I Don't Have a Math Brain, But Want To Be a Nurse!

  1. Will I still be ok? I'm about to enroll in the nursing RN program in my area as a career change (formerly art, which required no math at all). I've never been great at understanding math beyond Algebra, and am worried that I might not make it as a result. I will try my hardest to figure it all out as I go along, but it still worries me. Does nursing require use of all of those math skills all the time? I'm really driven toward nursing, and don't want this to hold me back.:smilecoffeecup:
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   CaLLaCoDe
    If you can do basic algebra you can do nurse math, it's easy! ! ! Just remember, practice makes perfect! And if need be you can always use a study group or a tutor.

    PS. Chemistry was my hurdle; you may want to take this prerequisite alone without any other competing class, because if you've never taken chemistry you're up for plenty of work!
    Last edit by CaLLaCoDe on Feb 25, '07
  4. by   ann945n
    I found the math to be really easy, if you can pass the pre-reqs you will do just fine, like the other poster said, practice makes perfect, good luck
  5. by   donsterRN
    To me, math is what it is; it's never going to be anything different. That should make it easier to follow, since the basics don't change. As the previous poster said, it's all in the practice and repetition. Doing it, and doing it again, and doing it again. And, as the first poster said, if you've got a handle on basic Algebra, you're going to be fine. I promise!

    It can't hurt to get a hold of a Math for Meds type book; they're available at your local bookstore and at Amazon.com or Ebay. See if you can get one that starts with the basics of multiplication and division, fractions, decimals and proportions. Just start practicing at the beginning. You'll be OK. Don't let this dissuade you from your goal of being a nurse!

    Much luck and success to you!
  6. by   kenny b
    I used to teach high school math. I believe that, although you may be better at art, you do have a brain for math. A lot of people think they could never really understand math because of the misuse of a lot of weird left-brain/right-brain multiple intelligences theory. I've tutored a lot of people who didn't think they had math brains and most of them turned out to have a real talent for math.

    It turns out that those people who can really understand math at a deep level usually don't do as well with the current math curriculums (rote, rote, rote). It's just taught for a lot of memorization, but this can get people into trouble if they don't understand on a deeper level. For example, if you're really good at math because you've memorized the steps for each kind of problem and you just mix up and get a 2.75milliters of medicine when it should be 0.275milliliters, it might not leap out at you - unless you understand what you're doing.

    Recommendation: tackle the math review before the program starts by getting the medical math book the other poster recommended. There shouldn't be any other class distractions when learning math (ideally). Math usually takes a backseat for some reason.

    Offer: I love to tutor math. If you want to get together in chat or over the phone on some regular basis, I'm up for it.

    Also, if you didn't have any trouble with Algebra, then no worries!
  7. by   tookewlandy
    if you know adding subtracting multiplying and dividing Fractions and percents then you can figure out how to do Nursing math. I was very worried last summer before i started nursing because i had been out of high school and did not use any sort of math up to that point and i went out and bought a dosage calculations book and taught myself how to do the math before i started the program. Little did i know it was so easy once you get the hang of it. So go out and buy a good dosage calculations woorkbook( one with a good review of basic math at te beginning "calculate with confidence" maybe

    good luck
  8. by   allantiques4me
    Ive alway hated math.I thought that I couldnt do the nursing thing cause of the math .I do excell in language ,and medical terminology is and was very easy for meI actually did fine with the math ,which initially scared me.I had someone show me,step by step ,that way it was very easy to comprehend the math.Youll be fine Im sure.:wink2:
  9. by   futurecnm
    Nursing math is WAY easier than algebra!! I agree that if you can get through chem, than the math will be so easy. Chem math is harder. Also, the math aspect is one of the easiest ones of nursing. It's the rest that will be hard!
  10. by   meownsmile
    You dont need to be able to do the extensive math to get through nursing. Im not a "math" person either, but i did get some remedial math before i took ACT and actually started the program and it helped dramatically to start from the beginning. Chemistry was a challenge also, but if i can do it its doable for almost anyone that wants to put the time in. I was 38 when i started the process and ive been out and working as a RN for almost 5 years now. I always enourage people who doubt themselves to go for it because you wont know until you at least try.
  11. by   Trixie-Nurse2b
    Thank you all so much for your encouragement! I did just go out and get a Mathematics Made Simple book to help refresh me, so I'll dive right back in....AND I'll keep aware of the Chemistry that awaits.

    Thank you all so much! This is an extremely caring and wonderful forum!
  12. by   TazziRN
    If you can do dimensional analysis, which is basic algebraic equations using fractions, you can do nursing math. I've always had a hard time with math too, but figuring out med dosages is pretty easy for me.