Towards a benchmark in numeracy for nursing: assessing student nurses' performance in medication dosage calculation

D.A. Rowe, D. Coben, C.M. Hall, M. Hutton, M. Sabin, K. Weeks, N. Wooley

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper reports on an interdisciplinary project funded by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) which aimed to propose a benchmark for numeracy in nursing. It updates our presentation at the ALM14 conference where we argued the case for such a benchmark and presented our initial research. The study was undertaken in a sample of Higher Education Institutions with pre-registration nurse education programmes in Scotland. It explored key issues around determining and assessing the achievement of competence in nursing numeracy with specific reference to medication calculation. We tested the efficacy of a computer-based assessment of pre-registration nurses’ medication calculation skills by comparing outcomes from this with calculations undertaken in a practical setting. Participants’ performance in the assessments together with their evaluation of content have informed our judgements on the suitability of items of assessment for inclusion within a benchmark standard for medication calculations. This study is envisaged as a first step towards a comprehensive benchmark for nursing numeracy, encompassing all aspects of numeracy for nursing, e.g., fluid balance, nutrition, etc.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2009
EventAdults Learning Mathematics 16th International Conference - London, UK
Duration: 1 Jul 2009 → …


ConferenceAdults Learning Mathematics 16th International Conference
CityLondon, UK
Period1/07/09 → …


  • nursing
  • numeracy
  • nurse education
  • student nurses

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