you start, you will not stop! Trust me!
- Reduction for Risk Potential (10-16%)
o Know the signs and symptoms and treatments about cataracts, glaucoma, meniere’s disease, guillain-barre syndrome, meningitis, migraine, huntington’s disease.
o Know the difference in diabetes 1 and 2. How are they treated? What are signs and symptoms and complications?
o Know the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and how are they treated.
o Concentrate on complications of diabetes 1. Diabetes ketoacidosis and 2. Hyperglycemia hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome.
o Know what causes cystic fibrosis and its complications.
o Know what PKU is how it’s treated and also its complications.
o Know what does hiatal hernia, pyloric stenosis, gastritis means.
o Know the difference between duodenal ulcer and gastric ulcer.
o Know what Chron’s disease means, what kind of diet is advised for it?
o Be able to differentiate between appendicitis, diverticular disease, and peritonitis.
o Know what hirschspurng’s disease means.
o Know how to care for ostomies. Know about specific diets for different types of ostomies and know what kind of return to expect fro different types of ostomies.
o Know everything about cirrhosis, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, pancreatitis, lupus.
o Know about two different types of jaundice that are seen in newborns.
o Know the age-appropriate health-care procedures for pre-operation
o Know what could be the potential complications after surgery and know the nursing consideration for each one of them.
o Try to learn as much about diagnostic tests as possible. Recognize the ones for which patient has to be on NPO and need special care pre and post test.
o Know about chest tubes- water fluctuation, bubbling, removal, and complications.
o Know about Central venous pressure, and its complications
- Physiological Adaptation (11-17%)
o Know the normal breath sounds and abnormal ones. Know which pulmonary disease will have which type of adventitious sound.
o Know what to do in emergencies such as Cardiopulmonary arrest, epilottitis, MI, dysrhythmias, head injury, chest trauma, abdominal injury, shock, ICP, sezuire, and stroke.
o Know how to read an EKG. Calculate HR and rhythm off an EKG.
o Know the difference between defilbrillation and cardioversion.
o Know what kind of function ability co-relates with the spinal cord injury.
o Signs and symptoms and treatment of fluid volume overload and deficit.
o Know A-Z of ADH and SIADH
o Know A-Z of hypokalemia, hyperkalemia, hyponatremia, hypernatremia, hypocalcemia, hypercalcemia, hypomagnesemiam, and hypermagnesemia. You have to study these. There’s no escaping.
o Know the 9-rules of burns and nursing care for burn pt.
o Know addison’s disease and cushing syndrome and their complications. Breifly read about pheochromocytoma.
o Know all the COPDs.
o Know all there is to know about pneumonia.
o Know the difference in two different types of Heart failure.
o Know anemia and iron deficiency anemia.
o Know about sickle cell disease and its treatment
o Know about cancer, leukemia and how they are treated
- Basic Care and Comfort (6-12%)
o Know how to use crutches, and other assistive devices
o Know about skin traction and skeletal traction and special nursing considerations while using them
o Know everything about caring for a cast and its complication
o Be able to differentiate between Joint disorders: Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
o Know about osteoporosis, osteomyelitis, and osteomalacia.
o Know different types of factures and treatment.
o Know how to care for fractured hip and after total hip replacement surgery.
o Know how to care for patient who got amputation.
o Know difference between alziemer’s disease and parkinsons.
o Must know everything about Thyriod disorder!!!! Focus on signs and symptoms of hypo and hyperthyroidism, treatment, and complications. Very Imp!!!
o Also know about parathyroid disorder
o Know about different types of diets and when they are indicated. For example: for chronic renal failure low sodium, low protein, and low potassium diet is indicated.
o Know about pyelonephritis, and glomerulonephritis.
o Know about acute and chronic renal failure.
o Know hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
- Pharmacology (13-19%)
o Study all the drug classes of antibiotics. Be able to recognize antibiotics of different class. Know side effects of specific to each class.
o Study all the cardiac meds and their side effects.
o Know all you bronchodialators, steroids used for respiratory disorders. Know which ones are given for acute and long term maintainence.
o Know different types of insulin. Yes memorize their effective hours.
o Know meds used for depression, bipolar, anxiety, PTSD, etc
o Know anticoagulant meds.
o Know different classification of meds used for pain: narcotics, NSAIDS.
o Know which conditions aspirin, NSAIDS are contraindicated.
o You still need to know rest of the meds, but make sure you at least study the ones that are mentioned above.
TO be Continued...