NCLEX Test-Taking Strategy Tip

Tip #12: Identify words in the options that are "qualifiers."


Every, none, all, always, never, and only are words that have no exceptions. Options containing these words are frequently incorrect. Seldom in health care
is anything absolute with no exceptions; thus you can often eliminate these options. In some situations the qualifiers are correct, especially when a principle or policy is described. For example, the nurse always establishes positive client identification before administering medications. This would be a correct statement. Carefully evaluate qualifiers; they are clues to the correct answer.

Example: The nurse is obtaining a specimen from a client's incisional area for a wound culture and sensitivity. What client information will the sensitivity part of the procedure reflect?
1. Presence and characteristics of all bacteria present in the client's wound
2. Which antibiotics will effectively treat the bacteria present
3. Differentiation of the bacteria and viruses present in the wound
4. All the treatments to which the bacteria are responsive

Options 1and 4 contain the word "all." If you did not know the answer, you could eliminate options 1 and 4. Identifying all the bacteria and all the treatments is not feasible from a culture and sensitivity. This would give you a 50% chance of finding the right answer, which is option 2.

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