General Nursing Mnemonics for Nurses & Students

Nursing mnemonics is an excellent tool for nursing students and practitioners alike. They provide an easy-to-remember reference to key concepts related to different aspects of patient care. From medical terminology to pharmacology, nurses can use these helpful memory aids to quickly recall essential facts and data to make better clinical decisions. With the help of nursing mnemonics, nurses can significantly speed up learning and mastering new concepts.

What is Nursing Mnemonics ?

Nursing mnemonics are memory aids nurses use to remember important facts, concepts, and principles related to patient care. They use a combination of letters, words, or phrases to create a “memory trigger” that helps recall otherwise difficult-to-remember material. Nursing mnemonics can cover medical conditions, laboratory values, medications, etc. By associating seemingly unrelated words or phrases with a medical concept, nurses can quickly recall the needed information without looking it up elsewhere.

What is the Use of Nursing Mnemonics ?

Nursing mnemonics can be especially helpful for nursing students just starting their clinical rotations and learning to apply classroom knowledge in real-world scenarios. In many cases, these mnemonics are the only way to remember specific facts and procedures in a short period. Experienced nurses can also use them as a refresher on topics they haven’t encountered.

Using nursing mnemonics effectively requires practice and repetition over time. To get started, try creating your mnemonics for topics you find difficult to remember.

For example, if you need to place the order of assessment during a physical exam, create a phrase like “LLRAP” (Look, Listen, Roll, Palpate). If you struggle with remembering lab values related to kidney function, try creating an acronym like “SIGCK” (Serum creatinine, Uric acid, Glomerular filtration rate, Potassium). Once you have a list of mnemonics that work for you, practice using them in different scenarios and commit them to memory. With enough repetition and use over time, nursing mnemonics can become an invaluable tool in your everyday practice.

How to Remember the Nursing Mnemonics?

  1. Mnemonics can be tricky to remember, but you can do a few things to help. First, try breaking up the mnemonic into smaller parts and repeating it. For example, if you’re trying to remember the mnemonic ‘ABCDE: Assessment, Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular Status, Diagnosis/Disease Process, Evaluation’, you could break it up into chunks like ‘Assessment Blood Pressure Cardiovascular Status’ and then ‘Diagnosis/Disease Process Evaluation’.
  2. Create a mental image for each part of the mnemonic. This can help your brain to make connections between the parts and store them in memory. For example, for the mnemonic above, you might visualize taking a blood pressure cuff and using it to check someone’s pulse rate (Assessment), then visually represent their blood pressure reading on a chart (Blood Pressure), followed by an image of a heart with veins and arteries (Cardiovascular Status) and so on.
  3. Use repetition to help your brain store the information. Once you’ve got the mnemonic down, say it out loud or write it down a few times until your memory has stored it firmly in place. You should find that nursing mnemonics become second nature with practice and repetition.

General Nursing Mnemonics

  • Assessment
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Status
  • Diagnosis/Disease Process
  • Evaluation

Onset, Provocation, Quality, Radiation, Severity, Timing

3. I&O

Input and Output

4. H&P

History and Physical Exam

5. HPI

History of Present Illness

6. ROS

Review of Systems

7. LOC

Level of Consciousness

8. V/S

Vital Signs

9. BLS

Basic Life Support

10. ACLS

Advanced Cardiac Life Support

11. GCS

Glasgow Coma Scale

12. MAR

Medication Administration Record

13. LFT

Liver Function Test

14. CBC

Complete Blood Count

15. PFT

Pulmonary Function Test

16. EENT

Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat

17. PE

Physical Exam

18. BMP

Basic Metabolic Panel

19. CXR

Chest X-rays

20. MRI/CT Scan

Magnetic Resonance Imaging/Computer Tomography Scan

21. ECG


22. EKG


23. UA


24. BUN/Cr

Blood Urea Nitrogen/Creatinine

25. INR

International Normalized Ratio

26. PT/PTT

Prothrombin Time/Partial Thromboplastin Time

27. C-spine

Cervical Spine

28. L-spine

Lumbar Spine

29. Hx/HP

History & Physical Examination

30. Px/Tx

Diagnosis & Treatment

31. Hellp

Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, Low Platelet count

32. SOB

Shortness of Breath

3. DOB

Date Of Birth

34. NPO/IVF:

Nothing By Mouth/Intravenous Fluids

35. TIA: Transient Ischemic Attack

By understanding and using nursing mnemonics, you can become a better, more efficient nurse!

Final Words

Nursing mnemonics are a great way to help nurses remember the important facts, information, and processes that they need to recall while on the job. They serve as an effective aid in organizing thoughts and remembering key concepts without having to spend hours memorizing them. Nursing mnemonics can be tailored to fit any nurse’s needs, from medical conditions to drugs. Whether you’re a nursing student or an experienced nurse, try nursing mnemonics – they could be the perfect study and memory aid for you.

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