Drug Calculations for Nurses

First edition

by Kerri Wright

Numeracy information

If you have arrived at this place on the website then I guess you’re feeling pretty low in confidence in relation to your numeracy skills. Well done for being honest and self aware to come to this conclusion. You deserve an even bigger well done though as you have arrived here with the intention of doing something about it. Many people don’t, so the fact you’ve decided you want to sort this is really positive.

How you go about improving your numeracy skills and/or increasing your confidence really depends on you as an individual; how much time you have available each week, financial resources, how you like to learn, whether there are specific areas you want to address or whether you just want to recap on everything for confidence. I suggest that you consider these factors as you read through my list of suggested ideas:

Ideas to address your numeracy skills confidence:

Online resources
There are quite a few websites available which have been designed to help people with their numeracy skills. I have listed a few here. You don’t need complicated maths; the basic arithmetic skills of adding, subtracting, division and multiplication along with an understanding of the decimal system, and fractions. A bbc resource that gives interactive activities, revision exercises and tests on basic numeracy such as place value, fractions and percentages.


Maths is fun has been designed by a teacher who wanted to make maths more interactive and fun to learn. This site covers loads of different areas of maths and has oodles of games to play- not all relevant to numeracy for nursing but fun all the same! I have provide the link the ‘Number’ which covers what you need to know for numeracy and nursing.


Another bbc resource which provides fun games that you can play to test and revise your understanding of numbers. I would suggest that you focus on the ‘number’ sections. Be warned the games are quite addictive ( that could be just me though!)


Again there are lots of really good books available that can help you with basic numeracy skills. I have listed a few here:

Chambers (ed) (2007) Adult learners Guide to Numeracy essential practical numeracy for everyday life Chambers Harrap Publishers

Lawler G (1999) Understanding Maths: Basic Mathematics Explained (Studymates S.) GLMP Ltd

Graham A (2010) Teach Yourself Basic Mathematics (Teach Yourself Mathematics S.) Hodder Education

Many local colleges will provide courses on numeracy for adults that you can enrol on. These will allow you to learn with others and interact with a tutor who will be available to explain areas that you may have got stuck on.
There are loads of board and card games that you can play where unwittingly you are using and becoming confident with your numeracy skills! A fantastic excuse to invite some friends around and enjoy practising numeracy and having fun too!

Any game involving two dice will help you with your addition, monopoly is great for arithmetic with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division required (even better if you offer to be the banker!), darts games require lots of working with numbers and card games are also really good to help you become confident in adding and subtracting.