How critical is chemistry to passing micro?

Students Pre-Nursing


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vashtee, RN

1,065 Posts

Specializes in DOU.
Hmmm I have never heard of that, what school do you go to? Of all the colleges I researched and checked out, all of them required a separate pathophysiology class usually while in NS. Micro went over many of the viruses and bacterias that caused many diseases as did A&P for us, but Patho is in a whole other field of its own.

At my school, they don't call the course "pathophysiology", the call it Med-Surg Nursing, and there are three semesters (beginning, intermediate, and advanced) that are a part of the nursing program. Micro, anatomy and physiology are all prerequisites to get IN to nursing school, not a part of the nursing school curriculum.

At my school, they do a very brief review of each body system's normal phsyiology that may have taken 15 minutes at most, and THEN concentrate on the pathophysiology of various disease processes that can occur.

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics.

This is really interesting, all the differences. These are our nursing classes for the NS the Pre Reqs for us are, Psych Life Span Development, Microbiology (that you had to have Chem to get into), English 101, A&P 1 and 2.

Nutrition and Pathophysiology and electives can be taken before if you have time.

The actually nursing classes are, (it's not letting me do 2 columbs so the first row is 1-2 semester and last row is 3-4


NUR 109 Fundamentals of Nursing 8

NUR 106 Medical and Surgical Nursing Concepts 9

NUR 112 Basic Concepts of Pharmacology 2

NUR 150 Obstetric and Pediatric Nursing 7

HPR 108 Dietary Nutrition 1

BIO 216 Pathophysiology 4

MAT 103 Math for Clinical Calculations 3

Total 14 Total 20

Year 1 Total 34


NUR 206 Advanced Concepts of Medical-Surgical Nursing I 8

NUR 216 Advanced Concepts of Medica lSurgical Nursing II 6

NUR 212 Pharmacology II 2

NUR 230 Leadership, Management and Trends 5

NUR 211 Nursing Care of Psychiatric Clients 4 Elective* 3

Total 14 Total 14

Year 2 Total 28


108 Posts

It is funny all the pre-req's being different everywhere. The school where I'm taking classes requires that you take Anatomy before Physiology, so we don't even have the option of flipping them around.

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics.

That is how ours was also. It was a 2 part class, the first quarter was the Anatomy part and Second was the Physiology part. In WA we had Quarters and the 2 parts were 6 credits each. Here in CO they have Semesters but it's done the same way at my school, just that since it's a semester the classes are 3 credits each instead of the 6.


3 Posts

I also can not imagine any program that doesn't include chemistry. Our baccalaureate program required 2 semesters, which I absolutely feel was warranted (despite the fact that I didn't enjoy it at the time). Micro and physiology were both "allowed" after chemistry and I don't think I could have done either without the chemistry. The MOST important part of taking chemistry is now on the job. It's not possible to get through the day without dealing with some aspect of chemistry. I HIGHLY recommend it....just get a tutor if it's tough to get thru. You won't regret it!


20 Posts

I haven't taken chemistry since high school...over 10 years ago. It's not a pre-req for the nursing program, but everyone "recommends" it as a precursor to microbiology. So when they say "recommend" does that mean that if you don't take chemistry, you will have a difficult time in micro? I don't mind taking it, but if it's not necessary I don't want to waste my time when I could be taking a different class or using the time to focus on the ones I'm already taking.


I would not worry about it too much. My school required that I take Chemistry before I took Micro, but there was really no need. The only reason I passed Chemistry was due to a teacher that knew she couldn't teach so she let us all pass. I did wonderful in Micro and didn't use anything from Chemistry in it. Whatever you need to know about Chemistry, you will remember from what you have learned or what someone quickly tells you.

Also, Micro isn't as bad as you may have heard. Everyone always told me it was the hardest class on my campus. I did great and really like it. Granted that is just me, but hey, its good news!!

Good luck!


323 Posts

Specializes in Wilderness Medicine, ICU, Adult Ed..

Take the chem class. In fact, take as much basic science as you can. I promise that, when you enter practice, a solid background in science will make you a better nurse, often in ways you could never have anticipated.


96 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Room, Specialty Infusions.

My opinion.....don't bother. I took bone-head chemistry, then Chem I and II...which where required for the BSN. I don't remember much chemistry in microbiology AT all. It's just like a Biology class....but you study germs. My daughter is pre-nurse program. Has to take Microbiology.....chemistry is not required.

Don't worry too much. I never even took chem in high school. I tested out. Before I started my science courses, I read a chem for dummies. You may need to know some real basic things to understand how the bacteria absorb stains, nutrients, ect. I passed micro with a 96%. Just make sure to take note of anything you don't understand and ask the prof after class. Most of the time they're glad to help. If your prof ends up being a weinie, google will be your best friend. Use the margins of your notebook to write terms, questions you may not understand to follow up later. Plus, don't be afraid to ask questions in class. If you are totally lost, chances are half of the class is, too. The prof will answer questions up to the point where they feel appropriate. Remember, you are not the only one who has not had a chem class in who knows how long! There are a lot of older adults going back to school for a career change to nursing. You will be fine. Don't waste your time taking a chem course. You'll understand why I say that when your class starts.


17 Posts


As you can tell from the previous posts, every college is a bit different when it comes to what is required to do well in Microbiology. I think it would be a good idea to ask the professor who is teaching micro at your college about what kind of background in chemistry will help you do well and what emphasis he/she places on the biochemical basis of microbes and the body's reaction to them. You might also wish to ask some fellow students (who have completed microbiology at your school) about their perceptions of how much chemistry is required for the course. Learning a bit (or a lot for that matter) about both chemistry and microbiology can only help you in your pursuit of being a good nurse!

:twocents: Cheers and good luck!

CalNevaMimi, LPN, LVN

1 Article; 250 Posts

Specializes in DD, PD/Agency Peds, School Sites.

They counted my high school chemistry from (lol) 1986. I got an A in Micro last fall. You can do it!


286 Posts

I had Microbiology before I had Chemistry and still got an A. Chemistry is more math, than anything else, and there is no math in Micro. :up:

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