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Medication Calculation: The Potential Role of Digital Game-Based Learning in Nurse Education


CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: December 2013 - Volume 31 - Issue 12 - p 589–593
doi: 10.1097/01.NCN.0000432130.84397.7e
Continuing Education

Medication dose calculation is one of several medication-related activities that are conducted by nurses daily. However, medication calculation skills appear to be an area of global concern, possibly because of low numeracy skills, test anxiety, low self-confidence, and low self-efficacy among student nurses. Various didactic strategies have been developed for student nurses who still lack basic mathematical competence. However, we suggest that the critical nature of these skills demands the investigation of alternative and/or supplementary didactic approaches to improve medication calculation skills and to reduce failure rates. Digital game-based learning is a possible solution because of the following reasons. First, mathematical drills may improve medication calculation skills. Second, games are known to be useful during nursing education. Finally, mathematical drill games appear to improve the attitudes of students toward mathematics. The aim of this article was to discuss common challenges of medication calculation skills in nurse education, and we highlight the potential role of digital game-based learning in this area.

Author Affiliations: Department of Health Studies (Drs Foss and Oftedal) and NettOp, Department of E-learning Development (Mr Mordt and Mr Løkken), University of Stavanger, Norway.

The authors Foss, Mordt and Løkken were involved with the development of The Medication Game.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Brynjar Foss, PhD, Department of Health Studies, University of Stavanger N-4036 Stavanger, Norway (

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.