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The Nursing Entrance Test Mathematical Content

Aug 17, 2007
Basic arithmetic is a sequentially dependent process. A student, who cannot do long division for example, will have difficulty with division of decimals, fractions, percentages, and ratio formulas. Therefore, the NET carefully evaluates basic operations in mathematics that are essential for success in health professional programs.

Nurses must perform dosage calculations when administering medications and intravenous fluids. Pharmacology math requires the nurse to know systems of measurement (metric, household, apothecary, and avoirdupois) and how to convert within those systems of measurement. Other system of measurements include units (common for insulin and heparin), milliequivalents (mEq) (common for some drugs such as potassium chloride), and international units (IU) (common for vitamins). Since nurses need to accurately calculate medication dosages, it is essential to understand drug weights and measures.

Math computation skills (addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, fractions, etc) are necessary to calculate medication dosages. To interpret physician's orders, the nurse must also understand abbreviations used to describe those units of measurement and frequency of administration. Other instances in which the nurse may use math (pharmacology) includes calculating safe dosages of medications. Nurses may use basic math to determine intake and output.

The mathematical content that is tested in the Nursing Entrance Test consists of solving the following; addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of mixed and improper fractions, manipulation of exponents, decimals and percentages, word problems, algebra problems including factoring, use of quadratic equation, slope of line, reading point coordinates from a graph, solving for variables in the first power and square roots. This may seem like a lot to someone who is hoping to go into the nursing field. However, this mathematical knowledge should be part of the repertoire for the student planning to take the Nursing Entrance Test.

A comprehensive Mathematics Review covering:

* The Easiest Math Review You'll Ever Read
* Solving for Variables
* How to Read Word Problems
* Keeping Probability Simple
* Using the Right Formulas
* Graphing for Success
* Breezing Through Ratios
* Understanding Line Plotting
* The Logical Approach to the Solving Difficult Problems

For many preparing to take this test, trying to learn this from scratch may seem like a daunting task. Indeed, for those with minimal to no knowledge math this becomes a daunting challenge. Some students elect to take refresher math courses. These math courses are misnamed, in the fact that they are not so much a refresher course but a course that only covers certain aspects of the math that is tested on the Nursing Entrance Test. Depending on the teacher and the learning curve of the rest of the class, this may not help the student sufficiently. Many teachers adjust the content of the class based upon the percent of the class that has a difficult time comprehending the material. What this means is that if there is a majority of the class that is having a hard time with basic principals, then the teacher will not completely cover all that is required. This is unfortunate, because those who are picking up the material quickly are placed at an educational disadvantage and are not getting their moneys worth of education.

Time and time again, students have sought out new materials on the market to better prepare them for the Nursing Entrance Test, only to be given bits and pieces of information that is insufficient to pass with an acceptable score. Math is the enemy to many that wish to be nurses and is a source of dread when it comes to test performance. Much of this anxiety is due to insufficient preparation at the college and high school level. The population of new nursing students encompasses a wide age and educational disparity.

The typical nursing student is no longer the fresh high school graduate, or the young mother returning to school after her children reach preschool age. Now, nursing students come from many diverse backgrounds, such as engineers, teachers, computer technologist and people with masters and doctorates. Naturally, with so many degreed people entering the nursing field, the bar has been raised for the score needed to pass the Nursing Entrance Test at many nursing schools. This puts the typical nursing student at a disadvantage.

So, the question can be asked, what is the person to do about obtaining the skills necessary to pass the math on the Nursing Entrance Test? There is no simple answer. However the best answer is to study. Having the right tools is also necessary and you can find many through the Internet.
About the Author
Melih ("may-lee") Oztalay, CEO
SmartFinds Internet Marketing
Web: www.thenetstudyguide.com
EMail: melih@hsfideas.com
The nursing entrance test study guide provides nurses the assistance they need with the nursing entrance test. The nursing study guide helps nurses.
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