Test your knowledge on the lab values you need to know for NCLEX with these quiz questions for nursing students!
When you take the NCLEX exam or work as a nurse you will be expected to know basic normal lab value ranges. This includes results for the complete blood count, metabolic panel, arterial blood gas analysis, certain drug therapeutic ranges, lipid panels, and coagulation levels.
Don’t forget to watch the lecture on labs nurses need to know for NCLEX before taking the quiz.
This quiz is part of an NCLEX review series. So, be sure to check out the other NCLEX review quizzes.
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NCLEX Lab Values Quiz Questions
1. You’re assessing your patient’s morning labs. The metabolic panel shows the following results below. Which results are abnormal? Select all that apply:
A. Potassium 2 mEq/L
B. Sodium 110 mEq/L
C. BUN 10
D. Magnesium 2.3 mg/dL
E. Phosphorus 1 mg/dL
F. Glucose 96 mg/dL
G. Creatinine 5 mg/dL
The answers are A, B, E, and G….a normal potassium level is 3.5-5 mEq/L, Sodium 135-145 mEq/L, phosphorus 2.5-4.5 mg/dL, and creatinine 0.6-1.2 mg/dL
2. A patient with liver failure has jaundice. What lab result provides evidence of this finding in the patient?
A. Bilirubin 5 mg/dL
B. Creatinine 1 mg/dL
C. Hemoglobin 18 g/dL
D. RBC 3.8 million
The answer is A. A bilirubin level should be 0.1-1 mg/dL (remember less than 1 mg/dL). It forms with the breakdown of red blood cells, and creates an orange/yellowish color, which leaks into the mucous membranes/skin and creates “pumpkin” like hue to the patient’s features.
3. A patient’s lipid panel results are back. You’re providing education to the patient on how to improve the results. Which results below do the patient need to improve on? Select all that apply:
A. LDL 210 mg/dL
B. HDL 40 mg/dL
C. Total Cholesterol 120 mg/dL
D. Triglycerides 375 mg/dL
The answers are A, B, and D. A normal LDL should be LESS than 100 mg/dL, HDL GREATER than 60 mg/dL, and triglycerides <150 mg/dL
4. A 37-year-old female has received 2 units of packed red blood cells. What is the desired hemoglobin level range for this patient?
C. 12-16 g/dL
D. 14-18 g/dL
The answer is C. Females should have a hemoglobin range of 12-16 g/dL. Men should have a hemoglobin range of 14-18 g/dL. Options A and B are the measurement hematocrit ranges (option A is for a male and option B is for a female).
5. Which patient below is experiencing leukopenia based on their complete blood count?
A. A patient with a platelet level of 100,000.
B. A patient with a WBC level of 9,000.
C. A patient with a platelet level of 150,000.
D. A patient with a WBC level of 3,000.
The answer is D. Leukopenia is defined as a LOW WBC count. A normal WBC count is 5,000-10,000. A WBC level of 3,000 indicates leukopenia.
6. Which patient below is experiencing thrombocytopenia based on their complete blood count?
A. A patient with a WBC level of 15,000.
B. A patient with a platelet level of 100,000.
C. A patient with a WBC level of 4,000.
D. A patient with a platelet level of 350,000.
The answer is B. Thrombocytopenia is defined as a LOW platelet count. A normal platelet count is 150,000-400,000. A platelet level of 100,000 indicates thrombocytopenia.
7. A male patient’s complete blood count results are back from this morning’s lab draw. Select all the NORMAL results:
A. RBC 4.8 million
B. WBC 10,000
C. Platelets 350,000
D. Hbg 12 g/dL
E. Hematocrit 37%
The answers are A, B, and C. Option D and E are NORMAL results for a FEMALE but not a male. A male’s hemoglobin should be 14-18 g/dL and hematocrit 42-52%.
8. A patient is taking Warfarin (Coumadin). What is a desired INR level for this patient?
A. Less than 1
B. 1.5-2.5 times the normal range
D. 30-40 seconds
The answer is C: 2-3
9. What is a NORMAL aPTT for a patient who is NOT taking an anticoagulant?
A. 60-80 seconds
C. 10-12 seconds
D. 30-40 seconds
The answer is D: 30-40 seconds
10. A patient is on a continuous IV Heparin drip for the treatment of a pulmonary embolism. The patient’s aPTT should be _____________ to ensure that the medication is successful in treating the patient’s condition.
A. Less than 1
B. 2-3 seconds
C. 1.5-2.5 times the normal range
D. 30-40 seconds
The answer is C. A NORMAL aPTT is 30-40 seconds in someone who is NOT taking Heparin. However, in order for Heparin to be therapeutic for the treatment of blood clots, the aPTT should be 1.5-2.5 times the normal range…which is about 60-80 seconds.
11. A 65-year-old male patient, who is diabetic, has a hemoglobin A1C level drawn. What is the target hemoglobin A1C for this patient?
A. Less than 4%
B. Greater than 6%
C. Less than 10%
D. Less than 7%
The answer is D. Patients who are DIABETIC should try to have a target hemoglobin A1C less than 7%.
12. A patient is on continuous BiPap and has arterial blood gases (ABGs) drawn. Select ALL the abnormal results:
A. pH 7.20
B. PCO2 48
C. HCO3 25
D. pO2 80
The answers are A and B. A normal pH is 7.35-7.45, and a normal pCO2 is 35-45. A HCO3 should be 22-26, and pO2 80-100%.
13. A patient has the following arterial blood gases (ABGs). How do you interpret these results: pH 7.38, HCO3 24, and PCO2 38:
A. Metabolic acidosis
B. Respiratory acidosis
C. Metabolic alkalosis
The answer is D. These ABGs are normal. A normal pH is 7.35-7.45, and a normal pCO2 is 35-45. A HCO3 should fall between 22-26.
14. A patient is scheduled to take a dose of Digoxin. The patient’s Digoxin level is 1 ng/mL. After checking the apical pulse, you will?
A. Hold the dose
B. Notify the physician
C. Administer the dose
D. Redraw the level
The answer is C. A normal Digoxin level is 0.5-2 ng/mL. This level is normal; therefore, the nurse should administer the dose.
15. A patient who has epilepsy is scheduled to take a dose of Dilantin. What is the desired therapeutic range for this medication?
A. 4-10 mcg/mL
B. 10-20 mcg/mL
C. 15-40 mcg/mL
D. 50-100 mcg/mL
The answer is B: 10-20 mcg/mL
16. A patient is scheduled to take Theophylline. What drug level would require the nurse to hold the schedule dose of Theophylline?
A. Greater than 20 mcg/mL
B. Greater than 10 mcg/mL
C. Less than 1.2 mcg/mL
D. Greater than 2 mcg/mL
The answer is A: greater than 20 mcg/mL. A Theophylline drug level should be 10-20 mcg/mL
17. A patient is scheduled to take Lithium. The patient’s Lithium level is 1 mmol/L. As the nurse you will?
A. Administer the scheduled dose
B. Hold the scheduled dose
C. Notify the physician
D. Redraw the lab
The answer is A. A normal Lithium drug range is 0.5-1.2 mmol/L. Therefore, the nurse should administer the drug as scheduled.
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