Nursing Mnemonics: Simplifying Patient Care Procedures

If you’re a nursing student, you’ll be very aware that there are so many different concepts to learn ahead of starting on the job.

Memorizing all of the best practice nursing procedures and protocols can be overwhelming. If this is something you’re able to relate to, you’ll likely benefit from using memory tools such as mnemonics to help you remember everything you’ve learned in nursing school.

Nursing mnemonics can assist you in learning how to deliver the best possible patient treatment and care, and also, help simplify the process of putting your learnings into practice. Keep reading to learn more about mnemonics in nursing, and how they can help make your job easier. 

Patient Care Procedures: Learning the Basics of Nursing

When you’re studying nursing, you’ll likely be exposed to mnemonics. We’ll tell you more about nursing mnemonics later. For now, let’s explore some of the top education options for budding American nurses.

For US residents residing in the Midwest, there are a huge number of ABSN programs in Illinois that are available for you to enroll in. The best part? You’ll uncover the best practices of patient care, as well as learn the fundamentals you need to be across to succeed in a rewarding career as a nurse. 

If you’re in the southern states, on the other hand, you may like to consider remote learning. Online study or distance education is becoming increasingly popular among nursing students, mostly because of the ease, convenience, and relative affordability of e-learning. 

What are Mnemonics, and How Do They Help Us Learn?

So, what are mnemonics, exactly? 

Essentially, mnemonics are little techniques you can use to help you remember things. They’re particularly handy when you’re attempting to familiarize yourself with new information, such as, for instance, learning a foreign language. 

Some examples of the most common mnemonic techniques include:

Music and Rhymes 

Putting concepts into music can help us memorize them. The alphabet song is one of the most frequently used mnemonics when teaching us our ABCs, for instance. 

Another mnemonic method is using rhyming words or sounds to remember things, like the helpful spelling prompt “I before E, except after C”.  


The chunking mnemonic strategy is the process of grouping chunks of information to make them easier to memorize. Phone numbers, for instance, can be grouped into smaller chunks of numbers to recall them more easily. This strategy can also be utilized to memorize a credit card or social security number. 


Keyword mnemonics involve using word associations to help us remember. One scenario in which you would use this strategy can include when learning a new language. 

Acronyms and Acrostics

An acronym is another commonly utilized memory tool. It involves forming a shorter word from the first letter of each word in a sentence you want to memorize.  

An acrostic, on the other hand, creates a sentence in which each word starts with the same letter as the concept you are trying to remember. 

Mnemonics in Nursing: Simple Strategies to Help Nurses Memorize the Essentials 

In nursing, mnemonics can assist with memorizing essential aspects of your role as a nurse. They can also help you remember how to perform your daily duties, as well as how to diagnose and treat common ailments and illnesses. The most frequently used nursing mnemonics are, predominantly, in the form of acrostics and acronyms. Some examples of these include:

The “CATS” Mnemonic 

This is an acronym for the symptoms of Hypocalcemia – which are, commonly, convulsions, arrhythmias, tetany, and spasms.

The “ACHES” Mnemonic 

Complications with birth control pills can result in abdominal pain, chest pain, headaches, eye problems, and severe leg pain. The use of this mnemonic can help nurses identify the root cause of these symptoms. 

The “HELLP” Mnemonic 

The letters in this mnemonic point to the common symptoms of Preeclampsia: hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count. 

The “SALT LOSS” Mnemonic 

Lastly, the SALT LOSS mnemonic helps nurses remember how to remember common symptoms associated with Hyponatremia. These symptoms usually include stupor, anorexia, lethargy, issues with tendon reflexes, limp muscles, orthostatic hypotension, seizures, and stomach cramping.

These are just some examples of some of the mnemonic strategies nurses use. There are many more, and they are all instrumental in enabling nursing professionals to remember the key aspects of their roles in delivering the best possible patient care.