Hi, everyone! I'm a Sophomore and I decided last year I wanted to become an RN, one thing... I'm horrible at math. Last year, I finished Algebra I with a D and failed my Algebra I state exam which I have to retake to graduate, as of now I currently have a low C in Algebra II. I have a strong work ethic and always ask for help, I just feel lost all the time, I get flustered when someone explains things to me. I was wondering, what is nursing math like? If I know what it is like I could study it along with my Algebra II and build my skill. Also, I'm taking medical courses at a technical school right now if that helps, I've been in it since August 2014. This course is 2 years of medical, and the last year is a CNA course+certification and after we are certified we spend the rest of the year working in a nursing home. I miss half a day of my regular classes to go to the technical school, I do not have electives and I will only have three years of math and science instead of four.Thanks, everyone!

RN403, BSN, RN 1 Article; 1,068 Posts Nov 5, 2014 Nursing math is very different than any algebra course I have taken. You utilize dimensional analysis, which to me went more along the lines of what I learned in chemistry. Nursing math includes dosage calculations, conversions, etc. You will learn what you need to know as far as "nursing math" goes when you are in you program. If you would like to get an idea of what you will be in for you might look at dosagehelp.com. Although, I am not sure it will make much sense at this time. You will more than likely need to take a basic college algebra course as a part of your pre-requisites. Utilize YouTube, tutors, and your professor's office hours to be successful. Many of us have struggled with math and are nurses today. Where there is will there is a way. Best wishes.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN 3,663 Posts Specializes in ICU. Nov 5, 2014 You need to get down basic algebra before worrying about nursing math. Nursing math is not hard but in order to get in the program you will have to take either college algebra or stats or for a BSN, both. I was terrible at algebra in high school. Then taking algebra I for the third time in my life last fall, I got an awesome professor who opened my eyes and I finally understood. Look into getting a tutor. Becoming a CNA is not going to help you with algebra, I'm sorry to say. Find someone who is good at teaching it and learn. Be sure to keep up your grades now so you can get into college. Nursing math is basically just doing metric conversions and dividing. It's really not hard at all, it's just the road to get there that isn't easy.

MysticTopaz 37 Posts Nov 5, 2014 Thank you so much, I looked at dimensional analysis, I must say my heart skipped a few beats. I will most likely take Chemistry next year, my Algebra teacher kept telling me I would have to know everything we learned in Algebra I & II or else I wouldn't be a good nurse. We have College Algebra at my school, I have seen the problems they do, they make me want to cry. I will definitely take advantage of the resources I have.

MysticTopaz 37 Posts Nov 5, 2014 That's what I expected, hard to get, easy to do. I'd figure out a way to learn Algebra, but I'm scared to death of my teacher, I need someone to hold my hand and tell me it's okay, not to scare me and do anything but help. None of the Algebra teachers in my school teach the way I need to learn, they either don't teach or teach to the point 2+3 becomes a complicated equation. Online learning may be an option if I can find an entire site that is a class, I'd have to start all the way back to Pre-Algebra to understand, I haven't seen any sites that teach an entire class yet. I'll be a nurse who always keeps a calculator handy, hehe.

NurseGirl525, ASN, RN 3,663 Posts Specializes in ICU. Nov 5, 2014 Everything is pretty much computerized. We are learning drip rates and IV infusion rates but honestly it's just some dividing and multiplying. And tablets are just dividing. You have to know metric conversions. How many teaspoons=mL and how many milligrams is a gram. Once you learn the conversions, it's not hard. 5% of all of our tests are math. The past three tests I haven't missed any. This coming from the girl who took algebra I three times! College algebra was very hard. Interpreting graphs is not my strong area, but I made it through. Like I said find a good teacher.

MysticTopaz 37 Posts Nov 5, 2014 I'm looking at online tutoring and courses online that I would pay for, my Mother is looking at it with me right now.

firstinfamily, RN 790 Posts Has 33 years experience. Nov 5, 2014 Never fear, where there is a will there is a way!!! I didn't get beyond Geometry in high school, so college algebra was quite a challenge for me, the mathematical equations for chemistry were challenging as well. I had to take statistics twice in Nursing school to get a good grade. I have been a nurse for a long time and now am not baffled by the equations we have to do for dosage calculations but it took a long time. You should partner up with a mathematics major who can tutor you. Getting all the math skills now will help you later. Don't let anyone tell you, you have to be a genius to be a nurse. Yes, hopefully you are above average in your other courses, but nursing is about a lot more than math skills. Learn some people skills, if you can do some volunteering in a hospital or nursing home do that to get your feet wet. Good Luck, stay strong!!!!

Farawyn 12,646 Posts Has 25 years experience. Nov 5, 2014 I became a nurse so I wouldn't have to do math.

MysticTopaz 37 Posts Nov 5, 2014 Thank you, that's actually very motivating for me. I'm actually doing plenty of volunteer work for clubs in my school such as Environmental, Relay for Life, and reading to children. I'm not sure what hospital work I could do, I live relatively close to a nursing home, I know how to do hygiene for the elderly from my medical classes! Also, SkillsUSA is a program in all states that has AMAZING scholarship opportunities and I'm joining this year for medical competitions.

Luckyyou, BSN, RN 467 Posts Specializes in ICU. Has 12 years experience. Nov 5, 2014 I work in a NICU and do dosage calculations on a daily basis. No, it's not difficult math by any definition, but any error is a big deal. Being off by a factor of ten could mean serious complications for the patient, up to and including death. I'm not sure how it goes in most other units, but competency in dosage calc is non-negotiable where I work. Yes, the pyxis or eMAR does the math a lot of the times, but when you're pulling drugs for an emergent situation, you have to do the math quickly and accurately.