Patient safety content and delivery in pre-registration nursing curricula: a national cross-sectional survey study

Usher, Kim and Woods, Cindy and Conway, Jane and Lea, Jackie and Parker, Vicki and Barrett, Fiona and O'Shea, Eilish and Jackson, Debra (2018) Patient safety content and delivery in pre-registration nursing curricula: a national cross-sectional survey study. Nurse Education Today, 66. pp. 82-89. ISSN 0260-6917


Patient safety is a core principle of health professional practice and as such requires significant attention within undergraduate curricula. However, patient safety practice is complex requiring a broad range of skills and behaviours including the application of sound clinical knowledge within a range of health care contexts and cultures. There is very little research that explores how this is taught within Australian nursing curricula.

To examine how Australia nursing curricula address patient safety; identify where and how patient safety learning occurs; and describe who is responsible for facilitating this learning.

Design and Setting
A cross-sectional descriptive study of nursing undergraduate curricula using a nine-item survey tool. Participants were key informants from 18 universities across seven Australian States and Territories.

Although there is consensus in relation to the importance of patient safety across universities, and similarity in views about what knowledge, skills and attitudes should be taught, there were differences in: the amount of time allocated, who was responsible for the teaching and learning, and in which setting the learning occurred and was assessed. There was little indication of the existence of a systematic approach to learning patient safety, with most participants reporting emphasis on learning applied to infection control and medication safety. Wide variation across universities, was reported, particularly in terms of how teaching occured, in what setting and by whom. There was evidence of both integrated and explicit concentration on patient safety learning but also fragmentation. Little evidence of the systematic development of critical reasoning and patient safety knowledge and skills across the years of the nursing program and across the classroom/ laboratory and clinical environments was apparent.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 35605
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Nursing and Midwifery
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2019 23:17
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2019 05:41
Uncontrolled Keywords: curricula, education, nursing, patient safety, survey
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9303 Curriculum > 930399 Curriculum not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2018.04.013

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only