38 Must Know Nursing Mnemonics Database

nursing mnemonics

Mnemonics can be a great learning tool for nurses.  Here is a list of 38 nursing mnemonics for some of the most common disease processes you need to know. If you learn these while in nursing school they will provide you with a base of knowledge to draw from once you are working on the floor as a nurse.

For each mnemonic we have linked an associated podcast episode from our Nursing Mnemonics podcast.  Just below the image for the memory tool you will find the link to the episode.

You can listen on the computer, your phone (Android or iPhone), tablet, or any device.

Our goal with this list is to give you an extra tool to help you excel as a nurse.  You should never rely on memory tricks and hacks to do you job as a nurse, but they can be helpful in learning the information and committing it to memory.

38 Must Know Nursing Mnemonics

1. Hypokalemia

hypokalemia mnemonic

  • Lethary
  • Leg Cramps
  • Limp Muscles
  • Low, Shallow Respirations
  • Lethal Cardiac Dysrhythmias
  • Lots of Urine

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Listen to the full episode here.
Listen to the full episode here.

2. Hyponatremia

Hyponatremia mnemonics

  • Stupor/Coma
  • Anorexia, N&V
  • Lethargy
  • Tendon Reflexes decreased
  • Limp Muscles(weakness)
  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Seizure/headache
  • Stomach cramping

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Listen to the full episode here.

3. Electrolytes Location

Electrolytes location mnemonics

  • Potassium
  • Inside the cell
  • Sodium
  • Outside the cell

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Listen to the full episode here.

4. Acidosis Alkalosis

Acidosis Alkalosis mnemonics

  • Alkalosis has a K, therefore it is kicking the pH UP!
  • Acidosis has a D, therefore it is dropping the pH DOWN!

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Listen to the full episode here.

5. Beta Blockers

beta blockers mnemonics

  • Beta 1: Heart
  • Beta 2: Lungs
  • You have one heart and two lungs

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Listen to the full episode.

6. Bradycardia

Bradycardia nursing mnemonics

  • Isoproterenol
  • Dopamine
  • Epinephrine
  • Atropine Sulfate

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Listen to the full episode

7. Anticholinergics-side effects

anticholinergics-side effects

  • Can’t see – blurred vision
  • Can’t pee – urinary retention
  • Can’t spit – dry mouth
  • Can’t s*** – constipation

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Listen to the full episode here.

8. Cholinergics Crisis Signs and Symptoms

Cholinergics crisis signs and symptoms

  • Salivation
  • Lacrimation
  • Urination
  • Defecation
  • Gastric upset
  • Emesis
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Listen to the full episode here.

9. Drug Interactions

Drug interactions mnemonics

  • Theophylline
  • Dilan
  • Coumadin
  • Ilosone(Erythromycin)

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Listen to the full episode here

10. Emergency Drugs

Emergency drugs

  • Lidocaine
  • Epinephrine
  • Atropine Sulfate
  • Narcan
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Listen to the full episode here.

11. Lidocaine Toxicity

Lidocaine Toxicity

  • Slurred Speech
  • Altered Central Nervous System
  • Muscle Twitching
  • Seizures

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Listen to the full episode here.

12. ADLs(Activity of Daily Living)

ADLS nursing mnemonics

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Listen to the full episode here.

13. Body System

Body system mnemonics

  • Muscular
  • Respiratory
  • Endocrine
  • Circulatory
  • Integumentary
  • Digestive
  • Reproductive
  • Urinary
  • Nervous
  • Skeletal
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Listen to the full episode here.

14. CANES

canes nursing mnemonics

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Listen to the full episode here.

15. ECG Lead Placement(BEEP)

ecg lead placement

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Listen to the full episode here.

16. ECG Lead Placement

ECG lead placement nursing mnemonics

  • White – Right
  • Clouds  over Grass(white over green)
  • Smoke over fire(black over red)
  • Chocolate on the stomach(brown)

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Listen to the full episode here

17. IADLs

IADLs nursing mnemonics

  • Shopping
  • Cooking and Cleaning
  • Using telephone or transportation
  • Managing money and medications
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Listen to the full episode here.

18. Steps in the Nursing Process

Steps in the nursing process nursing mnemonics

  • Assessment
  • Diagnosis
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation
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Listen to the full episode here.

19. Sprains and Strains

Sprains and Strains

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

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Listen to the full episode here.

20. Traction

Traction nursing mnemonics

  • Temperature(Extremity, infection)
  • Rope hangs freely
  • Alignment
  • Circulation Check (5Ps)
  • Type and location of fracture
  • Increase fluid intake
  • Overhead trapeze
  • No weights on bed or floor
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Listen to the full episode here.

21. Steroids

Steroids Nursing Mnemonics

  • Sugar – hyperglycemia
  • Soggy bones- causes osteoporosis
  • Sick- decreased immunity
  • Sad – depression
  • Salt- water and salt retention(hypertension)
  • Sex – decreased libido

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Listen to the full episode here.

22. Vitamins – Fat Soluble

Vitamins - Fat Soluble nursing mnemonics

  • All Dogs Eat Kibbles
  • Vitamins A, D ,E, K

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Listen to the full episode here.

23. Adrenal Gland Hormones

Adrenal Gland Hormones

  • Sugar(Glucocorticoids)
  • Salt(Mineralcorticoids)
  • Sex(Androgens)

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Listen to the full episode here.

24. Alzheimer – Diagnosis

alzheimer - diagnosis

  • Amnesia
  • Anomia
  • Apraxia
  • Agnosia
  • Aphasia

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Listen to the full episode here.

25. AMS – possible cause

Ams - possible causes nursing mnemonics

  • Alcohol/drugs
  • Endocrine
  • Insulin
  • Overdose
  • Uremia
  • Trauma
  • Infection
  • Psychiatric
  • Shock
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Listen to the full episode here.

26. Arterial Blood Gases

Arterial Blood Gases Nursing Mnemonics

  • Respiratory
  • Opposite
  • Metabolic
  • Equal

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Listen to the full episode here .

27. Appendicitis

Appendicitis Nursing Mnemonics

  • Pain (RLQ)
  • Anorexia
  • Increased temp, WBC (15,000 – 20,000)
  • Nausea
  • Signs(McBurney’s, Psoas)

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Listen to the full episode here

28. Asthma

Asthma Nursing Mnemonics

  • Adrenergic(Albuterol)
  • Steroids
  • Theophylline
  • Hydration(IV)
  • Mask(Oxygen)
  • Antibiotics

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Listen to the full episode here.

29. Bleeding Precautions

Bleeding Precautions Nursing Mnemonics

  • Razor Electric/Blades
  • Aspirin
  • Needles-small gauge
  • Decrease needle sticks
  • Injury (Protect from)

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Listen to the full episode here.

30. Cancer – Early warning signs

Cancer - early warning signs nursing mnemonics

  • Change in bowel or bladder
  • A lesion that does not heal
  • Unusual bleeding or discharge
  • Thickening/lump in breast or elsewhere
  • Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
  • Obvious changes in wart or mole
  • Nagging cough or persistent hoarseness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pernicious Anemia
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Listen to the full episode here.

31. Cardiac Valves Blood Flow

Cardiac Valves Blood Flow Nursing Mnemonics

  • Tricuspid
  • Pulmonic
  • Mitrial
  • Aortic

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Listen to the full episode here.

32. CHF Treatment

CHF- TreatmentNursing Mnemonics

  • U sit Upright
  • Nitro
  • Lasix
  • Oxygen
  • Aminophylline
  • Digoxin
  • Fluid – decrease
  • Afterload-decrease
  • Sodium -decrease
  • Test: dig level,ABC, K+

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Listen to the full episode here.

33. Cholinergic Crisis

Cholinergic Crisis Nursing Mnemonics

  • Salivation
  • Lacrimation
  • Urination
  • Defecation
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34. Cor Pulmonale

Cor Pulmonale Nursing Mnemonics

  • Peripheral edema
  • Raised JVP
  • Hepatomegaly
  • Tricuspid incompetence
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35. Diarrhea Treatment

Diarrhea Treatment Nursing Mnemonics

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36. Dyspnea

Dyspnea Nursing Mnemonics

  • Pulmonary Bronchial Constriction
  • Possible Foreign Body
  • Pulmonary Embolus
  • Pneumothorax
  • Pump Failure
  • Pneumonia
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37. Epiglottis

Epiglottis Nursing Mnemonics

  • Airway closed
  • Increased Pulse
  • Restlessness
  • Retractions – occur when the muscles between the ribs pull inward
  • Anxiety increased
  • Inspiratory Stridor – high-pitched breath sound caused by turbulent airflow in the larynx
  • Drooling
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38. Dementia

Dementia Nursing Mnemonics

Make sure they don’t have problems with:

  • Drug and alcohol
  • Eyes and ears
  • Metabolic and Endocrine disorders
  • Emotional disorder
  • Neurologic disorders
  • Tumors and trauma
  • Infection
  • Arteriovascular disease
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Your Turn

Do you have a favorite nursing mnemonics that we didn’t list here?  Share it below for all of us to learn from . . .

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