Within your nursing exams such as the NCLEX or HESI you will come across certain questions that have abbreviations in them. Knowing the abbreviations relevant to nursing is very important both in exam context but in the everyday working environment.

Units of Measure

c = cup
cc = cubic centimeters
cm = centimeters
dr = drams
dss = 2 teaspoons
fl = fluid
ft = foot
g = grams
gal = gallon
gl = glass
gr = grains
gt = drop
gtt = drops
in = inches
kg = kilograms
L = liters
lb = pound
m = meters
mcg = micrograms
mEq = milliquivalents
mg = milligrams
mL = milliliters
mm = millimeters
oz = ounce
pt = pint
qt = quart
tbsp = tablespoons
tsp = teaspoons
U = unit

Other Abbreviations

a = before (ante)
ABG = arterial blood gas
ABT = antibiotic therapy
ac = before meals (ante cibum)
AD = right ear (auricula dexter)
ADH = antidiuretic hormone
ad lib = as desired
ADA = American Diabetes Ass.
am = before noon (ante meridian)
AMA = against medical advice
aq = water
AS = left ear (auricula sinister)
AU = both ears (auriculi utro)
bid = twice a day (0900, 1700)
BP = blood pressure
BUN = blood urine nitrogen
c = with
cap = capsule
CAD = coronary artery disease
CAT = computerized axial tomography
CBC = complete blod count
CF = cystic fibrosis
CHF = congestive heart failure
CNS = central nervous system
CO = cardiac output
COPD = chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
CPK = creatinine phosphokinase
CSF = cerebrospinal fluid
CVA = cerebrovascular accident
CVP = central venous pressure
EC = enteric coated
ECG = electrocardiogram
EEG = electroencephalogram
elix = elixir
ext = extract
GFR glomerulofiltration rate
GT = gastrostomy
h = hour
hct = hematocrit
hgb = hemoglobin
hs = hour of sleep, bedtime (2100)
ID = intradermal
ICP = intracranial pressure
IM = intramuscular
IV = intravenous
IVP = intravenous push/pyelogram
IVPB = intravenous piggyback
KVO = keep vein open
MI = myocardial infarction
NG = nasogastric
NJ = nasojejunal
NPO = nothing by mouth
NS = normal saline
OD = right eye (oculus dexter)
oint = ointment
OTC = over the counter
OS = left eye (oculus sinister)
OU = both eyes (oculo utro)
p = after (post)
pc = after meals (post cibum)
per = by
pm = after noon (post meridian)
po = by mouth (per os)
pr = per rectal
prn = whenever necessary
PT = prothrombin time
PTT = partial prothrombin time
q = every
q1h = every 1 hour
q2h = every 2 hours
q3h = every 3 hours
q4h = every 4 hours (0900, 1300, 1700,...0500)
q6h = every 6 hours (2400, 0600, 1200, 1800)
q8h = every 8 hours (0600, 1400, 2200)
qd = every day (0900)
qh = every hour
qid = four times a day (0900, 1300, 1700, 2100)
qod = every other day
qs = quantity sufficient
RBC = red blood count
ROM = range of motion
s = without
sc = subcutaneous
sl = sublingual
sol = solution
sq = subcutaneous
SR = sustained release
ss = one half
S/S = signs and symptoms
stat = immediately
supp = suppository
susp = suspension
syr = syrup
tab = tablet
tid = three times a day (0900, 1300, 1700)
TO = telephone order
tr = tincture
ung = ointment
UTI = urinary tract infection
VO = verbal order
VS = vital signs
WBC = white blood count
WNL = within normal limits