how much hire level math is required for nursing?


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by AspiringRN27 AspiringRN27 (Member)

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.'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!

The programs here require Stats.

pmabraham, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

Good day, AspiringRN27:

Dimensional analysis usually requires intermediate algebra skills (basic math plus basic algebra). Statistics is becoming more and more important; if you don't have to take it for a AD, you'll need it for a BSN. The BSN programs I've looked into (I'm going the AD to RN to BSN route) often require additional math classes.

Thank you.

I was required to have college algebra and stats to apply to my program. I also had a math calculation course in my program as well. I also had to take a math test the first day of my first clinical, which had to be passed with 100% accuracy. There are different methods that can be used to calculate medications in nursing. My teacher taught us dimensional analysis, which I always go back to. Also, do not rely on programs/computers to do your calculations for you. Our teacher told us a story of a student who was one of the few on the floor who remembered how to manually calculate drip rates when there was a power outage at the facility and the pumps did not work.

This is a good book to buy to work through to begin to see what kind of math you need to be able to do in nursing: Davis's Basic Math Review for Nurses: with Step-by-Step Solutions: 9780803620568: Medicine & Health Science Books @

For my ADN program, you need Statistics, which has a prerequisite of College Algebra, so those two at a minimum. A lot of other students in my class didn't place into College Algebra with the placement exams, so they had to take a more basic algebra course as a refresher first.


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

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

If you go for your BSN, you'll use stats.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

You'll need statistics for a BSN and an MSN. I took statistics (twice) before computers, so I don't know if they make you solve the problems longhand anymore. They used to! Otherwise, day to day you'll use algebra, and if you really want to understand how the thermodilution cardiac outputs work, calculus helps.