Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


Learning and Instruction


Learning & Instruction EdD

First Advisor

Susan Prion

Second Advisor

Robert Burns

Third Advisor

Mathew Mitchell


This study was aimed at improving the medication calculation competence of nursing students through a schema-based workshop in which dimensional analysis was used as the calculation method. The overreaching goal of this work was to improve the teaching of medication calculation in nursing education and prevent future medication errors.

This two-group descriptive posttest study included a historical comparison between fall 2016 and spring 2017 students. Spring students had the option to attend a newly designed workshop while fall students did not. Primary comparisons were of (a) percentage of students achieving 100% on the first attempt, (b) number of errors, and (c) type of errors on the Medication Calculation exam. The second independent variable was the use of dimensional analysis with the dependent variable being student accuracy on each item. The sample was drawn from prelicensure nursing students enrolled in the fifth of six semesters of nursing instruction in a Bachelor of Science nursing program in Northern California.

The research questions explored the effect of a schema-based dimensional analysis medication calculation workshop on the first-time pass rate, the type and number of errors, and student performance on the on the Medication Calculation exam. A final research question involved student perceptions of the workshop?

The results indicate that the spring students who attended the workshop had the best results. The means between groups demonstrated that the spring cohort who completed the workshop was the highest (9.85, SD = .42) when compared with the fall cohort (9.55, SD = .82) and with the spring students who did not attend the workshop (9.5, SD = .83). Additionally, only one (2%) spring student who completed the workshop missed more than one item on the exam compared with three (12%) spring students who did not attend the workshop and with ten (10%) fall students.

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