1st semester at BCC, I suck at advanced math -- Stick to RN or change majors?

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    Ok... I'm in my late 20s and Fall 2012 marks my first semester at Bronx Community College. I have no transferable college credits from before, so right now my major at BCC is Liberal Arts. I'm taking 2 liberal arts classes right now that can be used towards any major there.

    Once I have built up a good enough GPA I'll transfer to Nursing major, after I get all these pre reqs (and writing intensives) classes out of the way. That's my plan. But here's the thing...

    I'm horrible when it comes to complicated algebra and beyond. Basic math and arithmetic, no problem. Heck, personal finances/savings is one of my specialties. I failed the COMPASS math test twice, but I had no problem passing the CUNY ACT writing and reading tests.

    So now, during one of the upcoming semesters, I have to take the math remedials. That's one thing.
    I've been doing some further research into this RN program and I see that even if I pass the math remedials, I'm probably still screwed because PHM 10 (pharmacology computations) contains math and then ON TOP of that, the PAX-RN test has a whole entire SECTION dedicated to math. Oh boy.


    Before you suggest considering another major, let me tell you why I'm considering nursing… I've been in the health field for the past 5 years. I started as an EMT and moved up to Patient Care Tech. So it only makes sense, right? I mean what else am I gonna do with this kind of career experience? Sure, I can go into accounting or something, but it would make the past 5 years of my resume look like a waste of time.


    I don't know. All I know is that its my first semester, I'm only in liberal arts, I can use my current credits towards any major, so if I'm gonna go into something else, I have to decide soon.


    Anyone have any advice? Would you stick to this plan if you were in my shoes?
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  5. 0
    Quote from snrnurse84
    Ok... I'm in my late 20s and Fall 2012 marks my first semester at Bronx Community College. I have no transferable college credits from before, so right now my major at BCC is Liberal Arts. I'm taking 2 liberal arts classes right now that can be used towards any major there.

    Once I have built up a good enough GPA I'll transfer to Nursing major, after I get all these pre reqs (and writing intensives) classes out of the way. That's my plan. But here's the thing...

    I'm horrible when it comes to complicated algebra and beyond. Basic math and arithmetic, no problem. Heck, personal finances/savings is one of my specialties. I failed the COMPASS math test twice, but I had no problem passing the CUNY ACT writing and reading tests.

    So now, during one of the upcoming semesters, I have to take the math remedials. That's one thing.
    I've been doing some further research into this RN program and I see that even if I pass the math remedials, I'm probably still screwed because PHM 10 (pharmacology computations) contains math and then ON TOP of that, the PAX-RN test has a whole entire SECTION dedicated to math. Oh boy.


    Before you suggest considering another major, let me tell you why I'm considering nursing… I've been in the health field for the past 5 years. I started as an EMT and moved up to Patient Care Tech. So it only makes sense, right? I mean what else am I gonna do with this kind of career experience? Sure, I can go into accounting or something, but it would make the past 5 years of my resume look like a waste of time.


    I don't know. All I know is that its my first semester, I'm only in liberal arts, I can use my current credits towards any major, so if I'm gonna go into something else, I have to decide soon.


    Anyone have any advice? Would you stick to this plan if you were in my shoes?
    You cannot get away from medical dosage calculations (aka nursing math) it never goes away.

    All applicants for nursing jobs are required to take and pass a pharma exam. Does not matter if you've been a RN for two weeks or twenty two years. The only thing that may vary is the passing score, some places require 100% others between 90% and above.

    Being as all this may math, at least the amount required for nursing (up to high school level algerbra) is not *that* difficult. Many persons get themselves so worked up over "math fear" that they simply block any understanding of the subject.

    Either hire a good tutor or sit down with study books and go step by step through each type of problem. Look at where you are making mistakes and learn why. Learn your "times tables", order of operations, fractions, decimals, and percents.

    Much of nursing math involves solving word problems. They may look like complicated med orders but they really are nothing more than that. You are asked to solve for "X" by mostly calculating dosage on hand over what was written in the order. Once you know what you're looking for the rest is simply setting up and then solving the problem.
  6. 0
    Math was always my worst subject, except for basic algebra, which is basically what nursing math is. I scored very low in the math section of the PAX but thankfully the English/Science made up for it and I was still able to get into QCC. I took the math tutoring that was available and I really never had a problem with the math after that. You just have to know how to set up your calculations and you can use a calculator (at least at QCC). I wouldn't let that stop you from pursuing nursing.
  7. 0
    Quote from Nurse Connie
    Math was always my worst subject, except for basic algebra, which is basically what nursing math is. I scored very low in the math section of the PAX but thankfully the English/Science made up for it and I was still able to get into QCC. I took the math tutoring that was available and I really never had a problem with the math after that. You just have to know how to set up your calculations and you can use a calculator (at least at QCC). I wouldn't let that stop you from pursuing nursing.
    Ahh the blessed calculator and or computers! *LOL*

    Not sure today's nursing and quite frankly students in general realise it wasn't that long ago that calculators were unwelcomed in math classes. We're talking as "late" as the 1980's or 1990's here.

    Some advanced math and or science classes allowed them (it mainly was up to the teacher/instructor), but that was about it.

    As for med dose calc, again modern nursing students often have it so much eaiser than recent history. Calculators, computers, formulas given with exams, dimensional analysis, doing the math anyway one wanted long as one arrived at the correct answer, etc...

    Back in the "day" nursing math was tought pretty much the same as it had been for the history of nursing; pencil, paper, show all work using only the approved formulas from one's instructor, having to memorise metric and apothecary conversion and so on. All this for what was usually a half-semester class for zero to one credit. If one didn't pass that usually was the end of things.


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