Chemistry not required for nursing program? - page 3

by RN2BE93

7,220 Views | 56 Comments

Hi guys! I applied to a school and found out that chemistry is not a pre req for their nursing program and you don't have to take it at all. Is that normal?... Read More


  1. 1
    Quote from SopranoKris
    You need to be strong in both Physiology & Chem to survive Pharmacology.
    I was strong in neither, but I got pharmacology like it was nothin'.

    Side note: It's always good to have basic science courses on your transcript for nursing.
    brenay likes this.
  2. 4
    Seriously, does somebody actually think that knowledge of basic chemistry is of no value in nursing and something to be avoided if at all possible? Good grief, you're scaring me here. I'm getting afraid to get old and risk hospitalization if that's really true. ::shudder::

    (We took one full year of chemistry plus one semester of organic chemistry....and yes, I did use it at work.)
    rubato, nursel56, SopranoKris, and 1 other like this.
  3. 0
    Quote from SUNFL0WER
    I was strong in neither, but I got pharmacology like it was nothin'. Side note: It's always good to have basic science courses on your transcript for nursing.
    Yes!! Good to know that I will survive Pharmacology!!!
  4. 0
    Quote from GrnTea
    Seriously, does somebody actually think that knowledge of basic chemistry is of no value in nursing and something to be avoided if at all possible? Good grief, you're scaring me here. I'm getting afraid to get old and risk hospitalization if that's really true. ::shudder::

    (We took one full year of chemistry plus one semester of organic chemistry....and yes, I did use it at work.)
    So did I....plus 1 semester microbiology. Then Micro 1 semester and Biochem ....2 semesters was BSN. More proof about dumbing down the programs.
  5. 0
    Quote from SUNFL0WER
    I was strong in neither, but I got pharmacology like it was nothin'.

    Side note: It's always good to have basic science courses on your transcript for nursing.
    Our Pharmacology courses must be completely different then. We had to know the chemical structure & physiological effects of the drugs as well as the nursing implications, side effects, contraindications, etc. If I didn't have a solid foundation in Chem before taking it, I would have been lost.

    Seems like there is some disparity amongst programs...
  6. 0
    The program I am applying for requires chemistry. I remember taking it in high school and it wasn't my strong suit.
  7. 0
    Quote from SopranoKris
    Our Pharmacology courses must be completely different then. We had to know the chemical structure & physiological effects of the drugs as well as the nursing implications, side effects, contraindications, etc. If I didn't have a solid foundation in Chem before taking it, I would have been lost.Seems like there is some disparity amongst programs...
    Elaborate when you say "chemical structure."
  8. 1
    Quote from SopranoKris
    Our Pharmacology courses must be completely different then. We had to know the chemical structure & physiological effects of the drugs as well as the nursing implications, side effects, contraindications, etc. If I didn't have a solid foundation in Chem before taking it, I would have been lost.
    No, not all that different. We didn't have to know the chemical structure per say but we were taught and tested on the effect of each drug in relation to receptors and all that jazz. Even though I didn't know the chemical structure of the drug, I still knew what the drug did which gave me what SE I could see, why there were certain contraindications, and what I could do as the nurse.

    Don't get me wrong, I fully support having Chemistry as part as part of the RN curriculum, but just because I didn't do well in Chemistry doesn't mean my Pharmacology class was a joke.
    brenay likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from GrnTea
    Seriously, does somebody actually think that knowledge of basic chemistry is of no value in nursing and something to be avoided if at all possible? Good grief, you're scaring me here. I'm getting afraid to get old and risk hospitalization if that's really true. ::shudder::

    (We took one full year of chemistry plus one semester of organic chemistry....and yes, I did use it at work.)
    I think it is of value, but I mean, if your school doesn't require it, the school must not think it is a big deal...

    Don't worry! I'll take good care of you!
    Plus, I would like to become a CRNA, so I will be retaking my Chemistry course for a refresher and Chemistry II. I'll be better, promise!
    brenay likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from brenay
    Elaborate when you say "chemical structure."
    Seriously?

    Knowing that a protein molecule, for example, has parts that interact with parts of drug molecules and that's why the drug is structured to work to block the protein, thus treating the disease state. Knowing that positive and negative charges are why and how fluids and electrolytes travel across cell membranes. Knowing what osmolarity is and why there are may causes of edema. Knowing that the way sodium channels work is how a nerve impuse travels along an axon and the membrane repolarizes (and hey, what's "repolarizes"?), so when serum sodium is deranged, you get neuro effects. Knowing how calcium ion charges affect neuromuscular communication. When somebody says a drug is a MAO inhibitor, what's that mean? I could go on and on.

    "I don't need to know that to take care of patients." Oh, probably not, if you are satisfied with what's apparently turning into drone/superCNA/task-oriented training. IMHO, though, loss of that sort of bigger picture makes for a limited practice. More education makes you more able to understand what you're seeing and what should be happening. That's the nurse I want.
    nursel56 likes this.


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