Mathematics for nursing and chemistry (Part I)

Someone going into nursing may think that the only math they’ll see is calculating dosages and cutting pills. Well, they’re wrong! In order to get into nursing school, either an algebra course, finite math or statistics are part of the prerequisites. I agree algebra at least should be required to learn. Who wants a nurse, pharmacist or doctor who can’t do algebra? I certainly wouldn’t! It’s a given in your program, you’ll see mathematics. It is unavoidable. 

Not only will you see algebra, you’ll also see conversion factors, dimensional analysis along with miscellaneous types of mathematics. Every professor is different and may teach different concepts and topics regarding the algebra. However, there’s FIVE units you’ll absolutely cover:

  • Real Numbers and The Order Of Operations.
  • Linear Equations and Inequalities.
  • Graphing Linear Equations and Systems of Equations.
  • Polynomials, Factoring and Quadratic Equations.
  • Finite Mathematics (this could vary from professor to professor)

Also, know, that you will have to study math within the chemistry. It’s mostly conversion factors and equations, although there are a few other types of math. Also note, that it’s also required in many chemistry courses that you know algebra and at a college level reading. This may vary, but in my program — it was a requirement. 

I have made notes along my math courses, and also other material was given to me. I will post them within this blog post, not only for others going into nursing but for myself. Within my nursing blogs, it’s as if I speak to an audience but myself as well. I often look back and study, or I may need older material to correlate with newer material. 

Here are a few subjects / topics you’ll see beginning your math journey. These notes are not complete, as I pulled a few pages out of each section to give an overall idea. Other topics include properties of zero, order of operations with addiction, subtraction, multiplication, division, exponents, brackets, etc. Also sets and intervals, absolute value and distance. If you can get this down, you’ll be fine! The algebra builds on top of this. Order of operations is a foundation to build algebra skills on top of.





Linear equations and inequalities usually are unit two. Again, these aren’t all my notes, but a few taken out of my folder. All topics were mostly about linear equations, Inequalities, percentage, formulas and finding consecutive numbers.







The next unit, you’ll learn how to graph linear equations and also solve systems of equations by either substitution or the elimination method. Again, these notes blogged here are randomly chosen from an entire packet. They are not complete.





Polyatomic Ions

     Poly – Many

      Atomic – Atoms

On your journey through Chemistry Health, you’ll come upon a dragon called Polyatomic Ions! Many students seem to have trouble with these, but really all it is — is — just a bundle of memorization. You have to find a pattern for your brain to absorb these. In my case — I just remember them by the numbers (exponents and subscripts) along with the “letters”. We’ll call them letters to be organized and for the sake of simplicity. Just remember them as you do anything else — perhaps as if they’re an algebra formula. They’re not! However, memorization is memorization! There’s NO need to fear Polyatomic Ions. 

Here is a list of Polyatomic Ions, however, my professor ONLY made us remember 21 of these!

ion list

My advice is study and memorize whatever x ions your professor gives you. They’re pretty easy to recall once you get several down in your mind. If you can get several down, you can get them ALL down! Later on, they could perhaps come in useful in your nursing career.