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NCLEX® QOTD: Electrolyte ranges

Osmosis Team
Published on Feb 28, 2024. Updated on Feb 23, 2024.

Test your knowledge on electrolyte ranges with this NCLEX® Question of the Day (QOTD). Learn about electrolytes, their normal ranges, and how they are affected in kidney failure.

The nurse is reviewing the laboratory results for an adult patient with a history of kidney failure. Which electrolyte(s) is/are within the normal range? Select all that apply.  

A. Calcium 9.2 mg/dL

B. Sodium 131 mEq/L

C. Phosphate 2.1 mEq/L

D. Magnesium 1.8 mg/dL

E. Potassium 5.6 mEq/L



Scroll down for the correct answer!

The correct answers to today's NCLEX-RN® Questions are...

A. Calcium 9.2 mg/dL

Rationale: The normal range of calcium is 8.4 and 10.6 mg/dL. This level is within the normal range.

D. Magnesium 1.8 mg/dL

Rationale: The normal range of magnesium is 1.3 and 2.1 mg/dL. This level is within the normal range.


Major Takeaway

Patients with impaired renal function can experience electrolyte abnormalities due to alterations in filtration and excretion of fluid and electrolytes. Common electrolyte imbalances associated with chronic renal failure include hyperkalemia, hyponatremia, hyperphosphatemia, and hypocalcemia. Magnesium levels may be elevated or stay within the normal range.

Normal Ranges of Common Electrolytes

Electrolyte

Normal Range

Sodium

135 - 145 mEq/L

Potassium

3.5 - 5.1 mEq/L

Calcium

 8.4 - 10.6 mg/dL

Magnesium

1.3 - 2.1 mg/dL

Phosphate

3.0 - 4.5 mg/dL

Incorrect answer explanations

B. Sodium 131 mEq/L

Rationale: The normal range of sodium is 135 to 145 mEq/L. This level is not within the normal range.

C. Phosphate 2.1 mEq/L

Rationale: The normal range of phosphate is 3.0 to 4.5 mg/dL. This level is not within the normal range.

E. Potassium 5.6 mEq/L

Rationale: The normal range of potassium is 3.5 and 5.1 mEq/L. This level is not within the normal range. 

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