how much chemistry do you need to know for nursing school?

  1. the title is pretty self explanatory... i took chemistry as a pre-req for nursing school (BSN program), made an A, and quickly forgot most of what we learned. my question is just how much chemistry is involved once you're actually *in* the nursing program? is anything NEW taught, chemistry-wise? are you expected to remember things from pre-req chemistry or do the instructors "re-teach"/go over what they would expect you to know?? thank you!
  2. Visit user9876 profile page

    About user9876

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 102; Likes: 3

    13 Comments

  3. by   Lori RN_09_2b
    I'm only in my second year so I can't answer from personal experience, but I've talked to several juniors and seniors that say they NEVER used chemistry again--most of them sold their books and never looked back! I know there were a few simple chemistry concepts in A&P and Micro, but I think that's going to be about it. At least I hope so--I hated chemistry! :angryfire

    Lori
  4. by   user9876
    that's so encouraging... thanks!!! here's to hoping
  5. by   xomandalized
    Chemistry isn't even in my RN curriculum!!!
  6. by   wildmountainchild
    I think chem should be in every curriculum. The more the merrier really. Not because I'm crazy for chemistry (although I am kind of) but b/c really knowing chem makes pathophysiology and pharmacology a breeze. Everything breaks down to basic chemical processes.

    Knowing chemistry makes really understanding disease processes possible.

    My two cents.
  7. by   rn/writer
    Chemistry concepts and principles are important if you want to understand pathophys and med actions. You don't need to remember complicated formulas (anything that really matters can be looked up), but you should understand how substances behave and what kinds of things can enhance or hinder the processes.

    Med actions and interactions, substances that interact to form precipitates in an IV, toxins formed by meds or disease process, lab values and what they mean; the list goes on and on. You don't need to focus on chemistry down to the molecular level, but the basic principles come into play on a daily basis. Chemical properties and processes matter to nurses as we use them to our advantage and ignore them at our (and pur patient's) peril.
  8. by   MegNeoNurse
    Well, in the Nursing Program that I'm in, we are required to take a 1 semester Organic/Bio Chemistry class. And a pre-req to this class is General Chemistry. I think that the knowing Organic/Bio Chem just superficially (class is obviously not as in depth as the classes for chem majors) will help me TONS, especially in physiology and pharmacology.

    I am starting my first semester of nursing classes next week and am excited, but just from glancing through my text books so far, I'm glad I got that Organic/Bio Chem class out of the way, and you will hear people moan and groan about Organic Chem, I got an A in the class and it was easily attainable, and I HATED chem in highschool!

    Good luck with school!
  9. by   JoshuaC
    My nursing program doesn't require any chemistry pre-req classes, although I already have 6 credit hours worth. I don't think chemistry would ever play a big part in nursing, although I techincally havn't started nursing school, but that would be my best guess.

    The way I figure it, better to know some chemistry concepts than to know none at all. And if I ever plan to get my master's degree later on and specialize in a certain field, maybe those chem classes will help out there, or something. I can see having a chem requirement for gen. ed., and even for a nursing pre-req, but having to take 6 credit hours worth? I don't agree with that. But hey, I've already got mine out of the way, so woot!

    Oh, and yeah, I hated chemistry too.
  10. by   RebeccaJeanRN
    We never used any actual chemistry at all in nursing school (if you think of chemistry the way it is in basic chem & biochem, which is the structure of chemicals and substances and formulas). What helped me just a little bit from Inorganic Chem was the constant application of algebra (helped me when I got to Statistics) and what helped me in Pharmacology in nursing school Organic was being familiar with terms like 'benzene ring' and 'beta lactam ring' (not essential to know, but nice to have an idea of what they were talking about). So I guess both helped as a pre-req... but for actual use of Chemistry knowledge or application of it in nursing school, for me there wasn't any!
  11. by   user9876
    Quote from RebeccaOne
    what helped me in Pharmacology in nursing school Organic was being familiar with terms like 'benzene ring' and 'beta lactam ring'


    nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! hahaha... i swore i'd go crazy if i ever heard another thing about a benzene ring :spin:
  12. by   user9876
    Quote from rn/writer
    Chemistry concepts and principles are important if you want to understand pathophys and med actions. You don't need to remember complicated formulas (anything that really matters can be looked up), but you should understand how substances behave and what kinds of things can enhance or hinder the processes.

    Med actions and interactions, substances that interact to form precipitates in an IV, toxins formed by meds or disease process, lab values and what they mean; the list goes on and on. You don't need to focus on chemistry down to the molecular level, but the basic principles come into play on a daily basis. Chemical properties and processes matter to nurses as we use them to our advantage and ignore them at our (and pur patient's) peril.

    but the chemistry concepts that are important for nursing school... are they taught IN nursing school? or are you expected to already know them from your pre-req chemistry class? i hope they review!!
  13. by   Tweety
    Quote from xomandalized
    Chemistry isn't even in my RN curriculum!!!

    It is, just not formally. It's a part of A&P and pathophysiology (which may not be a separate course either). But chemistry is indeed interwoven throughout all nursing science courses.
  14. by   Tweety
    Quote from aph401
    but the chemistry concepts that are important for nursing school... are they taught IN nursing school? or are you expected to already know them from your pre-req chemistry class? i hope they review!!

    For the most part they are interwoven in the courses. You really just need to have a basic grasp. I had high school chemistry and 12 years later went into a program that had no chem pre-req and did fine. As I said above chemistry is interwoven throughout all of nursing science courses. The body can be broken down into a series of chemical reactions. But the courses explain them pretty well from the beginning.

close