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Standard NCLEX labs?

It's frustrating to me that I'm trying to memorize a long list of lab values... but it just seems like every single 'reputable' book have discrepancies with the labs.

For instance, I've always learned that with ABG values; HC03 is 22 to 26 mEq/L from school but my 7th edition (2016) Saunders NCLEX prep shows it as 21 to 28 mEq/L!!!

Would there be a reason why that value, along with others, would change? Does the NCLEX have an official list to look at?

thank you

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU.

I wouldn't worry too much about small variations. In the remote chance that you happen to get an NCLEX question pertaining to that specific lab, the answer choices will be more than 1-2 points outside the norm.

nursej22, MSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg,CV.

Agree with PP. You will not be asked to assess if a potassium of 5.1 is abnormal. You may be asked for appropriate intervention of a K+ for


Kuriin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency.

As others have mentioned, NCLEX styled questions will most likely never give you a one point difference because they know facilities use different ranges. It would be very off such as K of 6.

Remember that NCLEX is not a test of memorized data points. More than anything, it's a test of your ability to critically think about the data points they give you so you can decide what you, the prudent nurse, should do next. Having a good idea of normal ranges is good. Agree that they're not going to hang an entire question on a K+ of 5.1 (though they might throw it in there to see if you know whether or not it matters).


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