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Importance of regular chemistry?

megan98 megan98 (New) New

Hi guys. I have a quick but very important question. There are 2 chemistry classes at my school-- chemistry and chemistry in the community. Chemistry in the community is more how chemistry relates to the world and is less math intensive. I have a math learning disability so I am in chemistry in the community. But, I want to be a nurse. Will not taking straight chemistry hurt me in the future (for admissions or classes)? Any opinions or advice from nurses/students who did or didn't take chemistry in high school and how it affected you later is greatly appreciated! Thank you:)

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

Thread moved for best response.

The chemistry that is required by most programs is regular chemistry.


Specializes in None yet..

There are also usually two different levels of "regular" chemistry: majors/pre-med and allied health sciences. At my college, these were Chem 121 and Chem 221. The 100 level chem, while covering the same topics and the same labs, was a "light" version. I started out with the 200 level course but had to drop it when a family illness sucked huge chunks of time from my schedule.

There was significantly less math in the course as a whole and procedural rigor in the labs in the allied health course. My feeling is that anyone who couldn't handle to math involved in the 100 level chemistry class would probably have trouble in nursing school and nursing where a certain amount of mathematical thinking, including dimensional analysis, is required.

I have several disabilities. Sometimes a wall is there to test how hard we want something. Please don't give up on yourself until you've thoroughly investigated how you can succeed at math with your particular wiring. Help is out there and I hope you find it.

Best wishes!

Edited by SeattleJess

Well if there is a specific program you are looking to get into, they will have a specific chemistry they want you to take. You need to get in contact with all of the programs you are looking at. Talk to advisers from each. Or simply look at their prerequisite lists. A lot of times you can just google "School name here nursing prerequisites". All of the colleges I've looked at want either introductory or general chemistry, which are both more like the math intensive ones.

firstinfamily, RN

Has 33 years experience.

I agree with KC Sunshine, and Seattle Jess: You need to find out what chemistry is required by the nursing program you are trying to apply to. When I was getting my BSN we took organic chemistry which really applied more to the health sciences, however, we had a section of inorganic chemistry that was part of the course. The year after I finished the chemistry requirement was changed to the same as the chemistry majors, so much more intense. I agree that nurses do need the mathematical challenge. Even though currently, it seems the pharmacy mixes up most medications you still need to verify the concentration and know how fast at what rate the medication should infuse, or how to calculate the exact dose when you are given a generic medication. How an aerobic antibiotic is different from an anaerobic and how is it absorbed etc. Why does Lasix work in the loop of Henle and not other areas of the kidney?? So, yes you do need the math. Organic chemistry fascinated me because the way the body works is mostly by the transmission of fluids from one part to another or osmotic versus permeable versus nonpermeable membranes. Chemistry is used in the way medications treat a variety of illnesses, understanding these processes definitely are a part of nursing. I was a senior in high school when I took my first chemistry class--(I was not one of the brainy students who took it in 9th grade) my teacher's advice to me was to "find a smart lab partner." That instructor gave me really good advice, and I was not stellar in math, but my brainy lab partner could explain the process to me, sometimes it is a matter of plugging the numbers into a formula. Scientific notation. Also, there are many web sites for mathematical assistance now, use what learning resources are available to you and do not get discouraged. Do not let this hamper you, you can do it!!! By the way, many of our brightest achievers had some form of a learning disability, yet they were able to apply themselves to be successful. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, you have a benefit in that you know your area of weakness, it does not mean you cannot learn, it means you are wired differently and just need more reinforcement. You need to figure out how you learn, do you do better with visual or auditory or are you a mechanical learner. You can do it!!!