Nurses are Masters at the Fine Art of Caring

What If I’m Really Bad at Math and Science?

© 2007-present Kathy Quan RN BSN All Rights Reserved

Many students considering a career in nursing are frightened away because they are not good at math or science and think they cannot succeed at becoming a nurse. This is not always true. Give yourself a chance. It's true, to
become an RN you will have to be able to pass courses such as:
  • algebra
  • basic chemistry
  • biology
  • anatomy and physiology
  • microbiology

The LPN route is not quite as intense, but the major principals of all of these (above) subjects will definitely be incorporated into the curriculum. This may be especially true for private LP/VN schools versus community college LPN programs where the trend is now to prepare these students to bridge more readily to RN or BSN and beyond.

In order to understand basic body function as well as malfunction, you will have to have an understanding of all of these subjects. To administer medications safely, you will have to understand algebra.

You will also have to have good communication skills, both written and oral in the primary language of the country you will be working in. In the U.S. for example, that would be English. So if English is not your primary language, you'll have to spend some time learning how to proficiently speak and write English.

If you really want to be a nurse, start by
becoming a CNA or a medical assistant. Using these skills, find a job in the health care field and expose yourself to as many experiences and opportunities as you can.

Then tackle these math and science courses one at a time. Hire a tutor if you still have difficulties. Some schools offer free or low cost tutoring to students. Focus on your goal to become a nurse and you'll find that because these subjects now have a purpose, you'll be more interested in them and be better able to make them work for you. In the past, you've had to take them lumped together with other courses and may not have given them any sense of meaning. Now they have a purpose, and you can take them slowly and give them the extra effort you may need. This will take you a little longer to achieve your goal, but you won't be frightened away without even trying.

Nursing is a lifelong learning process and you need a strong foundation to build on. There are no shortcuts to becoming a nurse. So be patient with yourself and give it all a try.

Surprise might just become the best nurse you know!