QSEN Task Force on High-Quality Mathematical Preparation for Nurses!

Join the new QSEN Task Force on High-Quality Mathematical Preparation for Nurses!


The 2018 QSEN International Forum will mark the launch of a new joint task force of QSEN, the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the Mathematical Association of America. This task force will work together to address how to strengthen the fundamental connections between mathematics curriculum, instruction, assessment, and clinical practice.


Join the task force or learn about the QSEN Task Force activities at the International Forum in Florida.

QSEN Task Force on High-Quality Mathematical Preparation for Nurses

Mathematical competency is essential for safe nursing practice, both in medication administration and in quality improvement. However, research on the mathematics education of nurses raises questions and identifies fundamental disconnects between typical educational practices and the mathematical skills required for safe nursing practice. For example, while it is common for nursing programs to require students to pass a dosage calculation exam prior to clinical experiences, research has questioned the validity of these exams and the extent to which the results predict medication errors in practice. Additionally, many nursing programs place a significant focus on developing their students’ medication calculation skills, but it is argued that the ability to interpret and analyze both mathematical and statistical information in the contexts of patient data and healthcare administration are equally important for safe nursing practice.

These disconnects raise some important questions: What mathematical skills do nurses need to be successful in their careers? How can we change nursing education so that instruction and assessment align with both our desired outcomes and best practices in mathematics education?

The vision for this new task force is both timely and ambitious:

All students in nursing programs gain the mathematical knowledge, skills, and attitudes to promote and provide safe, high-quality health care.


At the QSEN 2018 International Forum

We hope you will join us at the 2018 QSEN International Forum where we will launch this new initiative. More specifically, we have designed several activities to collectively achieve the following objectives:

  1. Understand the specific mathematical competencies needed for nursing students.
  2. Gain an awareness of gaps in current mathematics instruction of nurses.
  3. Discuss effective assessment of mathematical competencies.
  4. Examine new ideas regarding research-based practices for the mathematics education of nursing students.
  5. Launch the QSEN Task Force to promote high-quality mathematical preparation of nurses.


Ways to Participate at the Forum

  1. Pre-conference Workshop, which will include a scan of the literature, a keynote address on mathematics education for nurses, and the opportunity to share your experiences and wisdom
  2. Poster session to provide an opportunity to drop by and talk with the leadership team about the initiative
  3. Concurrent session (30-min.) covering best practices for mathematics education for nurses
  4. Information session (15-min.) to provide a quick overview of the initiative and ways to get involved


How to Get Involved – Please Join the Task Force!

Please register for the task force by filling out the Google Form using the link below:



Task Force Leadership

Rebecca Hartzler (main contact), Manager for Advocacy and Professional Learning, Charles A. Dana Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Contact information: rebeccahartzler@austin.utexas.edu, 206-972-0329

Doug Ensley, Deputy Executive Director of the Mathematical Association of America

Suzanne Doree, Professor, Mathematics, Augsburg University

Daniel Ozimek, Assistant Professor, Mathematics, Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

Anna Wendel, Nursing Faculty, Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences



The Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) are excited to begin a partnership with the nursing community to explore, implement, and continuously improve best practices for the mathematics education of nursing students. Over the past decade, both the Dana Center and the MAA have shifted our work within the science community from a service discipline to a partner discipline. Rather than dictating the content of mathematics courses that serve as prerequisites, we build mathematics pathways for programs of study in partnership with other disciplines. This shift in perspective has necessitated the development of interdisciplinary tools and strategies to generate open and iterative conversations that lead to positive and sustainable change. Through our extended partnership with QSEN, we are excited to bring together the two fields of mathematics and nursing to improve student success and quality practice.