As a nursing student, you’ll likely encounter NCLEX®-style sequencing questions on your exams. These questions test your ability to identify the correct order of steps or actions in a clinical scenario. To help you succeed, we’ve put together a guide on how to master NCLEX®-style sequencing questions.

Understanding the Format of NCLEX®-Style Sequencing Questions

NCLEX®-style sequencing questions present you with a clinical scenario and a list of steps or actions. Your task is to identify the correct order of these steps or actions.

For example, a question might ask you to sequence the steps involved in administering medication to a patient. The list of steps might include “assess patient’s allergy history,” “wash hands,” “check medication label,” etc.

Tips for Approaching NCLEX®-Style Sequencing Questions

Here are some tips to help you approach NCLEX®-style sequencing questions with confidence:

1. Read the Scenario Carefully

Before you start sequencing the steps, take the time to thoroughly read the scenario and understand the context. Pay attention to details such as the patient’s condition, any special considerations, and any other relevant information.

2. Focus on the Steps in the Right Order

As you read through the list of steps, focus on the order in which they should be performed. This can often be determined by following standard protocols, procedures, and best practices.

3. Consider the Rationale Behind Each Step

Think about the reason behind each step in the list. Why is it important to perform the step in the given order? Understanding the rationale can help you confirm the order of steps or resolve any uncertainty.

4. Use Mnemonics and Acronyms

Mnemonics and acronyms can be useful tools for remembering the order of steps. For example, you could use the acronym “ABCDE” to remember the steps involved in assessing a patient’s airway, breathing, circulation, disability, and exposure.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when answering NCLEX®-style sequencing questions:

6. Know the Nursing Process

The nursing process is a critical tool for solving NCLEX®-style sequencing questions. It involves five steps: assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Familiarize yourself with the nursing process and apply it when answering sequencing questions.

8. Focus on Patient Safety

Patient safety should always be the top priority in any clinical scenario. Make sure that you’re placing steps related to patient safety at the forefront of your sequencing.

10. Study Standard Procedures and Guidelines

Standard procedures and guidelines can provide a valuable framework for solving NCLEX®-style sequencing questions. Make sure you’re familiar with the standard procedures and guidelines relevant to your area of nursing and use this knowledge to help you determine the correct order of steps in a clinical scenario.

1. Rushing Through the Question

Take your time and don’t rush through the question. Rushing can lead to mistakes and a loss of points.

2. Ignoring Key Details in the Scenario

Pay attention to the details in the scenario, as they can provide crucial information that affects the order of steps.

3. Not Considering the Rationale Behind Each Step

As mentioned above, understanding the rationale behind each step can help you confirm the order or resolve any uncertainty. Don’t neglect this important step.

4. Not Using Mnemonics and Acronyms

Mnemonics and acronyms can be helpful tools, so don’t forget to use them.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice

The more you practice NCLEX®-style sequencing questions, the better you’ll become at identifying the correct order of steps. Make sure to use practice questions from reputable sources to ensure you’re getting the best preparation possible.

7. Pay Attention to Key Words

Keywords can provide important clues about the order of steps. For example, words like “first,” “next,” “then,” and “last” can indicate the sequence of events. Pay close attention to keywords in the scenario and the list of steps to help you determine the correct order.

9. Use Clinical Reasoning

Clinical reasoning is the process of using information and knowledge to solve problems in a clinical setting. It’s a key skill for nursing students, and it can be especially helpful when answering NCLEX®-style sequencing questions. When solving a sequencing question, use your clinical reasoning skills to consider all the information you have and determine the best order for the steps.

11. Seek Feedback and Clarification

If you’re unsure about the correct order of steps in an NCLEX®-style sequencing question, don’t hesitate to seek feedback and clarification. This could be from your instructor, study group, or other trusted sources. It’s better to ask for help and get the answer right than to make a mistake and lose points.


NCLEX®-style sequencing questions can be challenging, but with the right approach and techniques, you can master them. By reading the scenario carefully, focusing on the right order, considering the rationale behind each step, and using mnemonics and acronyms, you’ll be well on your way to success. Good luck

We hope that you found this blog post beneficial. If you have any questions about this post or related topics, please contact us anytime at ?+1 (301) 277-5580 | ? | We are always excited to hear from our readers and help them with any concerns they may have. Thank you for reading, and we hope to hear from you soon!

Bola NCLEX Review is an affordable and effective way to get ready for and pass the exam on your first try. For over 18 years, we have helped over 8,000 nursing students pass the NCLEX exam with a 98% first-time pass success rate.??

Join our next class and turn your worries into confidence.?