Raritan Valley Community College

 Nursing Program


Pharmacology Clinical Calculations Course



I.  Basic Course Information


A.     Course Number: NURS 016 - 01X, 02X, 03X

B.     Course Title: Pharmacology Clinical Calculations Course

C.     Department:  Nursing

D.     Semester Credit Hours:  This is a 2 non-credit course.  The student does not receive credit towards his/her degree.

E.      Weekly Contact Hours:  Lecture/Laboratory: 2 hours

F.      Prerequisite:  Not achieving a grade of  85% on the pharmacology placement test.

G.     Co-requisites: Current enrollment in Foundations of Nursing or Nursing Transitions

H.     Laboratory Fees:  None


II.  Catalog Description: The Pharmacology Clinical Calculations Course is a mathematics course for those students who are currently registered for Foundations of Nursing or Nursing Seminar and who did not successfully complete the Pharmacology Placement exam.  It is designed to assist these students to safely calculate, prepare, and administer medications.


The course is self-paced. There will be a review of basic math concepts and an introduction to the formulas and skills necessary to solve drug dosage problems that occur in the practice of nursing.


III. Learning Outcomes:

      The student will be able to:

                1.  Utilize components of basic mathematics and safe nursing practice in the

                    calculation, preparation, and administration of oral and parenteral medications.

                2.  Calculate and interpret centigrade and fahrenheit temperatures.

                3.  Utilize the metric, apothecary, and household system in calculating medications.

                4.  Calculate conversions in the metric, apothecary and household systems.

            5.  Perform calculations necessary for preparation of oral and parenteral medications.


IV. Outline of Course Content:        


Week 1:                                              

              Roman Numerals                                                                               

  Math Review: Decimals, Fractions,                                                    


Week 2:                                                                                   

                Ratios and Proportion                                                                        


                Metric Systems                                                        

    Temperature Conversions                                                                  




Week 3:                                                                                  

                Apothecary and Household  Systems                                                    

                Conversion Problems                                                                       


Week 4:                                                                                   


    Dosage Calculations/Ratio and Proportions                          

                Dosage Calculations/Formula Method                                              


Week 5:                                                                                  

                Calculating Dosages Based on Body Weight                                                            

    Reading Medication Labels                                      


Week 6           

               Calculation of  Oral Medications                                                       

               Calculating Intravenous Flow Rates                                                               


Week 7 

              Calculation of  Parenteral Medications                                      

               Powdered Drugs      


Week 8           

  Final Examination and Retakes as needed


V. Modes of Teaching and Learning:  Lecture, group work on content, self study workbook

     and tests. Each scheduled class period will consist of lecture and individual, as well as group,

     work and individual. Class attendance is mandatory.  All worksheets for missed class sessions

     must be completed.


VI. Assessment Methods: All quizzes and the final are taken in the media center. Students must  

      achieve an 85% on each unit quiz and on the final exam. Successful completion on one unit

      is required before the student may progress to the next unit. All unit quizzes must be

      completed before the student may take the final exam. Retakes are administered until a

      passing grade is achieved.  All quizzes and the final exam must be completed by the last

     class day,  in order to remain enrolled in Foundations of Nursing.       


VII. Text: Deborah Gray,  Calculate With Confidence, 3rd Edition, Mosby: St. Louis, Missouri,



VIII. On Line Section: Students, who score 75% or above on the Pharmacology Calculation’s Pretest, are eligible to enroll in the On Line Section of this course.  If a student in the On Line Section fails a quiz, that student is required to attend class or make an appointment with the course instructor during her office hours.