Supporting nursing students' mathematical understanding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A key component of any nursing course is the ability to confidently, and competently, use basic mathematical skills. Indeed, without such skills they would be unable to work safely and successfully in the profession (McMullan, Jones, and Lea, 2012; Choudhary and Malthus, 2017). Furthermore, many nursing students come on to their courses having not studied any form of formal mathematics
for years and are very likely to have some form of maths anxiety (McMullan, Jones, and Lea, 2012). sigma Maths Support at Coventry University have developed a programme, in partnership with the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (HLS), to support these students with their mathematical skills using a variety of small interventions. The interventions require little time and effort to prepare and
have proven to be very successful. This article will discuss the methods used, including diagnostic testing, the use of ‘Numbas’, and self-explanation training (as described in Hodds, 2017), alongside the outcomes of the programme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalMSOR Connections
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

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