How is math used in nursing in everyday needs?

Math is a vital part of nursing and is used in a variety of ways throughout the average day. A clear understanding basic math skills and the metric system is essential to keeping patients alive and healthy.


Nurses use math skills to calculate proper doses of medication, especially if the criteria for determining the dose depends on the patient's weight, blood pressure, glucose level or another factor.

Vital Signs

Blood pressure, temperature, pulse and respiration rate are measured and compared against the normal readings. Nurses might need to add or subtract to determine if the numbers are within normal range for the patient.

Urine Output

In conditions that require fluid output monitoring, the patient's urine is added throughout the day in millilitres and compared against a standard chart to determine the level of kidney functioning.


Nurses often need to weigh patients and add or subtract previous weights to see if there is a change. Changes in weight can signal other problems, including swelling, gastrointestinal disorders and malnutrition.


If you need math help, many nursing programs offer tutoring, and there are math books available geared specifically toward nursing.

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About the Author

Based in East Stroudsburg, Pa., Nicole Etolen is a freelance writer, blogger, and former Certified Nursing Assistant. She has been professionally writing since 1995, with articles appearing in "Lehigh Valley Bridal Magazine," "A Reader's Guide to the Underground Press" and numerous independent publications. Nicole is also the owner and sole author of Pretty Opinionated, a successful lifestyle blog for busy moms of school-age children, as well as a staff writer for several other parenting sites.