NCLEX Practice Exam 12 (20 Questions)

Ready for another set of 20 NCLEX practice questions? The sample NCLEX questions in this exam will teach you how to handle situation-type questions.

A few fly bites cannot stop a spirited horse.
― Mark Twain

Get a plagiarism free copy of this essay from our experts
NCLEX Practice Exam 12 (20 Questions)
For as low as $13/Page
Order Now


Questions on this exam are taken from random various nursing concepts.


Follow the guidelines below to make the most out of this exam

  • Read each question carefully and choose the best answer.
  • You are given one minute per question. Spend your time wisely!
  • Answers and rationales are given below. Be sure to read them.
  • If you need more clarifications, please direct them to the comments section.

Text Mode

In Text Mode: All questions and answers are given for reading and answering at your own pace. You can also copy this exam and make a print out.

1. A patient is admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of primary hyperparathyroidism. A nurse checking the patient’s lab results would expect which of the following changes in laboratory findings?

A. Elevated serum calcium.
B. Low serum parathyroid hormone (PTH).
C. Elevated serum vitamin D.
D. Low urine calcium.

2. A patient with Addison’s disease asks a nurse for nutrition and diet advice. Which of the following diet modifications is NOT recommended?

A. A diet high in grains.
B. A diet with adequate caloric intake.
C. A high protein diet.
D. A restricted sodium diet.

3. A patient with a history of diabetes mellitus is in the second post-operative day following cholecystectomy. She has complained of nausea and isn’t able to eat solid foods. The nurse enters the room to find the patient confused and shaky. Which of the following is the most likely explanation for the patient’s symptoms?

A. Anesthesia reaction.
B. Hyperglycemia.
C. Hypoglycemia.
D. Diabetic ketoacidosis.

4. A nurse assigned to the emergency department evaluates a patient who underwent fiberoptic colonoscopy 18 hours previously. The patient reports increasing abdominal pain, fever, and chills. Which of the following conditions poses the most immediate concern?

A. Bowel perforation.
B. Viral gastroenteritis.
C. Colon cancer.
D. Diverticulitis.

5. A patient is admitted to the same day surgery unit for liver biopsy. Which of the following laboratory tests assesses coagulation? Select all that apply. 

A. Partial thromboplastin time.
B. Prothrombin time.
C. Platelet count.
D. Hemoglobin
E. Complete Blood Count
F. White Blood Cell Count

6. A patient on the cardiac telemetry unit unexpectedly goes into ventricular fibrillation. The advanced cardiac life support team prepares to defibrillate. Which of the following choices indicates the correct placement of the conductive gel pads?

A. The left clavicle and right lower sternum.
B. Right of midline below the bottom rib and the left shoulder.
C. The upper and lower halves of the sternum.
D. The right side of the sternum just below the clavicle and left of the precordium.

7. The nurse performs an initial abdominal assessment on a patient newly admitted for abdominal pain. The nurse hears what she describes as “clicks and gurgles in all four quadrants” as well as “swishing or buzzing sound heard in one or two quadrants.” Which of the following statements is correct?

A. The frequency and intensity of bowel sounds varies depending on the phase of digestion.
B. In the presence of intestinal obstruction, bowel sounds will be louder and higher pitched.
C. A swishing or buzzing sound may represent the turbulent blood flow of a bruit and is not normal.
D. All of the above.

8. A patient arrives in the emergency department and reports splashing concentrated household cleaner in his eye. Which of the following nursing actions is a priority?

A. Irrigate the eye repeatedly with normal saline solution.
B. Place fluorescein drops in the eye.
C. Patch the eye.
D. Test visual acuity.

9. A nurse is caring for a patient who has had hip replacement. The nurse should be most concerned about which of the following findings?

A. Complaints of pain during repositioning.
B. Scant bloody discharge on the surgical dressing.
C. Complaints of pain following physical therapy.
D. Temperature of 101.8 F (38.7 C).

10. A child is admitted to the hospital with an uncontrolled seizure disorder. The admitting physician writes orders for actions to be taken in the event of a seizure. Which of the following actions would NOT be included?

A. Notify the physician.
B. Restrain the patient’s limbs.
C. Position the patient on his/her side with the head flexed forward.
D. Administer rectal diazepam.

11. A patient who has received chemotherapy for cancer treatment is given an injection of Epoetin. Which of the following should reflect the findings in a complete blood count (CBC) drawn several days later?

A. An increase in neutrophil count.
B. An increase in hematocrit.
C. An increase in platelet count.
D. An increase in serum iron.

12. A patient is admitted to the hospital with suspected polycythemia vera. Which of the following symptoms is consistent with the diagnosis? Select all that apply. 

A. Weight loss.
B. Increased clotting time.
C. Hypertension.
D. Headaches.

13. A nurse is caring for a patient with a platelet count of 20,000/microliter. Which of the following is an important intervention?

A. Observe for evidence of spontaneous bleeding.
B. Limit visitors to family only.
C. Give aspirin in case of headaches.
D. Impose immune precautions.

14. A nurse in the emergency department assesses a patient who has been taking long-term corticosteroids to treat renal disease. Which of the following is a typical side effect of corticosteroid treatment? Note: More than one answer may be correct.

A. Hypertension.
B. Cushingoid features.
C. Hyponatremia.
D. Low serum albumin.

15. A nurse is caring for patients in the oncology unit. Which of the following is the most important nursing action when caring for a neutropenic patient?

A. Change the disposable mask immediately after use.
B. Change gloves immediately after use.
C. Minimize patient contact.
D. Minimize conversation with the patient.

16. A nurse is counseling patients at a health clinic on the importance of immunizations. Which of the following information is the most accurate regarding immunizations?

A. All infectious diseases can be prevented with proper immunization.
B. Immunizations provide natural immunity from disease.
C. Immunizations are risk-free and should be universally administered.
D. Immunization provides acquired immunity from some specific diseases.

17. A patient is brought to the emergency department after a bee sting. The family reports a history of severe allergic reaction, and the patient appears to have some oral swelling. Which of the following is the most urgent nursing action?

A. Consult a physician.
B. Maintain a patent airway.
C. Administer epinephrine subcutaneously.
D. Administer diphenhydramine (Benadryl) orally.

18. A mother calls the clinic to report that her son has recently started medication to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The mother fears her son is experiencing side effects of the medicine. Which of the following side effects are typically related to medications used for ADHD? Note: More than one answer may be correct:

A. Poor appetite.
B. Insomnia.
C. Sleepiness.
D. Agitation.

19. A patient at a mental health clinic is taking Haldol (haloperidol) for treatment of schizophrenia. She calls the clinic to report abnormal movements of her face and tongue. The nurse concludes that the patient is experiencing which of the following symptoms:

A. Co-morbid depression.
B. Psychotic hallucinations.
C. Negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
D. Tardive dyskinesia.

20. A patient with newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus is learning to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Which of the following symptoms is indicative of hypoglycemia?

A. Polydipsia.
B. Confusion.
C. Blurred vision.
D. Polyphagia.

Answers and Rationale

1. Answer: A. Elevated serum calcium.

The parathyroid glands regulate the calcium level in the blood. In hyperparathyroidism, the serum calcium level will be elevated. Parathyroid hormone levels may be high or normal but not low. The body will lower the level of vitamin D in an attempt to lower calcium. Urine calcium may be elevated, with calcium spilling over from elevated serum levels. This may cause renal stones.

2. Answer: D. A restricted sodium diet.

A patient with Addison’s disease requires normal dietary sodium to prevent excess fluid loss. Adequate caloric intake is recommended with a diet high in protein and complex carbohydrates, including grains.

3. Answer: C. Hypoglycemia.

A postoperative diabetic patient who is unable to eat is likely to be suffering from hypoglycemia. Confusion and shakiness are common symptoms. An anesthesia reaction would not occur on the second post-operative day. Hyperglycemia and ketoacidosis do not cause confusion and shakiness.

4. Answer: A. Bowel perforation.

Bowel perforation is the most serious complication of fiberoptic colonoscopy. Important signs include progressive abdominal pain, fever, chills, and tachycardia, which indicate advancing peritonitis. Viral gastroenteritis and colon cancer do not cause these symptoms. Diverticulitis may cause pain, fever, and chills, but is far less serious than perforation and peritonitis.

5. Answer: A, B, and C

Prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet count are all included in coagulation studies. The hemoglobin level, though important information prior to an invasive procedure like liver biopsy, does not assess coagulation.

6. Answer: D. The right side of the sternum just below the clavicle and left of the precordium.

One gel pad should be placed to the right of the sternum, just below the clavicle and the other just left of the precordium, as indicated by the anatomic location of the heart. To defibrillate, the paddles are placed over the pads. Options A, B, and C are not consistent with the position of the heart and are therefore incorrect responses.

7. Answer: D. All of the above.

All of the statements are true. The gurgles and clicks described in the question represent normal bowel sounds, which vary with the phase of digestion. Intestinal obstruction causes the sounds to intensify as the normal flow is blocked by the obstruction. The swishing and buzzing sound of turbulent blood flow may be heard in the abdomen in the presence of abdominal aortic aneurism, for example, and should always be considered abnormal.

8. Answer: A. Irrigate the eye repeatedly with normal saline solution.

Emergency treatment following a chemical splash to the eye includes immediate irrigation with normal saline. The irrigation should be continued for at least 10 minutes. Fluorescein drops are used to check for scratches on the cornea due to their fluorescent properties and are not part of the initial care of a chemical splash, nor is patching the eye. Following irrigation, visual acuity will be assessed.

9. Answer: D. Temperature of 101.8 F (38.7 C).

Post-surgical nursing assessment after hip replacement should be principally concerned with the risk of neurovascular complications and the development of infection. A temperature of 101.8 F (38.7 C) postoperatively is higher than the low grade that is to be expected and should raise concern. Some pain during repositioning and following physical therapy is to be expected and can be managed with analgesics. A small amount of bloody drainage on the surgical dressing is a result of normal healing.

10. Answer: B. Restrain the patient’s limbs.

During a witnessed seizure, nursing actions should focus on securing the patient’s safely and curtailing the seizure. Restraining the limbs is not indicated because strong muscle contractions could cause injury. A side-lying position with head flexed forward allows for drainage of secretions and prevents the tongue from falling back, blocking the airway. Rectal diazepam may be a treatment ordered by the physician, who should be notified of the seizure.

11. Answer: B. An increase in hematocrit.

Epoetin is a form of erythropoietin, which stimulates the production of red blood cells, causing an increase in hematocrit. Epoetin is given to patients who are anemic, often as a result of chemotherapy treatment. Epoetin has no effect on neutrophils, platelets, or serum iron.

12. Answer: B, C, and D

Polycythemia vera is a condition in which the bone marrow produces too many red blood cells. This causes an increase in hematocrit and viscosity of the blood. Patients can experience headaches, dizziness, and visual disturbances. Cardiovascular effects include increased blood pressure and delayed clotting time. Weight loss is not a manifestation of polycythemia vera.

13. Answer: A. Observe for evidence of spontaneous bleeding.

Platelet counts under 30,000/microliter may cause spontaneous petechiae and bruising, particularly in the extremities. When the count falls below 15,000, spontaneous bleeding into the brain and internal organs may occur. Headaches may be a sign and should be watched for. Aspirin disables platelets and should never be used in the presence of thrombocytopenia. Thrombocytopenia does not compromise immunity, and there is no reason to limit visitors as long as any physical trauma is prevented.

14. Answers: A, B, and D

Side effects of corticosteroids include weight gain, fluid retention with hypertension, Cushingoid features, a low serum albumin, and suppressed inflammatory response. Patients are encouraged to eat a diet high in protein, vitamins, and minerals and low in sodium. Corticosteroids cause hypernatremia, not hyponatremia.

15. Answer: B. Change gloves immediately after use.

The neutropenic patient is at risk of infection. Changing gloves immediately after use protects patients from contamination with organisms picked up on hospital surfaces. This contamination can have serious consequences for an immunocompromised patient. Changing the respiratory mask is desirable, but not nearly as urgent as changing gloves. Minimizing contact and conversation are not necessary and may cause nursing staff to miss changes in the patient’s symptoms or condition.

16. Answer: D. Immunization provides acquired immunity from some specific diseases.

Immunization is available for the prevention of some, but not all, specific diseases. This type of immunity is “acquired” by causing antibodies to form in response to a specific pathogen. Natural immunity is present at birth because the infant acquires maternal antibodies Immunization, like all medication, cannot be risk-free and should be considered based on the risk of the disease in question.

17. Answer: B. Maintain a patent airway.

The patient may be experiencing an anaphylactic reaction. The most urgent action is to maintain an airway, particularly with visible oral swelling, followed by the administration of epinephrine by subcutaneous injection. The physician will see the patient as soon as possible with the above actions underway. Oral diphenhydramine is indicated for mild allergic reactions and is not appropriate for anaphylaxis.

18. Answers: A, B, and D

ADHD in children is frequently treated with CNS stimulant medications, which increase focus and improve concentration. Children often experience insomnia, agitation, and decreased appetite. Sleepiness is not a side effect of stimulants.

19. Answer: D. Tardive dyskinesia.

Abnormal facial movements and tongue protrusion in a patient taking haloperidol is most likely due to tardive dyskinesia, an adverse reaction to the antipsychotic. Depression may occur along with schizophrenia and would be characterized by such symptoms as loss of affect, appetite and/or sleep changes, and anhedonia. These depressive changes and lack of volition are part of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Psychotic hallucinations may be visual or auditory but do not include abnormal movements.

20. Answer: B. Confusion.

Hypoglycemia in diabetes mellitus causes confusion, indicating the need for carbohydrates. Polydipsia, blurred vision, and polyphagia are symptoms of hyperglycemia.

See Also

You may also like these quizzes:

NCLEX-RN Practice Quizzes

These NCLEX practice exams do not have a particular topic to simulate the actual exams.

Nursing Research

If you are looking for practice questions about nursing research, look no further!

Select All That Apply Quizzes

One of the most requested type of questions! Here are a few quizzes for the Select All That Apply (SATA) alternate question format.

Prioritization, Delegation and Assignment

Practice nursing questions about prioritization, delegation and assignment. These common NCLEX questions are difficult to answer but with enough practice using the questions below, you’ll ace them!

Arterial Blood Gas (ABG) Analysis

Quizzes about acid-base balance. For tips, read our 8-step Guide to Interpret ABGs using the Tic-Tac-Toe method.

Nursing Leadership & Management

Practice questions related to nursing leadership and management: