Are you preparing for your NCLEX in 2024? You are in the right place. Since it’s one of the most important exams in your nursing career having practice questions in your study plan is key.

All nurses must have the skill of safe, effective, and patient-centered care. That’s why the nursing process is a highly tested area on . Therefore, mastering it is key to your success in your NCLEX-RN exam.

Today we look into the nursing process to uncover strategies to tackle NCLEX questions confidently.

The Nursing Process

The nursing process The nursing process is a five-step approach to providing safe and effective care to patients. Imagine it as a roadmap guiding you through each stage: Let’s look at each approach:


Here, you gather information about your patient's health status through interviews, physical examinations, and reviewing medical history. NCLEX loves to test your ability to prioritize this information.

Here is an example of an NCLEX-style question you might come across: A client arrives with chest pain. Which assessment finding is most important to obtain first?
(a) Blood pressure
(b) Respiratory rate
(c) Past medical history?
The answer is (b), as rapid breathing can indicate the severity of chest pain.


After you've gathered data, it's time to analyze it and identify client problems, known as nursing diagnoses. The North American Nursing Diagnosis Association (NANDA) provides an up-to-date list of nursing diagnoses to nurses. According to the association, nursing diagnosis is a clinical judgment about responses to actual or potential health problems of the patient, family, or community. The NCLEX will test your ability to match client signs and symptoms with the most appropriate diagnosis.

Here is an example of an NCLEX-style question you might come across: A diabetic client has a high blood sugar level. What could be the most suitable nursing diagnosis?
(a) Risk for Impaired Skin Integrity
(b) Deficient Knowledge
(c) Risk for Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements?
The best answer is (c), as uncontrolled diabetes can lead to malnutrition.


Since you know your client's challenges create a plan to address them. This involves setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) and outlining specific interventions – actions you'll take to help your client reach those goals.

Here's a practice question: The nurse plans to care for a client at risk for pressure ulcers. Which intervention should be included?
(a) Encourage frequent position changes,
(b) Apply lotion as needed
(c) Monitor weight daily.
The answer is (a), as frequent position changes help prevent pressure ulcers.


Put your plan into action, and carry out the interventions you outlined while prioritizing client safety and comfort.


Did your interventions work? Regularly assess your client's progress and adjust the plan as needed. This is where the nursing process comes full circle!

Master NCLEX Nursing Process Questions

NCLEX nursing process questionsNCLEX nursing process questions come in various forms. They test your ability to think critically and apply your nursing knowledge. Use the following strategies to answer them.

Think Like a Nurse

When a problem is presented to you, don't just memorize! Use the nursing process as a framework to help analyze situations and make clinical judgments.


The NCLEX often presents scenarios with multiple problems, therefore practically focusing on the most critical needs first.

Sample NCLEX Scenarios

Let's solidify your understanding with some practice scenarios:

Scenario 1: A client with chronic heart failure experiences shortness of breath upon exertion. Applying the Nursing Process:

  • Vital signs, oxygen saturation, lung sounds, and activity level will be assessed.
  • Potential diagnoses might include Risk for Activity Intolerance or Ineffective Breathing Pattern.
  • SMART goals could be to increase the client's activity tolerance to a certain distance within a set timeframe. The Interventions include monitoring oxygen levels during activity and teaching pursed-lip breathing techniques.
  • The nurse would implement the planned interventions and educate the client on managing their condition.
  • The client's response to interventions would be assessed, and the plan would be adjusted as needed.

Consistently practice applying the nursing process to various scenarios, and you'll build critical thinking skills and confidence for tackling NCLEX nursing process questions

Advanced Strategies for NCLEX Success

While the core nursing process framework remains constant, NCLEX throws curveballs to test your deeper understanding. Here are some advanced strategies for your preparation:

Client-Centered Care

NCLEX questions might present scenarios where cultural considerations, ethical dilemmas, or communication challenges impact the nursing process. Think about how you would adapt your approach in these situations.

For example, a client refuses a specific intervention due to religious beliefs. How would you ensure culturally competent care while respecting their wishes? Here, you might consider involving a spiritual care provider to help bridge the gap.

Collaboration and Delegation

Nursing is a collaborative profession. NCLEX questions will test your understanding of working with physicians, and other healthcare professionals and delegating tasks appropriately.

For example, a client experiences a sudden decline in vital signs. Which task would be most appropriate to delegate to a licensed practical nurse (LPN)?
(a) Monitoring vital signs every 5 minutes
(b) Administering oxygen
(c) Initiating a new intravenous (IV) line
The best answer is (a). Monitoring vital signs is a foundational skill within an LPN's scope of practice.

Prioritization During Implementation

Sometimes, unexpected situations arise during implementation. NCLEX questions will test your ability to prioritize interventions based on urgency and potential patient complications.

Let’s look at this scenario, a client with a urinary tract infection (UTI) also experiences sudden chest pain. Which intervention should be prioritized?
(a) Completing the antibiotic for the UTI
(b) Obtaining an electrocardiogram (ECG) to assess the chest pain,
(c) Collecting a urine sample.
The answer is (b) as chest pain can be a life-threatening symptom. You’ll need to address the most urgent issue first, then address the UTI as time allows.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Understanding Maslow's hierarchy can help you prioritize client needs in complex scenarios. NCLEX questions will present situations where a client's basic physiological needs (like breathing) precede psychological needs (like anxiety).

Here is a real-life scenario: A client with severe pain is anxious about an upcoming surgery. How would you address their needs while ensuring their safety? You should prioritize pain management while also addressing their anxiety through relaxation techniques or offering emotional support.

By incorporating these advanced strategies into your practice, you'll be well-equipped to handle the complexities of NCLEX nursing process questions.


The nursing process is a simple and strategic plan for effective patient care. Nclex exams are highly focused in this area and thus nursing students must familiarize themselves with the question style. Consistent practice in nursing process questions and a critical thinking approach will help you to take the NCLEX exam confidently. Naxlex .use Naxlex today.

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