NCLEX-PN Exam Cram (2nd Edition)

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9780789737069: NCLEX-PN Exam Cram (2nd Edition)

NCLEX-PN Exam Cram

Second Edition


Wilda Rinehart

Diann Sloan

Clara Hurd


Succeed with topical reviews, practice exams, and preparation tools


“The book offers a quick ‘cram’ approach to the NCLEX that is user friendly and not time intensive. The overall approach is learner-centered and the content is well paced.”

–Catherine Dearman, RN, Ph.D.


  • Covers exactly what you need to know to score higher on your NCLEX-PN exam.
  • Includes more than 700 sample test questions to help you determine whether you’re ready to take the actual exam.
  • Our popular Cram Sheet tearcard helps you remember key concepts.
  • Exam Alerts provide important information found on the exam.
  • Simplifies pharmacology for easy learning.


Score Higher on the NCLEX-PN Exam!

The CD features innovative Computer Adaptive Testing software by ExamForce, giving you an effective tool to assess your readiness for the NCLEX-PN exam. Key features include:

  • Detailed explanations of correct and incorrect answers
  • Multiple test modes
  • Random questions and order of answers
  • Coverage of each NCLEX-PN exam objective




Wilda Rinehart has B.S. and M.S. degrees in nursing and more than 30 years of experience as a nurse, consultant, and educator for nursing students.


Diann Sloan has B.S. and M.S. degrees in nursing and a Ph.D. in counselor education and has worked as a nurse and educator for 30 years.


Clara Hurd has B.S. and M.S. degrees in nursing and currently is a nurse educator at Northeast Mississippi Community College with 30 years experience.


"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Wilda Rinehart received her associate degree in nursing from Northeast Mississippi

Community College in Booneville, Mississippi. After working as a staff nurse and charge

nurse, she became a public health nurse and served in that capacity for a number of years. In

1975, she received her Nurse Practitioner Certification in obstetric-gynecology from the

University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1979, she completed her

bachelor’s of science degree in nursing from Mississippi University for Women and the following

year completed her master’s degree in nursing from the same university. In 1980, Ms.

Rinehart accepted a faculty position at Northeast Mississippi Community College where she

has taught medical-surgical nursing and obstetrical nursing. In 1982, she founded Rinehart

and Associates Educational Consults. For the past 22 years, she and her associates have worked

with nursing graduates and schools of nursing to assist graduates to pass the National Council

Licensure Exam for Nursing. She has also worked with faculty who want to improve their item

writing skills and as a curriculum consultant. Ms. Rinehart has served as a convention speaker

throughout the southeastern United States and as a reviewer of medical-surgical and obstetric

texts. She has coauthored NCLEX review materials and is presently working on DVD and

CD review programs. As president of Rinehart and Associates, she serves as coordinator of a

company dedicated to improving the quality of health through nursing education.

Dr. Diann Sloan holds an associate degree in nursing from Northeast Mississippi Community

College, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Mississippi, and a master’s

degree in nursing from Mississippi University for Women. In addition to her nursing degrees,

she holds a master of science in education degree in counseling psychology from Georgia State

University and a doctor of philosophy degree in counselor education, with minors in both psychology

and educational psychology, from Mississippi State University. She has completed

additional graduate studies in healthcare administration at Western New England College and

the University of Mississippi.

As a nurse educator, Dr. Sloan has taught pediatric nursing, psychiatric mental health nursing,

and medical surgical nursing in both associate degree and baccalaureate nursing programs. As

a member of Rinehart and Associates Nursing Review, Dr. Sloan has conducted test construction

workshops for faculty and nursing review seminars for both registered and practical nurse

graduates. She has coauthored materials used in the item writing workshops for nursing faculty

and Rinehart and Associates Nursing Review. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau nursing

honor society.

Clara Hurd is an associate degree nurse graduate of Northeast Mississippi Community

College in Booneville, Mississippi (1975). Her experiences in nursing are clinically based, having

served as a staff nurse in medical-surgical nursing. She has worked as an oncology, intensive care,
orthopedics, neurological, and pediatric nurse. She received her bachelor of science

degree in nursing from the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama, and her master’s

degree in nursing from the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi.

She is currently serving as a nurse educator at Northeast Mississippi Community College

teaching medical-surgical content. Ms. Hurd has taught in both associate degree and baccalaureate

nursing programs. She was a faculty member of Mississippi University for Women;

Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee; and Tennessee State University in

Nashville, Tennessee. Ms. Hurd joined Rinehart and Associates in 1993. She has worked with

students in preparing for the National Council Licensure Exam and with faculty as a consultant

in writing test items. Ms. Hurd has also been a presenter at nursing conventions on various

topics, including item writing for nursing faculty. Her primary professional goal is to prepare

the student and graduate for excellence in the delivery of healthcare.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Praise for NCLEX-PN Exam Cram

Praise for NCLEX-PN Exam Cram

"The book offers a quick 'cram' approach to the NCLEX that is user friendly and not time intensive. The overall approach is learner-centered and the content is well paced."

Catherine Dearman, RN, PhD


Welcome to the NCLEX-PN® Exam Cram

This book will help you prepare to take and pass the Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses. This Introduction discusses the NCLEX® exam in general and how the Exam Cram can help you prepare for the test. It doesn't matter whether this is the first time you're going to take the exam or if you have taken it previously; this book gives you the necessary information and techniques to obtain licensure.

Exam Cram books help you understand and appreciate the subjects and materials you need to pass. The books are aimed at test preparation and review. They do not teach you everything you need to know about the subject of nursing. Instead they present materials you are likely to encounter on the exam.

Using a simple approach, we help you understand the need-to-know information. First, you learn content as it applies to medical-surgical nursing, psychiatric-mental health nursing, obstetric nursing, and pediatric nursing, with an emphasis on pharmacology, skills, and management of these disorders. In a well-organized format, you learn the pathophysiology of the most common problems affecting clients, the treatment of these disorders, and the nursing care required.

The NCLEX-PN® consists of questions from the cognitive levels of knowledge, comprehension, application, and analysis. The majority of questions are written at the application and analysis levels. Questions incorporate the five stages of the nursing process (assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation) and the four categories of client needs. Client needs are divided into subcategories that define the content within each of the four major categories. These categories and subcategories are

  • A. Safe, effective care environment:

    • Coordinated care: 12%–18%

    • Safety and infection control: 8%–14%

  • B. Health promotion and maintenance: 7%–13%

  • C. Psychosocial integrity: 8%–14%

  • D. Physiological integrity:

    • Basic care and comfort: 11%–17%

    • Pharmacological and parenteral therapy: 9%–15%

    • Reduction of risk: 10%–16%

    • Physiological adaptation: 11%–17%

Taking the Computerized Adaptive Test

Computer Adaptive Testing offers the candidate several advantages. The graduate can schedule the exam at a time that is convenient for him. The Pearson VUE testing group is responsible for administering the exam. Because you might not be familiar with the Pearson VUE testing centers, we recommend that you arrive at least 30 minutes early to acclimate yourself to the surroundings and learn what you need to do while testing at the center. If you are late, you will not be allowed to test. Bring two forms of identification with you, one of which must be a picture ID. Be sure that your form of identification matches your application. You will be photographed and fingerprinted upon entering the testing site, so don't let this increase your stress. The allotted time is 5 hours. The candidate can receive results within approximately 7 days (in some states even sooner). Remember that the exam is written at approximately the 10th-grade reading level so keep a good dictionary handy during your studies.

The Cost of the Exam

The candidate wanting to take the licensure exam must fill out two applications, one to the National Council and one to the state in which she wants to be licensed. A separate fee must accompany each application. The fee required by the National Council is $200. State licensing fees vary from state to state. The candidate should contact the state where she wishes to become licensed for a list of fees for that specific state. Licensure applications can be obtained on the National Council's website at Several states are members of the multistate licensure compact. This means that, if you are issued a multistate license, you pay only one fee. This information can also be obtained by visiting the National Council's website. A list of phone numbers and websites is included on this book's CD, in Appendix C, "Alphabetical Listing of Nursing Boards in the United States and Protectorates."

How to Prepare for the Exam

Judicious use of this book, either alone or with a review seminar, such as that provided by Rinehart and Associates, will help you to achieve your goal of becoming a practical nurse. As you review for the NCLEX® Exam, we suggest that you find a location where you can concentrate on the material each day. A minimum of 2 hours per day for at least 2 weeks is suggested. We have provided you with exam alerts, tips, notes, and sample questions, both multiple-choice and alternative items. These questions will acquaint you with the type of questions you will see during the exam. We have also formulated a mock exam, with those difficult management and delegation questions, which you can score to determine your readiness to test. Pay particular attention to the Exam Alerts and the Cram Sheet. Using these will help you gain and retain knowledge and help reduce your stress as you prepare to test.

How to Use This Book

Each topical Exam Cram chapter follows a regular structure and includes cues about important or useful information. Here's the structure of a typical chapter:

  • Opening hotlists—Each chapter begins with a list of terms and concepts you must learn and understand before you can know the subject matter. The hotlists are followed by an introductory section to set the stage for the rest of the chapter.

  • Topical coverage—After the opening hotlists, each chapter covers a series of topics related to the chapter's subject title.

Even though the book is structured to the exam, these flagged items are often particularly important:

  • Exam Alert—Exam alerts normally stress concepts, terms, or activities that are related to one or more test questions. Anything found in exam alert format is worthy of greater attention on your part. This is what an exam alert looks like:

  • Caution - Exam alerts are provided as a heads up that the content mentioned here might appear on the NCLEX-PN® exam.

  • Notes—Throughout each chapter additional information is provided that, although not directly related to the exam itself, is still useful and will aid your preparation. A sample note is shown here:

  • Note - This is how notes are formatted. Notes direct your attention to important pieces of information that relate to nursing and nursing certification.

  • Tips—A tip might tell you another way of accomplishing something in a more efficient or time-saving manner. An example of a tip is shown here:

  • Tip - This is how tips are formatted. Keep your eyes open for these, and you'll learn some interesting nursing tips!

  • Exam Prep Questions—Although we talk about test questions and topics throughout the book, the section at the end of each chapter presents a series of mock test questions and explanations of both correct and incorrect answers.

  • Practice Exams—This book offers two exams written in the NCLEX® format. These have been provided to help you evaluate your readiness to test. Answers and rationale to these questions have also been provided. We suggest that you score the exam by subtracting the missed items from the total and dividing the total answered correctly by the total number of questions. This will give you the percentage of answers correctly. We suggest that you achieve a score of at least 77% before you schedule your exam.

  • Glossary—At the end of the book is a glossary that defines critical nursing terms we cover in this book.

  • The CD—The CD includes a testing engine with many practice questions that you should use repeatedly to practice your test-taking skills and measure your level of learning. You should be able to correctly answer more than 77% of the questions on the practice tests before trying the real exam. The CD also contains Appendix A, "Things You Forgot"; Appendix B, "Need to Know More?"; and Appendix C, "Alphabetical Listing of Nursing Boards in the United States and Protectorates."

  • Cram Sheet—At the beginning of the book is a tear card we call the Cram Sheet. This is a helpful tool that gives you distilled, compressed facts and is a great tool for last-minute study and review.

About the Book

The topics in this book have been structured using the systems approach to nursing. We believe that a simple approach to learning the disease process, treatments, and diagnostic studies is best. We review material related to diseases of each body system; the related nursing skills; and the diagnostic tests, nutrition, and pharmacology associated with each. We also consider cultural and religious aspects as they relate to the care of clients with specific illnesses.

Aside from being a test preparation book, this book is also useful if you are brushing up on your nursing knowledge. It is an excellent quick reference for the licensed nurse.

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Rinehart, Wilda; Sloan, Diann; Hurd, Clara
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Rinehart, Wilda; Sloan, Diann; Hurd, Clara
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