Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses Page: 46
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examined the properties of a newly-developed Nursing Self-Efficacy for Mathematics (NSE-
Math) test, administering it to second-year baccalaureate nursing students and found the NSE-
Math test to have a Cronbach alpha of 0.88 for the full instrument. The researchers also found
that the NSE-Math had predictive validity with the medication calculation test that was also
administered to the students (p= 0.009). The 12-item instrument is discussed in Chapter 3. Two
factors identified within the NSE-Math instrument were "confidence in application of
mathematic concepts to nursing practice" and "confidence in arithmetic concepts" with the
Cronbach alphas of 0.90 and 0.87 for each factor, respectively (Andrew et al., 2009, p. 221).
Students in the sample were least confident in multiplication and were not confident in using
fractions or ratios. Multiplication, ratios, and fractions are the mathematics used in most
Wilson (2003) concluded that written mathematics tests are not the best way to improve
nurses math skills and that a more practical approach should be utilized. Wilson studied 55
nurses who took two IV drug calculation tests. One was the traditional pencil and paper test, and
the other was a test using a simulated clinical environment. The results were significantly better
when the practical test was given first. A practical simulated environment may be a good way to
augment remediation or testing of medication calculations.
Findings from several investigations have indicated that medication calculation skills
could be improved by periodical calculation programs, compulsory remediation programs,
simulations, and collaboration between educators at nursing schools and health care facilities
(Ashby, 1997; Bayne & Bindler, 1997; Grandell-Niemi et al., 2001; Polifroni et al., 2005;
Rainboth & DeMasi, 2006; Wilson, 2003). Although there is agreement that there should be an
annual medication calculation competency to ensure ongoing skill, health care institutions rarely
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Melius, Joyce. Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Self-efficacy in Relation to Medication Calculation Performance in Nurses, dissertation, May 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115119/m1/54/: accessed March 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .