inPractice - Summer 2018 - 16

FA C U LT Y

Mathematics
and Nursing
PA COLLEG E
FA C U LT Y W O R K

An essential but often challenging skill in
nursing practice is having a competency
in mathematics and effective quantitative
reasoning. These are important for
both medication administration and
also quality improvement. However,
research has shown that in the education
of nurses, there is a disconnect between
the typical educational practices and
the mathematical skills needed for safe
nursing practice.

T O TAC K L E A
COMMON NURSING
STUMBLING

ANNA WENDEL

DAN OZIMEK

BLOCK .

16 inPractice | SUMMER 2018

Nursing students are required to pass
dosage calculation exams before clinical
experiences, but research questions how
valid the exams are and whether the
results can accurately predict medication
errors in the field. In addition, many
nursing programs focus primarily on their
students' medication calculations skills,
but for safe nursing practice, the ability to
interpret and analyze both mathematical
and statistical information is equally
important.
These disconnects raise some important
questions for institutions like PA College
that educate our future nurses. What
math skills do nurses need to be
successful in their careers? How can
higher ed change nursing education so
that instruction and assessment align
with desired outcomes as well as best
practices in math education?

Two faculty members at PA College are
tackling this issue head on as part of
a nationwide initiative. Dan Ozimek,
Assistant Professor of Mathematics,
and Nursing Associate Instructor Anna
Wendel, MSN, CRNP, are leading a task
force in collaboration with Quality and
Safety Education for Nurses to address
how to strengthen the fundamental
connections between mathematics
curricula, instruction, assessment and
clinical practice. In addition, the Charles
A. Dana Center at The University of
Texas at Austin and the Mathematical
Association of America are also
partnering on this important initiative.
"Sometimes it feels like nurses and math
are like oil and water. We're working
to fix that, though, bringing together
mathematics and nursing to improve
student success and quality practice. It's
really exciting to see PA College taking
on a leadership role in this project," Anna
Wendel said.
Dan Ozimek noted that, "The goal of
this initiative is to see all students in
nursing programs gain the mathematical
knowledge, skill, and attitudes to promote
and provide safe, high-quality health care."
For more information or to be a part of
the initiative visit www.utdanacenter.org/
math-for-nurses/


http://www.utdanacenter.org/math-for-nurses/ http://www.utdanacenter.org/math-for-nurses/

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