Is Nursing a STEM Field?

Nursing, although not always associated with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), actually has strong connections to these disciplines. Most of the information used in nursing is taken from scientific disciplines such as biology, physiology, and psychology. Nurses use math and technology every day on the job. Nurses play a crucial role in healthcare innovation, implementing state-of-the-art technologies and embracing cutting-edge solutions to improve patient outcomes.

STEM in Nursing

  • Science – Nurses apply scientific principles daily. They analyze lab results, understand disease processes, and make evidence-based decisions.
  • Technology – Nurses use various technologies, from electronic health records to medical devices, to provide efficient and accurate care to patients.
  • Engineering – Nurses problem-solve, adapt workflows, and optimize patient care systems.
  • Mathematics – Nurses calculate medication dosages, assess vital signs, and manage patient data, all of which involve math.

Real-World Problem Solving

  • Nurses have been solving problems since Florence Nightingale invented the nurse call system.
  • Nurses identify a problem, formulate possible solutions, and determine the best course of action.
  • The original nursing process provides a systematic step-by-step process for problem-solving. These steps include:
    • Assessment – Use critical thinking skills to brainstorm and gather information.
    • Diagnosis – Identify the problem and any triggers or obstacles.
    • Planning – Collaborate to formulate the desired outcome based on proven methods and resources.
    • Implementation – Carry out the actions identified to resolve the problem.
    • Evaluation – Reflect on the results and determine if the issue was resolved.


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In summary, while nursing may not always be explicitly labeled as STEM, its impact on patient care and healthcare systems aligns closely with STEM principles. This is because nursing is rooted in the fundamentals of science and math. Like other STEM fields, nursing applies these disciplines to find effective solutions to real-world problems. Critical thinking skills are fostered throughout a nurse’s education, training, and career. As such, nursing should be considered a STEM field.

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