Becky Conway

504 – Thou shalt neither bamboozle nor bore: Transforming foundational education in child health

Child Health nursing is a broad specialty area. Nurses who make the transition to this specialty in an acute hospital setting participate in a three-day foundation course.

A re-design of the course using the New Zealand Child Health Nursing Knowledge and Skills Framework lead to transformation in content, delivery and outcomes.

An original foundation course aimed to equip nurses with ’appropriate education in generic aspects of Child Health nursing’ Following the launch of a new knowledge and skills framework, educators saw an opportunity to redevelop the course with a new aim: to improve health outcomes for hospitalised infants, children and youth. The framework’s four aspects of care: context, pathophysiology and psychopathology, assessment, and intervention, were used to restructure the content with surprising results.

The emphasis on context of care re-focused content onto the child and family rather than paediatric pathology. More emphasis was placed on communication, legislation and the environment in relation to family health care. Levels of nursing practice described by the framework helped educators to correctly pitch information, neither bamboozling participants with unnecessarily complex content nor wasting their time with previously learned material.  Not only did the framework help to guide course content, but it also provided a tool for participants to demonstrate newly acquired knowledge through case presentation.


A knowledge and skills framework can be left to gather dust, or it can be put to work to transform education and make a significant improvement to the health of a population group.

Key words: Paediatric; orientation; knowledge; skills.