A study of the relationships between student nurse characteristics and calculation ability
Clark, Laurie A.
Studies suggest that many nursing students are deficient in the skills necessary to calculate drug dosages accurately and therefore their ability to administer medications safely becomes questionable. Students are admitted to nursing programs after having met specific admission criteria which are intended to identify applicants with the greatest potential to succeed. However, research that addresses the relationships between admission criteria and calculation ability of nursing students is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between demographic characteristics and admission criteria of the University of Manitoba Baccalaureate Program in Nursing and calculation ability of nursing students. The theoretical framework used to guide this study was provided by Higgs (1984). A descriptive correlational design was used to examine the relationships among variables. The sample consisted of 33 second-year nursing students attending the Baccalaureate in Nursing Program in 1995-1996. Data were collected by using a Demographic and Academic Status Questionnaire and Mathematics and Drug Calculation Test. Although no significant correlations were found between demographic characteristics and Calculation scores, statistically significant relationships were found between students' pre-nursing Mathematics grades and GPA and Calculation scores. Knowledge gained from this study may be useful to admission committees a d faculty working with students who are having difficulty in the drug calculation and practice component of nursing programs.