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ERIC Number: EJ860784
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1045-1595
High Stakes: Assessing Numeracy for Nursing
Coben, Diana; Hodgen, Jeremy; Hutton, Meriel; Ogston-Tuck, Sherri
Adult Learning, v19 n3-4 p38-41 Sum-Fall 2008
The importance of numeracy for professional practice in nursing is increasingly recognized in the USA, UK and elsewhere, but there is no consensus on what is meant by numeracy for nursing, nor on how it should be taught, learned and assessed. Meanwhile, studies in various countries indicate a lack of proficiency in numeracy of some students and qualified nurses. Against this background, the authors undertake an exploratory interdisciplinary (nursing and education) study to evaluate the teaching, learning and assessment of numeracy for nursing in a large pre-qualification program at a school of nursing in England and draw out implications for the teaching, learning and assessment of numeracy for nursing in the school and elsewhere. The authors' analysis points up the dangers of high stakes testing with a 100% pass mark in the absence of a reliable and valid assessment instrument set to an agreed standard and reflecting the scope of numeracy for nursing. While this is intended to indicate mastery of a safety-critical aspect of nursing practice, the analysis shows that the test in the study does not warrant this. The test is neither reliable nor valid; it does not consistently test what it is intended to test. (Contains 3 figures.)
American Association for Adult and Continuing Education. 10111 Martin Luther King Jr. Highway Suite 200C, Bowie, MD 20720. Tel: 301-459-6261; Fax: 301-459-6241; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Scotland); United States