Master How to Use ADPIE for Exam Questions with Picmonic for Nursing RN

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

How to Use ADPIE for Exam Questions

How to Add (+) Pie to Your Exam
Picmonic
To answer nursing exam questions, a very common test-taking strategy is using the steps of the nursing process (ADPIE) to help you prioritize. ADPIE is an acronym for these steps, which are assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation, and they follow this specific order. Assessment questions are asking you to collect data about the patient; both objective and subjective data. Remember that assessment is the first step in the nursing process, so when you are asked what the nurse would do first, make sure to follow the nursing process steps to help you prioritize and bring you to the correct answer. Nursing diagnosis questions require interpretations of the assessment data, analyzing it, then applying critical thinking to the results. Planning questions involve using the nursing assessment and analysis to determine interventions, goals and outcomes in an individualized cohesive plan. Intervention questions are focused on actions or interventions to achieve goals, assisting in the performance of activities of daily living (ADLs), administering ordered medications, or educating the patient.  Evaluation questions are focused on actual outcomes of care, if the expected goals were achieved and how effective care was. Follow the steps to help you answer exam questions; read the entire question, identify the step in the nursing process, and eliminate answer choices that don’t reflect the stem of the question. 
8 KEY FACTS
ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS
Data Collection
Data-sheets in Collecting-jar

Assessment questions are asking you to gather data about the patient; both objective and subjective data. Remember that assessment is the first step in the nursing process, so words that indicate that the question is specifically an assessment question will reflect the need to look for an option that is the initial step. Strategic words can help you identify if the specific question is an assessment question; words like, assess, collect, gather, or do first.

NURSING DIAGNOSIS QUESTIONS
Data Analysis
Data-sheet Analyzing Diagnostic-computer

Diagnosis questions require interpretation of the assessment data, analysis, and application of critical thinking. When analyzing the data and recognizing patterns related to the patient’s condition, the nurse begins to identify the patient’s problems or risks. A nursing diagnosis is formed by identifying the problem, writing a diagnostic statement, and validating the diagnosis. A patient may have several nursing diagnoses, that are arranged according to priority, and addressing the patient’s most vital problems first. Because this is the second step in the nursing process, narrowing down the answer choices can be easier if you eliminate options reflecting assessment, intervention, planning or evaluation. Strategic words for recognizing nursing diagnosis questions include “analyze” or “interpret”.

PLANNING QUESTIONS
Plan of Care
Planner and Carebear

Planning questions involve using the nursing assessment and analysis to determine interventions, goals and outcomes in an individualized cohesive plan. In this plan, SMART goals are set. This acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-oriented. The plan tailored to the patient includes both short-and-long-term goals. The plan of care is communicated to the healthcare team and documented. It is important to prioritize patient problems in order of importance when creating the plan; starting with current problems and ending with potential risks/problems. When asked about making a nursing care plan in an exam question, the SMART acronym can direct you on how to answer.

INTERVENTION QUESTIONS
Action or Intervening
Action-clapper and Nurse Entering-between Patient and Disease-guy

Intervention questions are focused on actions or interventions to achieve goals, assisting in the performance of activities of daily living (ADLs), administering ordered medications, or educating the patient. Remember that for the most part, interventions come after the assessment has been done. Exceptions are emergency situations. So when presented with a question, ask yourself if the assessment has already been completed. Strategic words that will help identify if it is an intervention question include; action or intervene.

EVALUATION QUESTIONS
Outcomes of Care
Outside with Carebear

Evaluation questions are focused on actual outcomes of care; if expected goals were achieved and the effectiveness of care. Evaluation of successful outcomes are when the patient’s behavior and condition has changed as intended, goals were accomplished, or if progress has occurred. If these components are not met, evaluation highlights barriers requiring modification and refinement. Strategic words that will help identify an evaluation question include “evaluate” or “outcome”.

STEPS
Read Entire Question
Reading the Entire Question

Read and then reread the entire question to ask yourself what the question is asking. Establish a pattern and identify the answer choices.

Identify Step in the Nursing Process
Magnifying-glass Identifying the Step and Nurse Processor

If the question is asking you a part of the nursing process, the strategy is to recognize which step in ADPIE it is asking you to identify.

Eliminate Answer Choices; Choose the Best Answer
Choosing the Best Answer

After you rule out the answer options that do not reflect the stem of the question (example; if it is an assessment question, it is looking for options that reflect assessment steps, so eliminate any answer options that are interventions!) it will be easier to narrow down your answer choices and choose the best answer.

Unlock all 8 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

JOIN FREE

Take the How to Use ADPIE for Exam Questions Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

START QUIZ NOW

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Nursing (RN) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 860,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Nursing (RN) student study app.

Picmonic for Nursing (RN) covers information that is relevant to your entire Nursing (RN) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer your NCLEX®-RN, Hesi, ATI, TEAS test, Kaplan exams, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Nursing (RN) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.