A college in Lancashire is offering a free course to help nurses and other health professionals brush up on their maths skills.
The Numeracy for Nursing Course is being laid on by Burnley College and is free for nurses who do not already hold a recognised maths qualification and for others on certain benefits.
“Many great nurses entered the profession before a qualification in maths was essential”
The college’s head of English and maths Humera Khan said the course was suitable for existing nurses who needed an official maths qualification to move up the career ladder and those planning to enter the profession who needed to pass numeracy tests set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
“Many great nurses entered the profession before a qualification in maths was essential and now find themselves unable to progress their careers because of that,” she said.
“Plus, there are those planning to become nurses who need support to pass the NMC numeracy tests, which are compulsory before they are offered a place on a university-level course to study nursing,” said Ms Khan.
“At Burnley College, we’ve specifically developed the Numeracy for Nursing course to help these very people gain a vital qualification and see their careers take off,” she noted.
The course will take place on Fridays from now until the end of August, with sessions running from 9.30am to 12.30pm.
“There are those planning to become nurses who need support to pass the NMC numeracy tests”
At the end of the course, those already working in a healthcare setting will be entered for a Level 2 Functional Skills qualification in maths.
Meanwhile, those hoping to embark on a nursing degree will have just received bespoke training for the NMC’s numeracy test, said the college.
The course content has been specifically tailored to nurses, who are required to use numeracy skills every day – from calculating the correct dosage of medication and working out the volume of fluids a patient is drinking to estimating the due date of a baby.
“Nurses need many skills to be successful, not least compassion, stamina, great communication, attention to detail and adaptability, so we’re proud at Burnley College to be able to give them a helping hand in another vital aspect of their work,” said Ms Khan.
She said: “Our tutors are highly experienced, approachable and friendly and will tailor the Numeracy for Nursing course around practical problems nurses may experience every day, building their confidence week by week.”
The course is open to nurses who do not already have a maths qualification such as a GSCE, O-level or Functional Skills Level 2.
A college spokeswoman confirmed to Nursing Times that others eligible for the free training included “people on benefits while actively seeking employment”.