The Relationship Between Demographic and Academic Variables, Mathematical Self-Efficacy, and Dosage Calculation Performance Among Associate Degree Nursing Students

Date of Graduation

Summer 2005


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Susan Sims-Giddens


Medication administration is one responsibility of the nurse. However, to ensure safe administration of medication, the nurse must be able to calculate dosages accurately. This study examined the effects of certain variables on nursing students’ judgments to calculate medication dosages, or their mathematical self-efficacy (MSE) and the effects of these variables on dosage calculate performance. The effects of age, feelings about mathematics, prerequisite mathematics course grade, grade point average, and entrance examination scores on MSE and calculation performance were tested. A convenience sample of first-semester associate degree nursing students (N = 30) completed a demographic survey, the Mathematical Self-Efficacy Scale, and a calculation assessment. School records were accessed to elicit data on academic achievement and performance. Prerequisite mathematics course grade significantly predicated calculation assessment scores, and age and feelings on the usefulness of past mathematics courses significantly predicted MSE. MSE significantly but inversely influenced test time. No significant pathway between MSE and calculation performance was established. Outcomes support the need for a specific self-efficacy tool for dosage calculations in nursing and the development of teaching and learning strategies to strength the calculation abilities of future nurses.


dosage calculations, mathematical self-efficacy, medication errors, nursing mathematics, posology

Subject Categories



© Susan J. Verwey