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1.  Differences in medication knowledge and risk of errors between graduating nursing students and working registered nurses: comparative study 
Nurses experience insufficient medication knowledge; particularly in drug dose calculations, but also in drug management and pharmacology. The weak knowledge could be a result of deficiencies in the basic nursing education, or lack of continuing maintenance training during working years. The aim of this study was to compare the medication knowledge, certainty and risk of error between graduating bachelor students in nursing and experienced registered nurses.
Bachelor students in closing term and registered nurses with at least one year job experience underwent a multiple choice test in pharmacology, drug management and drug dose calculations: 3x14 questions with 3–4 alternative answers (score 0–42). Certainty of each answer was recorded with score 0–3, 0–1 indicating need for assistance. Risk of error was scored 1–3, where 3 expressed high risk: being certain that a wrong answer was correct. The results are presented as mean and (SD).
Participants were 243 graduating students (including 29 men), aged 28.2 (7.6) years, and 203 registered nurses (including 16 men), aged 42.0 (9.3) years and with a working experience of 12.4 years (9.2). The knowledge among the nurses was found to be superior to that of the students: 68.9%(8.0) and 61.5%(7.8) correct answers, respectively, (p < 0.001). The difference was largest in drug management and dose calculations. The improvement occurred during the first working year. The nurses expressed higher degree of certainty and the risk of error was lower, both overall and for each topic (p < 0.01). Low risk of error was associated with high knowledge and high sense of coping (p < 0.001).
The medication knowledge among experienced nurses was superior to bachelor students in nursing, but nevertheless insufficient. As much as 25% of the answers to the drug management questions would lead to high risk of error. More emphasis should be put into the basic nursing education and in the introduction to medication procedures in clinical practice to improve the nurses’ medication knowledge and reduce the risk of error.
PMCID: PMC4243274  PMID: 25413244
Nursing education; Medication; Safety; Pharmacology; Drug dose calculations; MCQ test
2.  Improvement of drug dose calculations by classroom teaching or e-learning: a randomised controlled trial in nurses 
BMJ Open  2014;4(10):e006025.
Insufficient skills in drug dose calculations increase the risk for medication errors. Even experienced nurses may struggle with such calculations. Learning flexibility and cost considerations make e-learning interesting as an alternative to classroom teaching. This study compared the learning outcome and risk of error after a course in drug dose calculations for nurses with the two methods.
In a randomised controlled open study, nurses from hospitals and primary healthcare were randomised to either e-learning or classroom teaching. Before and after a 2-day course, the nurses underwent a multiple choice test in drug dose calculations: 14 tasks with four alternative answers (score 0–14), and a statement regarding the certainty of each answer (score 0–3). High risk of error was being certain that incorrect answer was correct. The results are given as the mean (SD).
16 men and 167 women participated in the study, aged 42.0 (9.5) years with a working experience of 12.3 (9.5) years. The number of correct answers after e-learning was 11.6 (2.0) and after classroom teaching 11.9 (2.0) (p=0.18, NS); improvement were 0.5 (1.6) and 0.9 (2.2), respectively (p=0.07, NS). Classroom learning was significantly superior to e-learning among participants with a pretest score below 9. In support of e-learning was evaluation of specific value for the working situation. There was no difference in risk of error between groups after the course (p=0.77).
The study showed no differences in learning outcome or risk of error between e-learning and classroom teaching in drug dose calculations. The overall learning outcome was small. Weak precourse knowledge was associated with better outcome after classroom teaching.
PMCID: PMC4212177  PMID: 25344483
3.  Lower incidence of CMV infection and acute rejections with valganciclovir prophylaxis in lung transplant recipients 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:582.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common opportunistic infection following lung transplantation. CMV replication in the lung allograft is described as accelerating the development of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). Finding a strategy to prevent CMV infection is an important issue.
We performed a retrospective, single-centre study of 114 lung transplant recipients (LTRs) who underwent lung transplantation from January 2001 to December 2006. In a smaller cohort of 88 CMV seropositive (R+) LTRs, three months of valganciclovir prophylaxis (2004-2006) was compared to three months of oral ganciclovir (2001-2003) with respect to the incidence of CMV infection/disease, the severity of CMV disease, acute rejection, BOS-free 4 year survival and 4 year survival. In the whole group of 114 LTRs the impact of CMV infection on long-term survival (BOS free 4 year survival and 6 year survival) was assessed.
For the cohort of 88 CMV seropositive LTRs, the incidence of CMV infection/disease at one year was lower in the valganciclovir group compared to the ganciclovir group (24% vs. 54%, p = 0.003). There was a tendency towards reduced CMV disease, from 33% to 20% and a significant lower incidence of asymptomatic CMV infection (22% vs. 4%, p = 0.005). A lower incidence of acute rejection was observed in the valganciclovir group. However, there was no significant difference between the two groups in BOS free 4 year survival and 4 year survival.
For the entire group of 114 LTRs, BOS-free 4 year survival for recipients with CMV disease was (32%, p = 0.005) and among those with asymptomatic CMV infection (36%, p = 0.061) as compared with patients without CMV infection (69%). Six year survival was lower among patients with CMV disease, (64%, p = 0.042) and asymptomatic CMV infection (55%, p = 0.018) than patients without CMV infection (84%).
A lower incidence of CMV infection/disease and acute rejections was observed with valganciclovir (3 months) when compared to oral ganciclovir (3 months). The long-term impact of CMV infection/disease was significant for BOS-free survival and survival.
PMCID: PMC3878887  PMID: 24325216
Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome; Cytomegalovirus; Ganciclovir; Lung transplantation; Survival rates; Valganciclovir
4.  Medication knowledge, certainty, and risk of errors in health care: a cross-sectional study 
Medication errors are often involved in reported adverse events. Drug therapy, prescribed by physicians, is mostly carried out by nurses, who are expected to master all aspects of medication. Research has revealed the need for improved knowledge in drug dose calculation, and medication knowledge as a whole is poorly investigated. The purpose of this survey was to study registered nurses' medication knowledge, certainty and estimated risk of errors, and to explore factors associated with good results.
Nurses from hospitals and primary health care establishments were invited to carry out a multiple-choice test in pharmacology, drug management and drug dose calculations (score range 0-14). Self-estimated certainty in each answer was recorded, graded from 0 = very uncertain to 3 = very certain. Background characteristics and sense of coping were recorded. Risk of error was estimated by combining knowledge and certainty scores. The results are presented as mean (±SD).
Two-hundred and three registered nurses participated (including 16 males), aged 42.0 (9.3) years with a working experience of 12.4 (9.2) years. Knowledge scores in pharmacology, drug management and drug dose calculations were 10.3 (1.6), 7.5 (1.6), and 11.2 (2.0), respectively, and certainty scores were 1.8 (0.4), 1.9 (0.5), and 2.0 (0.6), respectively. Fifteen percent of the total answers showed a high risk of error, with 25% in drug management. Independent factors associated with high medication knowledge were working in hospitals (p < 0.001), postgraduate specialization (p = 0.01) and completion of courses in drug management (p < 0.01).
Medication knowledge was found to be unsatisfactory among practicing nurses, with a significant risk for medication errors. The study revealed a need to improve the nurses' basic knowledge, especially when referring to drug management.
PMCID: PMC3162500  PMID: 21791106
5.  The nursing staff's opinion of falls among older persons with dementia. a cross-sectional study 
BMC Nursing  2011;10:13.
The aim of this study was to describe the nursing staff's opinion of caring for older persons with dementia with the focus on causes of falls, fall-preventing interventions, routines of documentation and report and the nursing staff's experiences and reactions when fall incidents occur. A further aim was to compare these areas between registered nurses (RNs) and enrolled nurses (ENs) and staff with ≤5 and >5 years of employment in the care units in question.
Falls are common among older people and persons with dementia constitute an additional risk group.
The study had a cross-sectional design and included nursing staff (n = 63, response rate 66%) working in four special care units for older persons with dementia. Data collection was conducted with a questionnaire consisting of 64 questions.
The respondents reported that the individuals' mental and physical impairment constitute the most frequent causes of falls. The findings also revealed a lack of, or uncertainty about, routines of documentation and reporting fall-risk and fall-preventing interventions. Respondents who had been employed in the care units more than five years reported to a higher degree that colours and material on floors caused falls. RNs considered the residents' autonomy and freedom of movement as a cause of falls to a significantly higher degree than ENs. RNs also reported a significantly longer time than ENs before fall incidents were discovered, and they used conversation and closeness as fall-preventing interventions to a significantly higher degree than ENs.
Individual factors were the most common causes to falls according to the nursing staff. RNs used closeness and dialog as interventions to a significantly higher degree to prevent falls than ENs. Caring of for older people with dementia consisted of a comprehensive on-going assessment by the nursing staff to balance the residents' autonomy-versus-control to minimise fall-risk. This ethical dilemma should initiate development of feasible routines of systematic risk-assessment, report and documentation.
PMCID: PMC3142214  PMID: 21689441
Dementia; falls; nursing home; nursing care; older persons
6.  Critical thinking dispositions among newly graduated nurses 
Journal of Advanced Nursing  2010;66(10):2170-2181.
wangensteen s., johansson i.s., björkström m.e. & nordström g. (2010) Critical thinking dispositions among newly graduated nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing66(10), 2170–2181.
The aim of the study was to describe critical thinking dispositions among newly graduated nurses in Norway, and to study whether background data had any impact on critical thinking dispositions.
Competence in critical thinking is one of the expectations of nursing education. Critical thinkers are described as well-informed, inquisitive, open-minded and orderly in complex matters. Critical thinking competence has thus been designated as an outcome for judging the quality of nursing education programmes and for the development of clinical judgement. The ability to think critically is also described as reducing the research–practice gap and fostering evidence-based nursing.
A cross-sectional descriptive study was performed. The data were collected between October 2006 and April 2007 using the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory. The response rate was 33% (n= 618). Pearson’s chi-square tests were used to analyse the data.
Nearly 80% of the respondents reported a positive disposition towards critical thinking. The highest mean score was on the Inquisitiveness subscale and the lowest on the Truth-seeking subscale. A statistically significant higher proportion of nurses with high critical thinking scores were found among those older than 30 years, those with university education prior to nursing education, and those working in community health care.
Nurse leaders and nurse teachers should encourage and nurture critical thinking among newly graduated nurses and nursing students. The low Truth-seeking scores found may be a result of traditional teaching strategies in nursing education and might indicate a need for more student-active learning models.
PMCID: PMC2984541  PMID: 20384637
California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory; critical thinking; newly graduated nurses; Norway; nurse education

Results 1-6 (6)