human choroinic gonadotropin

Does the NURSING ENTRANCE TEST, OR N.E.T. contain any medication calculations?
The answer is yes! This may intimidate many students who are getting ready to take the N.E.T. There is hope. At the Nurses Learning Center students can study online tests and tutorials with unlimited access without worrying that they will lose their access. There are indeed some questions requiring knowledge of medication dosing calculations. These questions however can be broken down into simple ratios and proportions. The student will be using these formulas quite a bit during nursing school, where they can expect frequent medication calculation tests. The N.E.T. Study Guide author, Nancy Kimmel has broke down exactly how to solve for these ratio and proportion problems at the Nurses Learning Center. Whether the student is studying the drip factor of an IV or exactly how much medication to dispense, the student will find the information that they need to pass the NURSING ENTRANCE TEST MATH SECTION.

It is important for the student to prepare for the N.E.T. by getting a thorough understanding of how to use ratio and proportions prior to nursing school. One of the reasons that so many people do not do well on the MATH SECTION OF THE NURSING ENTRANCE TEST, is due to their lack of study in such subject matter.


While medications do a lot of good, most of them can cause a patient physical harm or death if too high a dose is administered. Because of this nurses typically double-check  and triple check their calculations when they are giving a new or potentially deadly medication, or have another nurse check their calculations.  As a nursing student you will check every doctor’s order with your instructor before the two of you act on the order. For a student to give a medication or change an IV rate without consultation with a professional is not permitted by this School or the clinical agencies. Medication safety is crucial. Below you will find some examples of ratio and proportion problems.


The amount of fluids administered intravenously each hour should never be more than you would want to drink in an hour. Most often doctors order only about 4 ounces of IV fluid per hour for their clients. The Metric System is usually used by doctors to order the infusion rate for an IV. There are 30ml in an ounce of fluid. “Infuse 125 ml/ hour” is a common IV order. If the client has a heart or kidney problem, IV fluids might be restricted to 50 – 80ml/ hour. More than that could cause their lungs to fill with fluid, drowning them from the inside causing congestive heart failure.  In the following exercises if you get an answer wildly different from these numbers, your logic should tell you that your answer is probably wrong.


  1. Usually IVs come in clear plastic bags with lines on the side showing how much fluid is left in the bag so a nurse can see how much of the IV has infused.
  2. The most common size is about a quart which is equal to 1000 ml. 1000 ml is one liter. The total amount is printed on the bag.
  3. There are many different solutions in these bags, but they all look the same. The name of the solution is printed on the bag. Even though they may be all piled in a heap on a shelf, it is critical that the correct solution be hung for each patient. The wrong solution could kill.
  4. The tubing that connects the bag to the client comes in different diameters. The wider the tubing, the faster fluid gets into the client. When you look at the box the tubing came in it could give a “Drop Factor” of 10 drops/ ml or 12 or 15 or 20 drops/ ml. When the Drop Factor is between 10 – 20 it is called “macrodrip tubing”. A drip rate can’t be figured out unless you know the Drop Factor for the tubing being used.
  5. Some tubing has a needle built in that limits the size of the drop that can enter the tubing from the IV bag. Pediatric nurses use this kind of tubing because their little patients can only tolerate tiny amounts of IV fluid. It takes 60 of these little drops to equal one ml. When the Drop Factor is 60 the tubing is called “microdrip tubing”
  6. All IV tubing has a chamber at the end near the IV bag where nurses can see the fluid dripping out of the bag before the fluid enters the tubing. This is where they count the rate of the falling drops using the second hand on their watches. So you can check your answers for logic be aware that if the tubing delivers one ml every 10 drops, a drip rate of 21 will give the patient 125 ml in an hour. If the tubing delivers one ml every 15 drops, a drip rate of 31 will give the patient 125 ml in an hour.
  7. If the drip rate is less than 10 drops each minute the client’s vein may clot off the IV, meaning s/he might have to get stuck again to start a new IV.
  8. Just because the IV is no longer in the IV bag a nurse can not assume that it infused into the client. It could have disconnected and be in a puddle on the floor. Nurses always check the client’s infusion site to make sure everything is connected and the client’s arm looks okay.


The goal for these exercises is for you to be able to quickly formulate and calculate IV problems.

This is a useful formula to compute the drip rate of an IV. Memorize it. You will need to prove that you can use it in every clinical course before you will be allowed into the clinical area.

= drops/minute

Another way of saying the same thing is:

Example #1

Dr. A. orders your client to receive 125 ml of D5W an hour for the next 8 hours. The nursing unit used tubing with a drop factor of 10. What is the drip rate?

Fill in the formula putting an X for the drip rate because that is what you want to know.

Notice that the fact that the information about 8 hours was not needed to figure out the drip rate.

Example #2

Dr. B. orders a liter of D5W to run this 8-hour shift. The drop factor is 15. Put this information in the formula with the X in the spot for the drip rate.

Example #3

Dr. C. wants your client to have 50 ml of a pre-mixed antibiotic. The Pharmacy writes, “infuse in 30 minutes”. The tubing box says drop factor = 15.

Many Thanks to the wonderful faculty at Fairleigh Dickinson College of Nursing
If you would like to begin to prepare to study for the N.E.T today, you will be making a decision that will help your chances at being placed on the nursing school waiting list before the other testers.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply