Help! Organic v inorganic chem?


  • Specializes in ER, PACU, Progressive Care, Med-Surg. Has 6 years experience.

Ok, I'm using the "ask the audience" lifeline on this one!

Most of the nursing programs I've looked at require at least one chemistry with a lab. I never took chemistry as part of my original bachelor's degree 20 years ago, and only vaguely remember taking any element of it in a general science class in highschool.

So, I'm now signed up to take Inorganic Chem, beginning in 2 weeks, but just skimmed the textbook and was mildly terrified. It looks like Greek to me.

My question is: should I be taking Organic or Inorganic, if I have to take just one and I HAVE to do well in it. I've had some friends say it should be Organic since that's more related to the health sciences, however others have said 1) Organic is much harder and most people are lucky to pull a C but also 2) that you will be lost in Organic if you haven't taken Inorganic first (even though my community college allows you to take either w/out a pre-req).

I am working full time during the week so am taking this Chem and A&P I on the weekend, so it's going to be a challenging semester. To be honest, while I want to learn the material I need to just tick the chemistry box so I can get into nursing school. Once I'm accepted into a program I'll quit my job and be able to devote myself to studying, but I need to do as well as possible on my pre-reqs in order to make that happen.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated. If I'm going to switch to Organic, I need to do in the next few days.



Well, I'm currently taking Organic Chemistry. Last semester, I took Introductory to Chemistry. What I learned in Intro chem has really very little to do with what I am learning in organic. I am being introduced to an entirely new concept in chemistry to learn. if I hadn't of taken introductory chem I don't even think it would have made a difference


14,633 Posts

In my nursing program, we took organic chem (the same organic chem that the chem and pre-med majors took) without taking any other chemistry first, and had no problems (well, except that the course was really hard :)). No one suggested there was any need to take another chem course first.

In just basic terms, inorganic has little application to nursing. It's organic chem (looking at carbon-based compounds and processes, which is what people are made of :)) that matters and applies. I would be v. surprised if inorganic chem would meet the prerequisite requirements for most (any?) nursing programs. If you only want to take one chemistry course, organic is the way to go.

I really enjoyed my organic chem (but I was fortunate to have really great professors). Best wishes!


3,445 Posts

Specializes in ICU / PCU / Telemetry. Has 11 years experience.

Most schools I know require inorganic chem as a prereq for organic. The nursing schools I am applying to that require chemistry don't really care whether it's organic or inorganic and they only require 4 credits of it (one semester!) ... but like I said I can't see anyone taking organic without inorganic first. I tried taking organic and ran away screaming (this after straight As in a whole year of inorganic), shattering my hopes of ever going to chiropractic school. It was a blessing in disguise - because I realized later that nursing is where I should be!!


38,333 Posts

You should get with a nursing school counselor and/or look at the catalog or schedule yourself to see if there is an intro chem course designed for nursing and allied health students. Normally one or two semesters, it is a different course from the one that chem majors, etc. take. Generally, inorganic chem is prerequisite to organic chem. But also, generally most schools offer special chem courses for prenursing students. Insure that you are signed up for the correct course.

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