Chemistry and Periodic Table for Nursing School Entrance Exam Study Guide

Updated on Aug 12, 2011

Practice questions for this study guide can be found at:

Chemistry and Periodic Table for Nursing School Entrance Exam Practice Problems

  1. Periodic Law
  2. Periodic law is when the properties of the elements are a periodic function of their atomic number.

    Periodic table is an arrangement of the elements according to similarity in their chemical properties and in order of increasing atomic number.

  3. Properties of the Periodic Table
    1. Periods
    2. Periods are one of the seven horizontal rows of a periodic table of elements having the same number of electron shells (or levels).

    3. Groups
    4. Groups are the vertical column of elements with the same number of electron(s) in their outermost shell. The group number indicates the number of valence (or outermost) electrons. Elements in the same group share similar chemical properties.

      Periodic Table

    5. Metals
    6. A metal is an element that is a good conductor of heat and electricity in addition to being shiny (reflecting light), malleable (easily bent), and ductile (made into wire). Metals are electropositive, having a greater tendency to lose their valence electrons. They are grouped in the left of the periodic table (groups I–III).

    7. Nonmetals
    8. A nonmetal is an element with poor conducting properties. They are electronegative and accept electrons in their valence shell. They are found in the upper right-hand corner of the periodic table.

    9. Metalloids
    10. A metalloid is an element with properties that are intermediate between those of metals and nonmetals, such as semiconductivity. They are also found between metals and nonmetals in the periodic table.

  4. Electronic Structure of Atoms
    1. Bohr Atom
    2. Niels Bohr's planetary model of the hydrogen atom, in which a nucleus was surrounded by orbits of electrons, resembles the solar system. Electrons could be excited by quanta of energy and move to an outer orbit (excited level). They could also emit radiation when falling to their original orbit (ground state).

    3. Energy Level
    4. Energy level is the volume of space where certain electrons of specific energy are restricted to move around the nucleus. Energy levels consist of one or more orbitals.

    5. Orbitals
    6. An orbital is the space where one or two paired electrons can be located. These are mathematical functions (or figures) with restricted zones, called nodes, and specific shapes—for example, s orbitals are spherical; p orbitals are dumbbell-shaped).

    7. Outer Shell (or valence shell)
    8. The outer shell is the last energy level in which loosely held electrons are contained. These are the electrons that engage in bonding and are therefore characteristic of the element.

    9. Hund Rule
    10. Hund's Rule states that the most stable arrangement of electrons in the same energy level is the one in which electrons have parallel spins (same orientation).

    11. Pauli's Exclusion Principle
    12. Pauli's Exclusion Principle states that an orbital can hold a maximum of two electrons if they are of opposite spins.

    13. Electron Configuration
    14. Electron Configuration describes the exact arrangement of electrons (given in a superscript number) in successive shells (indicated by numbers 1, 2, 3, and so on) and orbitals (s, p, d, f) of an atom, starting with the innermost orbital.

      For example, 1s2 2s2 2p6.

You Should Review

  • periodic table: structure; specific names of the different groups (group I: alkali metal, group II: alkaline earth, group VII: halogens, etc); the location of metals, nonmetals, and metalloids
  • Bohr atom
  • ground state
  • quantization of energy
  • quantum number
  • Heisenberg uncertainty principle
  • the maximum number of electrons that can be held in each energy level

Practice questions for this study guide can be found at:

Chemistry and Periodic Table for Nursing School Entrance Exam Practice Problems

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