Welcome to your ultimate diabetes NCLEX questions and reviewer! Answer all the diabetes mellitus practice questions (100 items) from our nursing test bank and test your competence in the nursing management of diabetes.
Diabetes Mellitus Nursing Test Bank
In this section are the practice NCLEX quiz for diabetes mellitus. This 100-item quiz will test your knowledge and ability to differentiate the different types of diabetes mellitus, recognizing the clinical manifestations and signs and symptoms of complications, medical management, nursing management, and patient education.
Quizzes included in this guide are:
- Part 1: Diabetes Mellitus NCLEX Questions (25 Items)
- Part 2: Diabetes Mellitus NCLEX Questions (25 Items)
- Part 3: Diabetes Mellitus NCLEX Questions (25 Items)
- Part 4: Diabetes Mellitus NCLEX Questions (25 Items)
- Read and understand each question before choosing the best answer.
- Since this is a review, answers and rationales are shown after you click on the "Check" button.
- There is no time limit, answer the questions at your own pace.
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Part 1: Diabetes Mellitus NCLEX Questions (25 Items)
Here is the first part of your NCLEX practice questions for diabetes mellitus. Includes items. Please make sure to answer all other quizzes!
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Looking for the rationales? Please click on the “View Questions” button below to review your answers and read through the rationales for each question.
Question 1 of 25
Knowing that gluconeogenesis helps to maintain blood glucose levels, a nurse should:CorrectIncorrect
Question 2 of 25
The nurse is admitting a patient diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The nurse should expect the following symptoms during an assessment, except:CorrectIncorrect
Question 3 of 25
Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) test measures the average blood glucose control of an individual over the previous three months. Which of the following values is considered a diagnosis of pre-diabetes?CorrectIncorrect
Question 4 of 25
Rotation sites for insulin injection should be separated from one another by 2.5 cm (1 inch) and should be used only every:CorrectIncorrect
Question 5 of 25
A clinical feature that distinguishes a hypoglycemic reaction from a ketoacidosis reaction is:CorrectIncorrect
Question 6 of 25
Clinical nursing assessment for a patient with microangiopathy who has manifested impaired peripheral arterial circulation includes all of the following, except:CorrectIncorrect
Question 7 of 25
The nurse expects that a type 1 diabetic may receive how much of his or her morning dose of insulin preoperatively?CorrectIncorrect
Question 8 of 25
Albert, a 35-year-old insulin-dependent diabetic, is admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of pneumonia. He has been febrile since admission. His daily insulin requirement is 24 units of NPH. Every morning Albert is given NPH insulin at 0730. Meals are served at 0830, 1230, and 1830. The nurse expects that the NPH insulin will reach its maximum effect (peak) between the hours of:CorrectIncorrect
Question 9 of 25
A male nurse is providing a bedtime snack for his patient. This is based on the knowledge that intermediate-acting insulins are effective for an approximate duration of:CorrectIncorrect
Question 10 of 25
A nurse went to a patient’s room to do routine vital signs monitoring and found out that the patient’s bedtime snack was not eaten. This should alert the nurse to check and assess for:CorrectIncorrect
Question 11 of 25
A client is taking NPH insulin daily every morning. The nurse instructs the client that the most likely time for a hypoglycemic reaction to occur is:CorrectIncorrect
Question 12 of 25
An external insulin pump is prescribed for a client with DM. The client asks the nurse about the functioning of the pump. The nurse bases the response on the information that the pump:CorrectIncorrect
Question 13 of 25
A client with a diagnosis of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is being treated in the ER. Which finding would a nurse expect to note as confirming this diagnosis?CorrectIncorrect
Question 14 of 25
A client with DM demonstrates acute anxiety when first admitted for the treatment of hyperglycemia. The most appropriate intervention to decrease the client’s anxiety would be to:CorrectIncorrect
Question 15 of 25
A nurse is preparing a plan of care for a client with diabetes mellitus who has hyperglycemia. The priority nursing diagnosis would be:CorrectIncorrect
Question 16 of 25
A nurse is caring for a client admitted to the ER with DKA. In the acute phase the priority nursing action is to prepare to:CorrectIncorrect
Question 17 of 25
A nurse performs a physical assessment on a client with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Findings include fasting blood glucose of 120mg/dl, temperature of 101ºF, pulse of 88 bpm, respirations of 22 bpm, and a BP of 140/84 mmHg. Which finding would be of most concern to the nurse?CorrectIncorrect
Question 18 of 25
A client with type 1 diabetes mellitus calls the nurse to report recurrent episodes of hypoglycemia with exercise. Which statement by the client indicated an inadequate understanding of the peak action of NPH insulin and exercise?CorrectIncorrect
Question 19 of 25
A client with diabetes mellitus visits a health care clinic. The client’s diabetes previously had been well controlled with glyburide (Diabeta), 5 mg PO daily, but recently, the fasting blood glucose has been running 180-200 mg/dl. Which medication, if added to the clients regimen, may have contributed to the hyperglycemia?CorrectIncorrect
Question 20 of 25
Glucose is an important molecule in a cell because this molecule is primarily used for:CorrectIncorrect
Question 21 of 25
When a client is first admitted with hyperglycemic hyperosmolar nonketotic syndrome (HHNS), the nurse’s priority is to provide:CorrectIncorrect
Question 22 of 25
The nurse is admitting a client with hypoglycemia. Identify the signs and symptoms the nurse should expect. Select all that apply.CorrectIncorrect
Question 23 of 25
When a client is experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis, the insulin that would be administered is:CorrectIncorrect
Question 24 of 25
The nurse recognizes that additional teaching is necessary when the client who is learning alternative site testing (AST) for glucose monitoring says:CorrectIncorrect
Question 25 of 25
A 44-year-old woman with type 1 diabetes comes to the emergency department due to abdominal pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The patient had a history of chronic back pain due to a motor accident 20 years ago. Her situation renders her unable to work and pay for the increasing price of insulin, which has doubled during the last five years. The patient doesn’t have medical coverage or insurance; therefore, she rations her insulin intake, making her unable to follow her prescribed therapeutic regimen for her diabetes. Because of her situation, the client is at high risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis. As her nurse, which of the following symptoms would you anticipate the client to exhibit? Select all that apply.CorrectIncorrect
Review Notes for Diabetes Mellitus
If you need a quick review around the concepts of diabetes mellitus, please see the refresher below:
- Diabetes mellitus is a disorder characterized by insufficient production of insulin in the pancreas or when there is a resistance or deficiency of available insulin resulting in hyperglycemia.
- It is characterized by disturbances in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism.
- Sustained hyperglycemia has been shown to affect almost all tissues in the body and is associated with significant complications of multiple organ systems, including the eyes, nerves, kidneys, and blood vessels.
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus or, formerly called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, typically occurs in younger people with the exact cause is unknown. Type 1 diabetes may result from an autoimmune process triggered by a virus
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus, formerly called non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, is characterized by defects in insulin release and use, and insulin resistance. Commonly occurs in patients with obesity and those with genetic susceptibility to DM.
- Gestational diabetes mellitus is characterized by glucose intolerance of any degree that occurs during pregnancy.
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus:
- There is a destruction of the islet cells in the pancreas causing insufficient insulin and excess glucagon.
- Glucose accumulates in the serum causing hyperglycemia.
- Blood being delivered in the kidneys has high glucose concentration causing osmotic diuresis and glycosuria.
- Osmotic diuresis causes water loss, resulting in polydipsia.
- Lack of insulin makes the body unable to use carbohydrates primarily and instead uses fats and proteins for energy production, resulting in ketosis and weight loss.
- Polyphagia and fatigue result from the break down of nutritional stores.
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus:
- Insulin resistance occurs in diabetes mellitus, wherein there is a decrease in tissue sensitivity to insulin.
- In normal conditions, insulin binds to special receptors on the cell surfaces and initiates reactions involved in glucose metabolism. However, in type 2 diabetes, these intracellular reactions are diminished, making insulin less effective at stimulating glucose uptake by the tissues and at regulating glucose release by the liver.
- If the beta cells cannot keep up with the increased demand for insulin, the glucose level rises and type 2 diabetes develops.
- Gestational diabetes mellitus:
- Hyperglycemia develops in pregnancy because of the secretion of placental hormones, which causes insulin resistance.
- Gestational diabetes is related to the anti-insulin effects of progesterone, cortisol, and human placenta lactogen, which increase the amount of insulin needed to maintain glycemic control.
- Hypoglycemia is when the blood the glucose falls to less than 50 to 60 mg/dL and is linked to excessive use of hypoglycemic agents, decreased food intake, increased physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption, or renal failure. It often occurs before meals, especially if meals are delayed or snacks are omitted. It can occur on type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is caused by an absence or severe inadequacy of insulin. This deficit in available insulin results in disorders in the metabolism of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. DKA is usually associated with incorrect or failure to take insulin as prescribed and stress and is occurring in clients with type 1 diabetes.
- Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Syndrome (HHNS) is the combination of severe hyperglycemia and hyperosmolarity with little or no acidosis. The insulin level in HHNS is too low to prevent hyperglycemia but is high enough to prevent fat breakdown. HHNS occurs in older clients (50 to 70 years old) with type 2 diabetes and is associated with stress or ingestion of certain drugs.
- Microangiopathy, or diabetic microvascular disease, is characterized by capillary basement membrane thickening most prominently in the retina and glomerulus.
- Diabetic retinopathy is the deterioration of the small blood vessels that nourish the retina causing visual impairment.
- Nephropathy is a renal dysfunction caused by microvascular changes in the kidney secondary to diabetes mellitus.
- Diabetic neuropathy refers to a group of diseases that affect all types of nerves characterized by paresthesias or decreased sensation. Peripheral neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy are two of the most common types of neuropathy found in diabetes.
- Increased susceptibility to infections results from an impaired ability of granulocytes to respond to infectious agents.
- Diabetes mellitus:
- Polyuria (increased urination), polydipsia (increased thirst), and polyphagia (increased appetite) are the classic symptoms of diabetes mellitus, also known as the “3 P’s of DM”.
- Fatigue and weakness
- Weight loss
- Sudden vision changes
- Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
- Dry skin
- Skin lesions or wounds that are slow to heal
- Recurrent infections (urinary, skin, vulva)
- Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)
- Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Syndrome (HHNS)
- Mild hypoglycemia: stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.
- Cool, moist skin, or pallor
- Moderate hypoglycemia: decreased glucose levels for the brain cells.
- Impaired CNS function
- Inability to concentrate
- Memory lapses
- Double vision
- Severe hypoglycemia: severe impairment of the CNS.
- Disoriented behavior
- Difficulty arousing from sleep
- Loss of consciousness
- Mild hypoglycemia: stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.
Laboratory and Diagnostics
- Diabetes mellitus
- Fasting blood glucose level above 140 mg/dL or postprandial (after meals) blood glucose levels above 200 mg/dl measured on more than one occasion is diagnostic.
- Glycosylated hemoglobin (HgbA1C) shows an elevated blood glucose level.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
- Blood glucose levels between 300 and 8900 mg/dL
- Ketoacidosis is reflected in low serum bicarbonate (0 to 15 mEq/L) and low pH values.
- Accumulation of ketone bodies is reflected in blood and urine ketone measurements.
- Sodium and potassium concentrations may vary depending on the degree of dehydration. Increased levels of creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, and hematocrit go along with dehydration.
- Arterial blood gas indicate metabolic acidosis
- Serum blood glucose higher than 700 mg/dL
- Serum blood osmolality is higher than 350 mOsm/kg
- Urine specimen reveals the absence of ketosis
- Serum electrolyte levels show hypernatremia and hypokalemia.
- Serum blood glucose level is less than 70 mg/dL
- The main goal of treatment is to normalize insulin activity and blood glucose levels to reduce the development of complications.
- There are five components of management for diabetes: nutrition, exercise, monitoring, pharmacologic therapy, and education.
- Insulin is the primary treatment for type 1 diabetes.
- Weight reduction is the primary treatment for type 2 diabetes.
- Exercise enhances the effectiveness of insulin.
- Monitor blood glucose levels and provide teaching to the patient on how to do so.
- Administer medications, as prescribed:
- Self-administering insulin
- Provide information and teaching on how to self-administer insulin.
- On storing insulin: vials of insulin, when not in use, should be refrigerated (extreme temperatures should also be avoided). Insulin vial that is currently in use can be kept at room temperature (1 month). Cloudy insulins should be thoroughly mixed by gently inverting the vial or rolling it between the hands before drawing the solution. Intermediate-acting insulin showing a frosted, whitish coating inside the bottle, should be discarded.
- On selecting syringes: syringes should match the insulin concentration.
- On mixing insulins: patients should be warned not to inject one type of insulin into the bottle containing a different type of insulin. Patients with difficulty mixing insulins may use premixed insulin.
- Selecting and rotating injection sites: the abdomen, upper arms, thighs, and hips are the four main sites for insulin injection. Rotation of injection sites is recommended to prevent lipodystrophy which may cause a decrease in the absorption of insulin. Encourage the patient to use all available injection sites within one area rather than randomly rotating sites from area to area.
- Inserting the needle: insulin should be injected into the subcutaneous tissue, the incorrect technique may affect the rate of absorption.
- Nurse teaching on diabetes
- Assess readiness to learn and include the patient’s family in developing a diabetic teaching plan.
- Prevention of complications
- Dietary and lifestyle changes
- Proper self-care (especially foot care)
- Administration and management of insulin
- Use of hypoglycemic medications
- Management of DKA.
- Treatment goal is to prevent dehydration, electrolyte loss, and acidosis.
- Normal saline (0.9%) is infused at a high rate to replace fluid loss. Hypotonic solution (0.45% NS) may be used for hypertension or hypernatremia.
- Administer regular insulin, as ordered.
- Monitor serum glucose levels as insulin is administered.
- Monitor potassium levels, because potassium shifts affect the heart.
- Monitor respirations as respiratory distress can occur.
- Assess vital signs, intake and output, and monitor ketone levels.
- Management of HHNS.
- Assess vital signs, fluid status, and laboratory values. Fluid status and urine output are closely monitored because of the risk for renal failure secondary to severe dehydration.
- Because clients are usually older, monitor for heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias.
- Management of Hypoglycemia.
- Monitor blood glucose levels.
- Administer glucose (oral glucose, I.V. glucose, or glucagon).
- Advise client to carry simple sugar at all times to prevent case of hypoglycemia.
If you need more information or practice quizzes, please do visit the following links:
- NCLEX Questions Nursing Test Bank and Review – Your ultimate guide to the NCLEX-RN. Includes 3,500+ practice questions to help you gain knowledge and confidence during the actual exams!
- 13+ Diabetes Mellitus Nursing Care Plans – If you need to review the nursing diagnoses, nursing care plans, and nursing interventions for diabetes.