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Nursing specialty with a lot of math?


Hi there,

Would anybody know a nursing specialty with a lot of math? I really like math and doing the dosages etc. I just graduated my BSN and I'm researching what specialty deals with a lot of calculations. Thank you very much.



It's refreshing to actually hear from a nurse who loves math! There are so many posts asking what specialties DON'T use math. I'm a new grad myself, so I'm not the best person to ask. From what I've seen, I would guess ICU/CCU/ER (lots of on-the-fly titrations of weight-dependent doses that also adjust according to patient response). Also peds with weight-dependent doses. Maybe oncology with chemo drugs? Those are my best guesses - I look forward to the replies :D

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 40 years experience.

I have to say that as an experienced nurse I am always shocked when nurses ask what areas don't use math. Thye should be using math everyday to ensure that dosages are correct. With weight beased meds like heparin and Loxenox being administered regularly, whether or not there is a chart they should be figuring out the patients dose themselves and "double checking" their calculations with the provided "chart". Thus double checking meds before they are given.

That being said, any critical care area your will use math constantly. Most meds that are used in critical care are titrated by mcg/kg/min, mgs/kg. The more critical the patient the more calculations. Pediactric/neonate critical areas are of particular dificulty for some as the dosages can be so minute that are given in fractions lees that 1cc. One very particular area if you are seeking and advanced degree would be anesthesia being a CRNA.

Congrats on graduating!!!! Good Luck!

Hi guys!

Yeah, I really love math. I get good grades when it comes to calculating. They would always commend me for it.

So, It's the critical care nursing huh? I always like being in the ER or the ICU. It just feels more intense and alive.

I'll be reviewing for the NCLEX really soon and I just want to have a goal for my nursing dreams. I just wanted to imagine myself there.

Thank you so much AJPV and Esme12. And AJPV Congrats on graduating also! Peace RNs!

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

FYI, 'math calculations' are increasingly being automated in order to improve patient safety. One of the most inexplicable issues (to safety experts) has been the failure of health care to account for human error when we design systems. It seems like we continue to believe that clinicians must be perfect and are continually surprised when this does not happen. No patient should ever be just 'one human error' away from catastrophe.

It's always a good thing to know how to perform calculations, but do not expect critical patient treatment decisions to be based on manual calculations anymore.

SummitRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU + Infection Prevention. Has 8 years experience.

Maybe RadOnc? Although the Health Physicist probably does everything interesting.

There is no hard or interesting math in nursing. It's all elementary or middle school arithmetic. The only slightly difficult part is doing it on the fly, in the dark, in your head, maybe under pressure, but there's always paper and a calculator if you are really tired or just want to double check.

If you really like math, take some real stats courses and do quantitative research.

Nursing math is only difficult if you let it be. I precept new RNs in the EEr and they are amazed once I show them the easy way to do it and have them forget the confusing garbage they were taught in school. It's amazing how many new and old nurses do not know how to do simple nursing math. A lot of the problem also is the new IV pumps they have that do the calculations for you. That's all well and good but when you assume care of a patient on a pump it's nice to be able to figure out yourself if the pump is set correctly.