A nurse performing a neurological check on a patient who is one day post-craniotomy notices that the patient's right eye does not turn laterally. Which of the following cranial nerves should the nurse suspect is damaged?

Cranial nerve VI

Explanation

• Cranial nerves III, IV, and VI deal with movement of the eye.

• The abducens nerve (CN VI) functions specifically as a motor nerve innervating the lateral rectus muscle of the eye. A medial deviation or an inability to laterally deviate the eye would indicate damage to this nerve.

• Incorrect: The optic nerve (CN II) is a sensory nerve responsible for vision. 

• Incorrect: The trigeminal nerve (CN V) provides sensation to the face and innervation to the muscles of mastication.

• Incorrect: The facial nerve (CN VII) innervates the muscles of expression and taste from the anterior part of the tongue.

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