Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Lori Candela

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Kawi

Third Committee Member

Andrew Reyes

Fourth Committee Member

Carryn Bellomo Warren

Number of Pages



The purpose of this study was to explore the numeracy skills required for safe, quality nursing practice. Using a descriptive mixed methods design, this study answered two research questions: 1) What numeracy skills do nurses perceive as important for providing safe, quality nursing care in the first three years of practice? 2) How do nurses incorporate numeracy skills into daily patient care during the first three years of practice? Early career nurses from a not-for-profit health care organization in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States (n=109) responded to an online survey tool developed by the student investigator that ranked specific numeracy skills. Survey respondents were then recruited to participate in detailed qualitative interviews (n=9). Both the survey and the interview guide were developed by the student investigator and tested prior to data collection. Descriptive statistics were generated for each survey item. The skills receiving the highest ratings included many cognitive and affective skills and the ability to measure accurately. The skills receiving the lowest ratings included the use of negative numbers, fractions, and graphs. Qualitative data from free-response survey questions and full-length interviews were analyzed in a conventional approach to content analysis. The five major themes emerging from the data were: 1) Attitudes surrounding numeracy in nursing, 2) Practice and experience, 3) Using traditional nursing math, 4) Collecting and using data, and 5) Challenges and supports. The results of this study show that numeracy is an integral part of nursing, but that changes are needed in the education of new nurses and the design of electronic health record technology.


Mathematics; Mixed methods; Numeracy; Nursing; Safety


Education | Mathematics | Nursing

File Format


File Size

2600 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit