What Is A Nursing Dose?

Many people don’t know what is a nursing dose is and become muddled with the word “nursing dose”. If you want to know what is a nursing dose read this article from top to toe. Our topic of discussion in this article is what is a nursing dose?

What Is A Nursing Dose?

A nurse dose is termed as a medication for which a nurse uses their decision to increase or decrease the value of the dose.

Reason For a Nurse Dose:

  • A nurse dose happens when the said dose does not control the patient’s condition.
  • It also happens when the patient’s condition is too severe, and there is a danger of death.
  • It also uses when patients require a higher dose of medication than the dose prescribed by the doctor.

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What Is The Formula To Calculate The Nurse Dose?

What Is A Nursing Dose

Before knowing the formula of nurse dose calculation, you must see the example of nurse dose.


A doctor prescribes about 1gm of a specific medicine, and a nurse, according to the patient’s condition, can give treatment up to 2mg of the said dose. Then nurse can calculate the nurse dose by multiplying the stated dose quantity by a figure of 2.


1mg x 2= 2mg.

What Do You Know About Types Of Nurse Doses?

At first, we discuss what is a nursing dose, and now we will look at types of nurses’ doses. There are two basic types of nurse doses which are described below:

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a.      Discretionary Nurse Dose:

A discretionary nurse dose is a dose of the nurse for which the nurse has the right to decide according to the patient’s condition. Simply put, a nurse will determine whether or not the dose should be changed.


If a patient has a danger of death and needs a higher level of medicine dose than what is prescribed by the doctor. Then nurses can increase the patient’s dose to save a patient’s life. This dose is termed the Discretionary dose.

b.     Mandatory dose:

A mandatory dose is a dose of the drug a nurse must arrange. It is put in irrespective of the patient’s condition.


A mandatory drug dose is introduced in the patient’s body if a drug is considered to be life-saving or the patient is conceiving.

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What Is The Reason Behind Giving A Nursing Dose?

A nurse dose is given by a nurse when the prescribed medicine is insufficient for the anticipated outcome.


According to my knowledge, there are two primary situations for nurse dose:

  • The first situation is the introduction of painkiller medicine in the patient’s body when they complain of severe pain.
  • The second situation is when patients need to take psychiatric medication, and the nursing staff has to start a therapeutic hold on patients. Examples of psychiatric medicine are Ativan and Haldol.
  • Sometimes nurses use a nursing dose when they do not want to wake up the doctor. It mostly happens on night duty because a nurse fears being cussed out by a physician for waking up at night.

Some nurses do this because they guess the expected medicine prescription by a physician.

This practice is dangerous for those nurses who have to work for a long time and cannot deal with patients after short intervals.

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Why Giving A Nursing Dose Is A Bad Thing?

What Is A Nursing Dose

To give a nursing dose is a bad practice due to many reasons, some of which are given below:

You Are Injecting Medicine Without A Medical License:

The first problem in giving a nurse dose is medicine without a medical license. You are not a doctor nor an advanced practice nurse. That’s why you cannot make your own decision. That is the most noticeable issue.

You Are Not Verifying What You Are Giving:

The nursing dose is untrustworthy by nature. I hope you got the second problem with this practice from the example explained above.

To avoid complications, you must list the medicine you gave according to the medical prescription. In the same way, you must also list the medication you wasted on other medicines.

The final result of the discussion is that you are not documenting what you are giving the patient. Thus, it is bad practice.

Worst Results On Patient Life:

I don’t know which type of bad results happens to the patient, but I know that it may put the patient’s life in danger.

Just imagine that a nurse gave the nursing dose before your duty shift, then you gave the nursing dose in your shift, and the next nurse did the same thing after your shift. I don’t know what will happen, but I think it will result in the worst effects on the patient life.

Which Things Should You Follow Instead Of Giving Nurse Dose?

First, we discussed what is a nursing dose. Then we look at different aspects of nursing dose. Now we will discuss what you need to do instead of giving a nursing dose.

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Call The Doctor:

Everyone should work in their domain. As a nurse, if you think a patient’s condition is falling, you must call the doctor instead of giving a nursing dose. It would be best if you did not care what the time is. You must call the physician and work in your domain of practice.

The doctor feels bad about it, but you must do your duty. You must inform about the patient’s condition. If you don’t call the doctor and something bad happens, you, as the nurse, will fall on the lower level.

Consult Your Treatment Team Or Manager:

If you think that patient’s condition is not manageable and he is complaining of severe pain and a psychic problem, you must consult treat team to take appropriate measures.

Protect Your Nursing License:

To get your nursing license, you worked too hard and long. Don’t let these small mistakes lose this effort.

You must work properly to protect your nursing license and to work as a lifesaver for patients.

What Are The Safety Measures When Running A Nurse Dose?

If a doctor or treatment team is unavailable and the patient’s condition is too severe, and you have no options instead of giving a nursing dose, you should take these safety measures.

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Allergic Reaction:

What Is A Nursing Dose

Ensure that patient is not allergic to said medicine. If the patient is allergic, then you should not introduce that medication. It can cause adverse effects on a patient’s life.

Route Of Administration:

The route of administration is very important to know. You must ensure the proper dose of medicine and route of administration.

Patient Observation:

You must observe the patient after medication. It is to ensure that said medication has no side effects.

Enlist Medication:

You must list the given medicine. It is helpful for legal reasons and ensures you do your best for a patient.

Which Things Do You Need To Follow If Any Mistake Happens When Administering A Nurse Dose?

If any mistake happens during medicine administration, you must take reasonable measures to compensate for the problem and to prevent further complications.

These are following measures you need to follow:

Stop Medicine:

You must stop giving medicine.

Call Doctor:

You must call a nurse or doctor immediately.

Enlist Incident:

You must enlist the whole incident in the patient’s medical record.

Follow Policies:

You must follow the methods and rules of the facilities.

What Is A Nursing Dose Conclusion?

What is a nursing dose? It is a medication for which a nurse uses their decision to increase or decrease the value of the dose. A nurse dose happens when the said dose does not control the patient’s condition. It has two types Discretionary nurse dose and Mandatory dose.

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