What Types of Math Problems Are Typically on a Nursing Exam?


Quick Answer

To become a registered nurse in the United States and Canada, students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses, the NCLEX-RN, which includes questions that test all areas of nursing knowledge and necessary problem-solving skills, including relevant applications of math, explains the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Math for Health Professionals, a publication and website provided by Jones and Bartlett Publishers, primarily lists NCLEX review questions relating to providing medications, blood and nutrition to patients.

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Full Answer

The NCLEX-RN exam primarily consists of multiple-choice questions with four answer choices; however, there may also be some multiple-response, fill-in-the-blank, hot spots, chart and exhibit, and drag-and-drop questions, according to Kaplan Nursing. The test divides the questions, which all pertain to the theme of client needs, into four major content categories: Safe and Effective Care Environment, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psychosocial Integrity, and Physiological Integrity.

Sample questions include some that require calculating how much medication to administer based on the patient’s weight or body surface area, and others ask the test-taker to determine how to administer prescribed medication in its proper form and at appropriate intervals. Another sample question asks the test-taker to determine how long it should take to complete an infusion of red blood cells, notes Math for Health Professionals. Some practice questions also require calculations that covert between common units of measurement.

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