How should science be taught to nurses? Preferences of registered nurses and science teaching academics

Ralph, Nicholas and Birks, Melanie and Cant, Robyn and Chun Tie, Ylona and Hillman, Elspeth (2017) How should science be taught to nurses? Preferences of registered nurses and science teaching academics. Collegian. ISSN 1322-7696


Aims and objectives
To identify how science should be taught to nursing students, and by whom.

An understanding of foundational science and its role in supporting safe and effective nursing practice is an important part of student learning. The well documented challenges in teaching this content are compounded by a lack of evidence regarding educational strategies that lead to improved educational outcomes.

The study employed a cross-sectional design using online surveys.

Two surveys were conducted in Australia involving (i) academics who teach science in undergraduate nursing programs and (ii) registered nurses (RNs). Participants were asked to respond to a range of questions around how science should be taught to nurses. There were n = 30 and n = 1808 respondents respectively.

Findings indicated a need to better integrate science content throughout nursing curricula. Participants were supportive of a discrete science subject in the foundation year and the integration of science content throughout the remainder of the curriculum. Participants across both surveys were ambivalent about whether the depth of science teaching was adequate for nursing practice. Most nurse academics and RNs thought that nurses should teach science, while non-nursing science teachers were less certain.

Existing consensus clearly values the delivery of science content as an initial and ongoing priority of learning throughout the undergraduate nursing program.

Relevance to practice
Improving the ways in which students learn sciences will impact on nursing practice, with the potential to improve patient care.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Third place winner for the USQ School-Specific 2016 Publication Excellence Awards for Journal Articles - School of Nursing and Midwifery. Published online 13 January 2017. Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2017 05:14
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2018 05:08
Uncontrolled Keywords: bioscience; curriculum content; curriculum design; nursing; nursing education; science
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.colegn.2017.01.004

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