Tips from my CPNE experience

Students Online Learning


  • Specializes in pediatric, geriatric.

To those of you still needing to tackle the CPNE I wanted to share a few things from my weekend that hopefully will benefit someone.

Few tips from my weekend.

1. on the lab stations(except the wound station) push that trash can far enough away and out of sight. Just leave your alcohol pads, packages on the table and throw them away later after they say you pass:) so you won't even need the trash until later. My weekend and since I have seen a lot of people lately putting a syringe in the trash. It doesn't matter if it wasn't used, it doesn't matter if there is no needle on it, EC will fail you for any syringe going in that trash can.

2. Make sure the tape is secure on the wound, don't let it curl back up.

3. ID, ID, ID!!! entering room(don't touch that patient until after ID is done) and before meds.

4. Look at the peg board at the head of their bed on their wall. I wasn't told by CE or primary nurse not to do BP on left arm due to history of mastectomy (the right arm had an IV) but there was a sign on the board not to take BP in left arm and the patient stopped me and told me to look at the wall(bless her) Listen to your patient-they were so nice and trying to help me in any way they could. I even had a patient tell me that they used the pediatric cuff on her so I didn't have to dig for the right size.

5. get rid of extra cups on their bedside table. Have one main cup or jug. The primary nurse came in and brought an extra foam cup with water in to give the rest of the meds. I stopped the pt. and asked her to please use the jug of water I had just filled.

6. Gel anytime entering or leaving a room that includes kitchenette, pt. room, clean utility etc...

7. Push station-pull the plunger back a few times to loosen it up before getting your flushes, meds. so it doesn't stick giving you a bubble.

8. IV mini bag- flushes-make sure you push out the extra flush before you enter the room-I pushed out the excess into the sink in the med. room

9. Make sure you put some alcohol wipes into your pocket so you have some if you have IV mini bag during pcs to clean the port and stethascope for patients.

10. If a CE questions you on something and you know you are correct fight for yourself. I had a CE question my rate on the pump for the IV mini bag during a pcs and I knew I was correct so I fought for myself.

11. I didn't think anything they gave me wasdifficult at all but to me the stress built up throughout the weekend so find a way to keep calm, don't get ahead of yourself and positive self talk!!!

12. Be aware that time is not just ticking when you are doing things but also the CE. Had a CE that on all testers took about 20 minutes to approve care plan so be aware of your time.

13. If the meal comes, resp. therapist, doctor etc... get out of there and get the meds ready or get some documention done. Every time a pt. ate it took them about 10 minutes so that gives you an idea how long it takes.

14. Think before you touch anything. Had a CE point and tell me to just pick up the hat so she could read the output better. I almost just picked it up because we were both bent over looking at it and just a few feet away. Stopped myself and went out and got gloves. Whew.

15. Trust yourself. I had a few other testers tell me a few things before we got there that were inaccurate so I started to doubt myself. I cleared it up during the questioning time before the labs started. You have studied, and practiced so trust yourself so don't let others plant doubt.

16. Lastly, use mnuemonics for the labs. I was the only one to use them and only one to pass all the labs on friday. Great check off list to make sure you didn't miss anything. You can do them a million times at home but you get there and easy to question yourself if you just did something but if it is right there in front of you it is like a mini back up. I also wrote on the alcohol pads(OCD I know) for the push station. I put aspirate on the first and laid it under my first flush, m and put it under my med. syringe and f under my last flush so that way I never questioned which is which and remembered that all important aspirate for the first flush.

I had 5mls over 2 minutes so make sure you practice the larger amounts to push too.

So, many wonderful people helped me get through this so I hope this helps someone. :D

Raggedy Ann

756 Posts

Specializes in Med surg and Psych.

Thanks for those wonderful tips. I will print them out for future reference. Traci

Specializes in Hospice, ER.

Excellent! I have a binder where I put tips, and this is definately going into it.


398 Posts

I sincerely appreciate your amazing post. Thank you.

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