First year RNs' actual and self-rated pharmacology knowledge

G. Ives, K. Hodge, S. Bullock, J. Marriott

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28 Citations (Scopus)


A questionnaire survey was conducted of first year registered nurses whose postal details were recorded on the Victorian Nursing Council's 1994 mailing list. The nurses were asked to self-rate their knowledge of five categories of pharmacology and to answer questions that tested their knowledge of the same categories. The survey also obtained data related to aspects of the nurses' pharmacology education. The mean test score of the 363 respondents to the survey was 55.8%. The number of months worked as an RN and participation in a graduate year program were significantly correlated with test scores, i.e. longer experience as an RN and participation in a graduate program were associated with higher scores. There was a significant correlation between the groups' overall self-rating of their knowledge and their total test scores but the RNs' self-ratings overestimated their knowledge of drug administration and legal aspects of drug use. The study indicates that many newly registered nurses have an inadequate knowledge of pharmacology. Recommendations for improving the teaching and learning of the subject are drawn from the nurses' evaluation of aspects of their undergraduate and post-registration experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 1996

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