30 Nursing Final Examination Questions from the 1960's

The General Nursing Council for England and Wales required all nurses to complete the final state examination prior to completion of their training.

Below are 30 questions which have been taken from real final state examination papers from between 1960 and 1970.

They highlight the depth and variety knowledge that was required to become a registered nurse and why it was such an admired profession.

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How many of these can you answer?

The exam questions...

1) Describe how the structure of blood vessels is related to their function.

2) List the conditions of blood vessels which had lead to their impaired function.

3) What methods may be used to treat varicose veins of the leg?

4) A middle-aged man is in the hospital for investigation and treatment of hypertension.

  • What might have led him to seek medical advice?
  • Why may his wife be fearful about his condition?
  • Describe the nursing care and management of this patient.

5) Following a head injury, a man is admitted unconscious to a surgical ward. Indicate;

  • The observations the nurse should make and report in the first 24 hours.
  • How respiratory infection could be avoided.
  • How nutrition may be maintained.
  • How restlessness could be treated.
  • How bedsores may be prevented.

6) What common accidents occur in the home and how could they be prevented?

7) Laparotomy on a man of 50 has revealed an inoperable carcinoma of the stomach. How can the ward team help in regards to;

  • The patient in regards to anorexia, vomiting, pain and anxiety.
  • The Relatives.

8) An obese middle-aged woman is admitted for the repair of a large umbilical hernia.

  • What particular pre-operative preparation could they be given?
  • What chest and wound complications may occur?
  • How may they be prevented?

9) A man has been admitted to hospital with a severely septic hand and inflamed axillary gland.

  • What are the principles underlying the treatment of acute inflammation?
  • Describe how these principles can be applied in this care?

10) What investigations and nursing treatment may be carried out when preparing a patient for one of the following operations;

  • Hysterectomy for carcinoma of the cervix.
  • Nephrectomy for carcinoma of the kidney.

11) Give a detailed description of the pre-operate preparation and post-operative care required for. Making special reference to diet and feeding methods. 

  • A one-year-old child with a cleft palate.
  • A man of 70 with a cataract.

12) Attempted suicide is not uncommon. What mental illnesses may give rise to this?

13) Scurvy is a deficiency disease. Explain what this means. Describe briefly a typical case of scurvy.

14) What do you understand by the term anxiety neurosis? Discuss the management and treatment of such a case.

15) Give an account of congestive heart failure, paying attention to the signs of symptoms. How can a nurse assist patients suffering from this condition?

16) Describe paranoid schizophrenia. What role can a nurse plan in rehabilitating such a patient?

17) What are the causes of a common headache? What investigations do you think should be made to assist in establishing a diagnosis in a patient complaining of a constant severe headache?

18) Write notes on the following;

  • Mannerisms.
  • Echolalia.
  • Neologisms.
  • Delusions.
  • Illusions.

19) Describe the nursing care of a patient who is suffering from pre-senile dementia.

20) People often ask nurses for advice about the treatment for mental illness. What provisions for care and treatment can you explain to them?

21) What records are usually kept in a ward? How does record keeping help in the care of the patients and in the administration of the ward?

22) What factors should be considered when arranging a programme of occupational and recreational therapy for a patient whose illness is for a short duration?

23) While helping in the kitchen a patients clothing catches fire. What first aid should be given? Outline the subsequent nursing care for this patient.

24) Explaining to a junior nurse why, in hospital, the following procedure are sometimes necessary;

  • Weighing patients.
  • Taking the patients' blood pressure.
  • Testing urine.

25) How would you ensure that the meals for patients in a ward are adequate and enjoyable?

26) What are the advantages and disadvantages of breastfeeding?

27) A nine-year-old boy in your ward, on traction for a fractured femur, develops measles.

  • Describe the general management of his care whilst he is infectious.
  • Explain why some children in the ward will develop measles and not others.

28) A married woman aged 45 years is admitted to hospital with a severe uterine prolapse.

  • With reference to the structures involved, what difficulties may arise from this condition?
  • Give an account of pre and post-operative care this patient may receive.

29) A man aged 65 years is admitted to hospital with an enlarged prostate gland.

  • With reference to the structures involved, what difficulties may arise from this condition?
  • Give an account of pre and post-operative care this patient may receive.

30) Describe the observations which should be made on a primigravida aged 35 years during the three stages of labour.

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