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Practical Nursing

Entry Level Assessment Blueprint

Specific Competencies and Skills Tested in this Assessment:

Communication and Employability

  • Identify and use various forms of professional healthcare communication  
  • Demonstrate acceptable health habits for a healthcare professional
  • Demonstrate appropriate professional behavior as a practical nurse
  • Demonstrate basic computer skills related to practical nursing 
  • Report patient status and needs to appropriate health care team members 
  • Identify and apply appropriate medical terminology and abbreviations 


Legal and Ethical Responsibilities

  • Practice within the role and scope of the job description
  • Explain the patient’s “Bill of Rights”
  • Maintain confidentiality and adhere to HIPAA guidelines
  • Follow policies and procedures affecting the health, safety, and well-being of patients 
  • Recognize and report signs and symptoms of all forms of abuse and neglect
  • Follow facility and legal guidelines related to documentation 
  • Identify the role of health care team members
  • Appropriately utilize the chain of command 
  • Follow OSHA requirements


Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology 

  • Describe the relationships of body systems in providing patient care 
  • Describe the structure and function of body systems
  • Describe characteristics of growth and development from conception to death 


Patient Care Skills

  • Assist with patient’s plan of care/or treatment
  • Identify and respond appropriately to emergency situations 
  • Identify and maintain a safe physical environment 
  • Monitor and record patient vital signs 
  • Provide pain management and palliative care 
  • Identify signs, symptoms, and treatments related to disorders of the body systems 
  • Recognize and report changes in health status
  • Provide appropriate care for patients across the lifespan
  • Assist with admissions, transfers, and discharges
  • Assist with activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Demonstrate use of good body mechanics
  • Establish and maintain aseptic technique
  • Review and assist with laboratory specimens (UA, OB)
  • Identify nutritional needs of patients
  • Provide appropriate pre-op and post-op patient care 


Administer Medication

  • Demonstrate the “rights” of medication administering
  • Observe and respond to patient’s need for medication
  • Perform calculations and conversions, including time conversions 
  • Safely administer oral, topical, and parenteral medications and monitor patient response
  • Properly store and dispose of medications and supplies
  • Provide patient education related to medication use
  • Provide care and inspection of IV infusion sites
  • Identify medications used in the treatment of diseases/disorders of the body systems


Infection Control

  • Identify and practice standard precautions
  • Establish and maintain an isolation unit 
  • Identify the chain of infection and modes of transmission


Psychological Support

  • Identify basic human needs across the lifespan 
  • Identify common manifestations of patients with psychological disorders 
  • Discuss family dynamics and the effects on patient health 
  • Provide culturally competent care 
  • Identify stages of the grief process 


Supervised Management Functions

  • Prioritize and effectively complete patient care assignments 
  • Participate as a member of the health care team 
  • Communicate and delegate tasks to assistive personnel 
  • Identify community resources for individuals and families


Written Assessment: 

Administration Time: 3 hours   

Number of Questions: 202

Areas Covered:  

Communication and Employability: 10%

Legal and Ethical Responsibilities: 15%

Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology: 5%

Patient Care Skills: 32%

Administer Medication: 19%

Infection Control: 5%

Psychological Support: 8%

Supervised Management Functions: 6%


Sample Questions:

If a coworker has arrived 12 to 15 minutes late for work the last three days, this behavior

  1. is acceptable as long as there are others to cover
  2. is okay as long as coworkers do not complain 
  3. might result in disciplanary action by the employer 
  4. will result in immediate termination


After insertion of a Foley catheter on a female patient, the catheter should be

  1. anchored to the inner thigh 
  2. left free to accommodate movement 
  3. clamped and hung on the IV pole 
  4. taped and pinned to the patient’s gown 


A practical nurse should recommend which of the following foods to increase iron intake?

  1. fruits and fruit juices 
  2. meat products 
  3. whole grain products
  4. dairy products 


An oral hypoglycemic agent will affect diabetes by

  1. reducing the renal threshold of glucose 
  2. eliminating the need for diet therapy
  3. decreasing the need for oral insulin 
  4. stimulating the pancreatic beta cells to release insulin


An infant’s ID band needs to be

  1. removed and sent to medical records 
  2. matched with the mother’s ID bracelet 
  3. left on and sent home with the infant 
  4. removed and given to the mother 

Sample Questions continued:


Non-pathogenic microorganisms

  1. assist in maintaining normal body functions 
  2. cause contagious diseases 
  3. are spread by food-borne routes 
  4. are aerobic and do not need oxygen


Which nursing measure prevents external rotation of the left leg following a hip replacement?

  1. application of Buck’s traction
  2. utilization of a trochanter roll 
  3. positioning on affected side 
  4. utilization of a foot board


When providing nursing care for a psychiatric patient,

  1. require the patient to concentrate on instructions
  2. be consistant, friendly, and honest
  3. maintain patient segregation 
  4. require patient participation with group activities


In order to delegate tasks to assistive personnel, the practical nurse must first know the

  1. state and national laws of nursing 
  2. nursing code of ethics for the state 
  3. policy of the health care facility or hospital 
  4. scope of practice of the assistive personnel


When the patient’s blood pressure is 200/100, this finding is _______ data.

  1. subjective
  2. primary
  3. objective
  4. biographic


Performance Assessment:

Administration Time: 3 hours

Number of Jobs: 6


Areas Covered:

20% Take Vital Signs 

Participant will assemble equipment, identify the patient, introduce and explain the procedure, correctly use equipment and aseptic techniques, properly position the patient, take blood pressure and body temperature, count respirations and apical pulse, assess pain, document procedures and clean equipment.


15% Transfer a CVA Patient

Participant will assemble equipment, identify the patient, introduce and explain the procedure, use equipment and aseptic techniques properly and safely, use appropriate body mechanics to transfer a CVA patient with right sided weakness from bed to wheelchair and back, and position patient in a wheelchair and bed.


19% Insertion of Indwelling Catheter

Participant will assemble equipment, identify the patient, introduce and explain the procedures, use the drape correctly, maintain a sterile eld, follow correct sequence of procedures, correctly use equipment and medical and surgical technique, provide privacy, correctly place catheter, drainage tubing, and bag, maintain a safe environment, dispose of equipment, and document the procedure.


7% Remove Contaminated Linen from Isolation Unit

Participant will assemble equipment, use personal protection equipment, remove linens, dispose of equipment, and wash hands.


12% Administration of Medication

Participant will verify doctor’s orders, assemble equipment, identify the patient, introduce and explain procedure, use correct aseptic techniques, use the six rights of drug administration, dispose of equipment, and calculate medication.


27% Demonstrate Handwashing, Application, and Removal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

Participant will use proper equipment, supplies, and clean techniques to demonstrate hand washing technique, put on personal protective equipment in correct order without contamination.

Sample Job:

Transfer a CVA Patient 

Maximum Time: 30 minutes 

Participant Activity: The participant will demonstrate the appropriate methods, equipment, procedures, body mechanics, safety measures, and communication skills to transfer a CVA patient with right-side paralysis from bed to wheelchair and back to bed.