Emerging Solutions #1 - Mathematics Education for Nursing

Process Stage
Institutional Leadership
Math Department
Partner Disciplines
Advisors and Coordinators

As the baby boom generation ages, the current shortage of registered nurses in the United States is expected to worsen due to a rising need for nursing services and the retirement of significant numbers of nurses. Hence, nursing professional associations and other experts are increasingly analyzing the real or perceived barriers to entry into and successful completion of nursing programs and examining how to expand access to a wider field of students. While a shortage of nursing faculty continues to be a hindrance on the supply side of nursing education, a consideration on the demand side is whether any program prerequisites or curricular requirements serve as unnecessary obstacles to nursing degree program entry, progression, or completion. This brief examines the mathematics content and requirements for nursing degrees, as compared with the mathematics used by nurses in the field; considers whether they pose a barrier to access; and offers some emerging solutions suggested or implemented by a variety of agencies, institutions, and states.