Hondros College of Nursing Tackles Fear of Math

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Hondros College of Nursing offers Math Refresher courses for Nursing Students

For many aspiring health care workers, it’s not the idea of blood or needles that scares them away from the field; it’s their fear of math. Most nursing schools use a standard entrance exam to assess student readiness based on a variety of language and math problems, but as the scores reveal, it’s the math portion that causes many aspiring candidates to struggle. This often stops a potentially promising career before it ever starts.

Luckily, one Ohio nursing school is going all-in to cure their students’ allergic reactions to math, and his approach is helping future nurses take the entrance exam with confidence.

“The way we teach math to kids in this country has been a problem for generations,” says Jason Shawberry, the Campus Executive Director at Hondros College of Nursing in Toledo/Maumee. To solve this problem, Shawberry began teaching what he refers to as “Math Refreshers” to help his incoming Hondros College of Nursing students best prepare for the math portion of the exam and their nursing education.

“We noticed that for most students — especially those who consider entering the nursing field after they’ve been out of school for a while, or in another career — their language arts skills have held up well because language is a tool that you use every day,” says Shawberry. “But your math skills tend to fade much faster. Outside of cooking, money, or construction, most people don’t use their math knowledge very often in daily life — especially if they had a bad experience learning it in the first place, which most do.”

Shawberry says most students start to lose interest in math as early as the second grade, when flashcards, speed exercises, and standardized tests turn math into a skill that only a small percentage of students excel at based on the arbitrary manner in which it’s taught. As a result, many students grow up with mental roadblocks and self-imposed doubts that prevent them from feeling comfortable with numbers — until Jason Shawberry shows them how easily their fears can be erased.

“I’ve had students say they love decimals but they hate fractions,” says Shawberry. “I have to remind them: decimals and fractions are the same thing. You only think they’re in different categories because of the way you were taught. But once I show them on the board that sixteen-hundredths and 16/100 are the same thing, you see that light in their eyes turn on, and then they start to say, ‘Hey, you know what? Maybe I CAN do this.’”

As it turns out, many of them can.

Since Hondros began implementing in-person Math Refreshers at their five Ohio campuses, the results have been impressive. After attending at least one Math Refresher, students who previously struggled with the math portion of the exam regularly scored 10-20 points higher on a retest, and some students scored as much as 40 points higher.

“The Math Refresher techniques work regardless of the age of the students,” says Shawberry, who has taught math to students from elementary school through college. “It’s really about rewiring how you think about math, and removing the roadblocks you’ve had in place for years, or even decades.”

Hondros College of Nursing offers free 2-hour Math Refreshers several times each enrollment period. It also offers the entrance exam several times each week, for a fee of $40. While students may take exam at any point during the enrollment period, Shawberry advises students to attend a Math Refresher shortly before they take the exam, so their rejuvenated math skills are fresh in their minds.

“When I see their scores go up, that’s the best feeling,” says Shawberry. “I take as much pride in their scores as they do.”

About Hondros College of Nursing

Since 2006, Hondros College of Nursing has been graduating high-quality, work-ready nurses who enter the field with exceptional clinical, communication, and collaborative skills. Enrollment is conveniently offered four times a year with no prerequisite classes for admission. Students can dive in to a concentrated curriculum without having to take pre-nursing classes or follow an arbitrary four-year timeline.

Hondros College of Nursing students can earn their Practical Nursing diploma (PN) in just 12 months and an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) in about 15 months at five Ohio campuses located near Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, Cincinnati, and Toledo. Registered nurses can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in as few as 24 months through a CCNE-accredited online RN-BSN completion program.

The school’s unique “Learn and Earn Ladder” approach sets Hondros College of Nursing apart from a typical educational path. After completing one program, students can work as a nurse and earn income before taking their next step — or they can keep progressing through each program to the next level. No matter which route they take, Hondros nurses always receive an unprecedented amount of support in a student-centric, family-like environment.

About Jason Shawberry

Jason Shawberry is the Campus Executive Director of the newest Hondros College of Nursing campus in Toledo / Maumee, which opened in January 2017. Mr. Shawberry has been in the career education sector for 15 years. He is an alumnus of Bowling Green State University.

About the HESI Entrance Exam

The HESI Entrance Exam, sometimes referred to as the Evolve HESI Admission Assessment (A2) Exam, is used by many traditional and accelerated nursing programs to evaluate candidates for admission to nursing schools. Each of the different HESI Exams (there are a total of 10 potential exams) is scored separately on a scale of 0 to 100. The HESI Entrance exam used by Hondros College of Nursing consists of questions in different academic areas such as: reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and math.

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