ANALYSIS OF STATISTICAL PROBLEMS PROPOSED IN THE SPECIALTY NURSING EXAMINATION

M.M. Lopez Martin1, J.F. García García2, E. Carmona Samper3, C. García García1

1University of Granada (SPAIN)
2Hospital Santa Lucia, Cartagena (SPAIN)
3University of Almeria (SPAIN)
Having finished the studies of Nursing, all graduates are considered general nurses. To obtain an specialty, the graduates have to pass a common examination which takes place every year in different regions of Spain. The contents of this test are not published or regulated by any legislation. There is not even an official program ad it is considered that the contents of the examination is about the entire nursing degree although each academy prepares its own material based on past exam.

In this work we focus on the subject of statistic that the White Book of nursing degree (2005) recognized should be added to achieve the competencies designated for a nurse. Despite of this statement, statistics has a light weight in the exam, becoming even lighter in the last years. A reason could be that the treatment of these subjects in the degree is not clearly defined and is even different depending on the university. Some universities include these subjects within the community nursing topic while in other cases the statistic subject corresponds to mandatory or optional subjects.

We consider relevant to analyze the statistical knowledge that is required to a nurse in the Specialty examination in order to conclude if it is coherent with the content of the degree and with the statistical knowledge that nurses should have to face their daily practice in the different possible job opportunities.

From these considerations, the goal of this work is to analyze the statistical problems appearing in the Specialty nursing examination. We have analyzed all the tests from 1993 to 2014, representing a total of 64 statistical problems. Through a content analysis, we have firstly identified the different types of problems and also the context in which the problem is developed. It is noteworthy that the calculation problems are avoided from 2005 when the calculator was banned. We consider that the light weight that this subject has in the exam together with the absence of calculation problems, make difficult to properly assess the statistical knowledge of future nurses specialists.

We conclude with some recommendations to improve the preparation of the test.