Chemistry - how much is used in school?

  1. Hi everyone!

    For those in nursing school, I was wondering how much is chemistry used in school?

    I'm currently looking at the prerequisites for nearly all the cal state's nursing programs, and I have the option to either do general, organic, inorganic, biochem or integrated with lab. I was planning to just do general since I'm not the greatest with chemistry, but if organic or biochem (example) is used frequently in school, then I probably should do those classes to prep myself.

    This is a general question for everyone: Although they state that I can do whatever chemistry class they listed, should I still be emailing them on course equivalency if the assist.org doesn't show some chemistry classes that I can potentially take?
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    About stormii

    Joined: Aug '18; Posts: 6; Likes: 2

    14 Comments

  3. by   OsceanSN2018
    I took Organic Chemistry and none of it helped me or was even used in nursing school. However, I also took general chemistry and that helped me to hone my dimensional analysis skills for dosage calculations.

    But you should also be aware of the exact chemistry class you need as a prerequisite. Email your advisor to clarify.
  4. by   ctdfmags
    Chemistry is very useful when you're taking anatomy and physiology, and a little bit when taking microbiology. But just any gen chem should do.
  5. by   Quota
    I already had two semesters of gen chem with labs and two semesters of o-chem with lab from my first degree in biology. My nursing school didn't even require chemistry so there is that. I'd say general chem should be fine. Having a basic understanding of chemical properties is helpful. My medsurg Patho book did have an entire chapter dedicated to reviewing the basics of chemistry you need to understand in one of the first chapters. A bunch of my prereq science books did as well.
  6. by   Lipoma
    I just graduated and I used 0.
  7. by   Neats
    I enjoy chemistry a lot but I see nursing use of chemistry on a daily basis. Other than the obvious of medication their chemical compounds and how they work alone or with other medication that nurses must know before administering that medication...then I think of labs. I need to know when I look at a lab result if it is normal or abnormal and what those abnormal mean... take for instance


    You have a patient that has a high blood sugar when it comes to sepsis your patient is in a chemical stage known as anaerobic...you must know what to do in an emergency what does this mean and how do your think your patient will progress until assistance arrives, what do you need to do to break that chemical stage???
    or

    your patient presents with less than desirable oxygenation levels what do you need to do to promote aerobic metabolism???

    These are all chemical reactions going on in the body and you must know what to do as a nurse to assist your patient, to convey important information.
    We look and assess chemistry reactions daily when we assess our patients, you just do not realize how much chemistry you know but call something else. Nurses should have more chemistry and updated chemistry course in order to continue with a license ( my feeling). I never want to be stagnant and be in a position I do not know what to do for my patient until the rest of the team can assist with their part to stabilize the patient.
  8. by   MiladyMalarkey
    You use general chemistry concepts in NS. Learn about electrolytes, hormones, enzymes, etc., their reactions with the body, absence of, normal production or excess production. Also medication reaction with body and reaction with other medications. So technically yes, you use some basic and general chemistry concepts. Unless you want to go beyond a general chemistry class, it should be more than adequate, of course check your school requirements before doing that. Good luck.
  9. by   GrumpyOldBastard
    Should you verify that unlisted courses are acceptable? Only if you want to be admitted! The easiest way to sabotage your application is to take the wrong classes. Leave nothing to chance... you are competing for slots against smart, obsessive, detail oriented people who will happily take your seat if you are sloppy in your preparation. VERIFY
  10. by   Chrispy11
    Truth be told, I only used dimensional analysis. It really depends on the requirement of a specific BSN program. I kept hearing I needed to take Chem lab for a RN to BSN program. Applied to three and only one of the three required it. Glad I didn't waste my time.
  11. by   Kallie3006
    I took general, and loved every bit of it. It helps lay the foundation for the molecular development and relationships used that can be helpful when you are learning pathology in school, and helps give a better understanding of the correlation with certain diseases or ailments and why they happen, then adding meds why this med works with this problem etc
  12. by   broughden
    General chem will be super helpful! All the conversion equations we did in chemistry (converting moles to molecules to grams to cubic liters, etc etc) made doing Dose Calculation a cakewalk!
    Dose Calc is basically simplified conversions for mg to ml or mg to tablets, or mg to drip rates, etc.

    Those in my cohort without a strong chem background have struggled more with dose calc.
  13. by   JBudd
    My ER does a lot of point of care testing, which is basically chemistry tests.

    Dimensional analysis was my go to when I was teaching med calc.

    Pathophysiology has a lot of chemistry, as said above, dealing with electrolyte imbalances. Pharmacology depends heavily on chemistry (now why can't you give that med if they are on MAOs?).

    For those who say they've never used it, it is likely it just wasn't recognized as chemistry. Kitchen cooking is chemistry, (baking soda, yeast, lemon juice & milk not mixing too well).
  14. by   Cowboy96
    I feel like the only Chemistry I used in nursing school was in relation to Acid/Base imbalances. Even then, I could have learned that in 3-4 hours if I had never taken chemistry in my life.

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