Jump to content

how much hire level math is required for nursing?

AspiringRN27 AspiringRN27 (Member)

or is it just basic math?


Has 3 years experience.

Do you mean higher level math? It depends on your school. My school (ADN) just changed the requirement to include a statistics class and college algebra.

Just basic math. I've never used stats at my job and find my stats class a waste time.....


Specializes in NICU.

Basic math and (very) basic algebra

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.


Whispera, MSN, RN

Specializes in psych, addictions, hospice, education.

For the job of nursing you'll need basic math and some basic algebra. For nursing school, you'll need basic math, algebra, and maybe statistics.

Depends on the school, type of degree and what field of nursing you will be going into. From what I've seen most of the BSN and higher degree programs require college algebra and statistics. Many of the ADN programs (do Diploma programs still exist!?) are starting to require the same. Med/surg and most types of acute, non-critical fields you pretty much just use basic math. In the critical care areas you are likely to use some algebra (but there are apps, books, charts etc now for almost everything you need to calculate!). For areas such as Research you will definitely be using statistics.


Has 1 years experience.

For the actual job of a typical staff nurse on the floor, you're not doing more than basic math, at its most complicated solving for x in a simple equation. But you also need to know how to set up the equation given real world circumstances and relying on memorized conversion factors. For the pre-reqs of nursing school the previous poster is correct - you will likely need to pass college algebra and statistics, as well as chemistry, which is kinda math-heavy.

Most of the math I use every day I learned in high school (solve for x) and chemistry (converting several factors at once in one long equation). I find that I use the latter in drip rates because I work peds and the meds are weight based.

I'm sorry I just realized I put "hire" instead of "higher" maybe I need a higher level English class lol

loriangel14, RN

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

lol I thought you were referring to a level required for hiring. oops You will need to imporove your spelling.

Edited by loriangel14

You'll be using fractions. Basic stuff other then that.

Are you "hiring" math? *LOL*

Don't like to kick a girl when she's down but there will be some English classes required with nursing programs as well. Just sayin.... *LOL*

As everyone else has stated medical dosage calculations requires a firm knowledge arithmetic along with elementary algebra. The latter is mostly knowing order of operations, how to set up and understand and solve word problems; in short those solve for "X" problems you should remember from high school.

Nursing math is not that difficult if you have a decent grasp on the above and most importantly understand what is being asked of you. Just as with any other math problem you know or should anyway when reaching some off the wall answer it cannot be correct. Some of this won't come until you are familiar with various meds. However a good part of it is just common sense that comes from understanding various units of measurements.

For instance morphine sulfate oral solution is normally 100 mg per 5 mL . Misunderstanding the difference between mg and mL or several other mistakes can lead to administering a dose that not only will cause an overdose/adverse reaction but death of a patient in quick order. The calculation is simple enough to do but must be done correctly *all* the time.

If you are considering a career in nursing just know you will be tested for nursing math skills all through your education and surely for almost every professional nursing job you see that involves contact with patients. Passing rate varies by institution but most like to see >95% if not 100%.

Med dose calc is probably one of the biggest areas for failure for many nursing students. You'll often hear "I only failed by one point". Fair enough but my response is would you want your baby, husband child or other family member to be in that one percentage point a particular nurse makes errors in?


Specializes in Post Anesthesia. Has 30 years experience.

Eye fined most days bay-sick math skills are awl that are rechiored two due my job.

School may rechior sum algebra sew ewe can grasp the statistical analysis of studies and such,

butt the most complicated math eye dew in my practice is converting mg to mcg and calculating wait based eye-v rates.

Much more important is my ability to use written and/or spoken language to clearly illistrate a point. Without that skill it would be difficult to command the respect I deserve from my employer or my patients.

I'm sorry I just realized I put "hire" instead of "higher" maybe I need a higher level English class lol

Or more sleep

applewhitern, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 30 years experience.

I had to take college algebra and chemistry in 1987 for the ADN. I can't believe how many people think ADN programs don't require those. Some of the new nurses I work with today never had to take chemistry or algebra.

Um..loriangel...it's spelled 'improve' not 'imporove'

You definetely need a level of understanding of both algebra and basic math concepts. You will need them to calculate dosages (what you have on hand vs. what dose you need) and yes, depending on where you work some arenas still used drips per minute.

Even in the most modern of facilities, sometimes you are required to take and pass a very old school math test.

If math is not your thing, think about getting a tutor now. And I have to say, the best tutor to get is a high school math whiz. Which you can find by calling the local high school--there are any number of students who need community service hours for this or that and are amazing at teaching the concepts.

Best wishes!