Nursing Numeracy: The case for a benchmark
June 26 2007, St Andrews, Scotland
In this session we shall outline and share examples of work in progress on an inter-disciplinary project for NHS Education for Scotland (NES) exploring the key issues associated with determining and supporting student achievement of competence in nursing numeracy. The project has been developed against the background of research findings and anecdotal concern that some newly qualified and experienced nurses may not have the numeracy skills required for safe practice. Some employers, who are worried about safety in practice, choose to impose their own tests of numerical competency when selecting for employment. This is concerning, because existing evidence suggests that many available tests have no empirical basis in relation to their reliability and predictive validity in respect of safe nursing practice, (measured through observed reduction in error rate against controls). There is also a lack of consistency regarding the content that may be included within such tests.