Do I have to be a scientific whiz to be a good nurse?

  1. I am currently doing my prerequisites and hope to enter the RN program at my Community College next fall. I see on different threads people talking about how those that do well in the Humanities and "get" the touchy-feely stuff shouldn't be going into Nursing. Now I have to wonder... I'm learning my A&P (hard stuff!), aced (somehow) Chemistry, but I'm a natural at sociology, psychology, and Communication. I mean I find the A&P stuff interesting, once I can understand it and I'm looking forward to learning more and using what I've learned... So is this going to make me a lousy nurse? I don't REALLY think so, but I have to admit, I sometimes wonder.... I know there are so many different aspects of nursing that I am sure that I can find my niche, but what do you all think?
    Some of my fellow students have wanted to be Nurses all their life, and I am so rooting for them. Nursing never appealed to me, other than the comraderie (sp) that I would see when one of my special needs kids was hospitalized. I had always wanted to do social work, but got tired of fighting the system with my own kids and decided to change my focus.
    Please be honest, but kind....
    Thanks for any imput you can share, I really appreciate it.
    Cheryl Moore
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    About 2amigos

    Joined: Jul '02; Posts: 144
    run a private group home


  3. by   Vsummer1
    Just a student's perspective here...

    You dont' have to be a "scientific whiz" but you do have to understand the basics. The body is just an efficient chemical reactor, and you have to understand how all things work together to influence health vs disease.

    As for the other subjects, yes a good nurse is well rounded. You will have to know how to effectively communicate in a limited amount of time you are with a patient.

    You are right... there are so many different "niches" to fill that I am sure you will find yours. We need the scientific whizzes doing the research... we need the "touchy feelies" doing the hands on care too. We need different types of nurses for the many different settings nurses find themselves in, whether it be home health, research, sales, bedside care, LTC, OR etc.
  4. by   ashemson
    OMG, I hope this doesn't make you a lousy nurse, I am the same way! I "get" the science stuff but it doesn't come naturally. I really have to work at it. But like everything, you have to practice. So I just work really hard every day to learn it. Good luck!
  5. by   2amigos
    Thanks Vsummer1 and ashemson!

    Ashemson, glad to know that it's not just me;-)
    Cheryl Moore
  6. by   javamom
    I have to say that, in my opinion, you do not have to be whiz in all science course. You do have to have a fundamental knowledge of the body and how it works though. But if you're struggling in a science class it can be more than just "you not getting it". Your instructor plays a role in this as well.

    What makes a good nurse?
    ~Organizational skills
    ~Well developed critical thinking
    ~Excellent communication skills

    Nurses are the healers of mind, body and spirit. You can have someone who aces chemistry, a&p, micro, etc.. and just has awful organization and critical thinking skills. So, I think being a great nurse goes WAY beyond science alone! yes, it helps to know that, but I can tell you that I'd rather be taken care of by someone who is personable and caring (as well as knowledgable) rather than someone who aced chemistry and all their science classes but has absolutely no compassion for the ill. That's for sure!

    Just keep trying! I am horrible at chemistry but really like A&P. I think along the way, you find your "nitch" and go with it! Good luck!
  7. by   2amigos
    Thanks Stace! Our whole A&P class is struggling. We are four to a cat, we've had the cat for a few hours and will have it for 3 hours tonight and then a muscle practical next week. Several of us have asked her how to make sense of it all, and she just keeps telling us that "It will come together". Uh huh...... No one in the class gets this part of it that I've seen. She's a nice lady, knows her stuff, but teaching it? I don't know.
    You all are so awesome! I decided I was tired of stressing over this class. It's just not worth it. I'll keep plugging along, but the worst that can happen is I have to take it over next semester, well, shoot-should have a great grade in it then if that's the worst that can happen.
    Thanks again!
    Cheryl Moore
  8. by   MidwifeWannaB
    Took A&P I and II this past summer, got B's in both. Taking Micro right now. Had lecture test Tues. and have Lab test tomorrow. 5 tests this week. Majorly stressed. Have a 95 or so right now, and am tempted to just say screw tomorrow's grade and enjoy the only night a week I get with my Sweetie.
    My brain is mush. Counting the days till Christmas.

  9. by   CJStudent
    Hey Cheryl,

    I did the A&P thing semesters ago and barely got by with C's. Honestly, I was only taking the classes to fullfil a science requirement in order to get my Associate in Science degree at a local community college.

    Then somebody said, "ever thought about Nursing?" I was like, "No, I hate nursing!" I pass out at the sight of my own blood for Pete's sake.

    Next thing I new, I was taking Nursing classes at the University and moving along. I am about to graduate in May with my BSN and still haven't found my 'niche!'

    I have had some good/some bad experiences along the way. I am interested in several diciplines inside of Nursing. You would be amazed at the different things you can do with this kind of degree. The whole world will become open to you.

    Just hang in there with the A&P. I know that it is difficult, but you will be building from this point on. Just try to pass your classes and take it one day at a time. Besides, most nurses on the floor have textbooks available to them because they aren't science whiz kids, either.
  10. by   lunakat
    Don't feel bad, I have to really really study to just barley get A&P. I am really good in math and haven't even started chemistry (never even had it! Ever!). I am in your boat too but I know I can do it, my teachers is an NP and he says that this is important but not so much so, just as long as you get the basics. He says this stuff will be repeated again and again. So no worries!
  11. by   peaceful2100
    You don't have to be a scientific whiz but you have to have a good understanding. If you don't have a good understanding then you will find yourself struggling and studying more than others and it does not mean you won't be a good nurse. The one thing I regret is not spending more time getting a really good understanding in A&P and PATHO because it really is costing me. At first it did not seem so but now I am seeing that it is and now I have to study even extra and spend more time by going back and reviewing A/P and patho every time we move to a new section like cardia, endocrine, renal, GI.
  12. by   Vsummer1
    I just read this. Interesting!

    Study on Biology pre-reqs and Pass Rates
  13. by   Jennabugs
    I thought I had to be super smart in Math and Science to be a good nurse, that is what held me back when I was 18 and choosing a major. I got a psych degree and am now back for nursing. As people have said, you need to know the basics (Chem hardest for me and you aced it-wow)
    but really other things are important and understanding people and CARING is more important at times. Just keep studying and it will get better, you get used to it. If you want it, you can do it.