How do you use statistics in nursing school?


I took statistics about 10 years ago. I did well, (made a B) but I really don't remember anything about it and math is a weak subject for me. How do you use it in nursing school and would it benefit me to take it again? My school accepts my old stats. I only have one class to take next spring and was trying to decide if I wanted to take another class again or just use that time to study for my pre-entrance exam along with my final pre-req class.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

I've never taken a statistics course and seriously doubt that I'd be able to pass this class due to my very poor math skills. I'm an RN with an associates degree.

Statistics is applied in BSN programs while enrolled in research nursing classes.

Specializes in Pediatrics, Emergency, Trauma. Has 18 years experience.

Research nursing classes, like Commuter stated.

I used it when writing my research proposal when reporting sampling and projected outcomes.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.

I have a BSN from a very well known university and I never took statistics. It was recommended but not required in my program... recommended only because it's a pre-req for MSN programs and this school operated under the assumption that the majority of its students were going to go on to graduate school.

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

If you ever see Consumer Reports you know how easy it is to get snowed by ads or such that look really good, especially if they are something you want to like beforehand, or confirm your own bias in some regard. So with evidence-based practice. Every RN should have at least a cursory working understanding of statistics to be able to discern what "research" (and I use the quotation marks advisably) is reliable and which is suspect. It's not just "for nursing school," it's for being an educated professional.

There are usually two different kinds of intro statistics courses in most schools, one mathematically-based and one often called psychology stats or health sciences stats. That last one is the one you want.

Here are a few resources to give you an overview:

What is Statistical Significance?

Tests of Statistical Significance

Statistical significance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 9 years experience.

You don't have to do statistical calculations (or at least I haven't had to) but they expect you to understand statistics for your research class (BSN) as understanding what the stats mean in just about every subject when they go over the statistics of the disease process you're learning.

Specializes in Adult Nurse Practitioner. Has 40 years experience.

I opted out via CLEP. Found it very difficult as I too am bad in math. I wish I had taken it "live". As to calculations, my test was FULL of calculations. I understand there are new STAT classes that are more geared to nurses. Use of stats come when reading EBP journals, surveys, etc. I thought I would never use STATs and found out that it was an integral part of the RN-BSN bridge as well as my MSN-FNP courses now.

Has 8 years experience.

It is not that we use Statistics per se, it is that we understand what standard deviation, sample, projection etc. mean.