In New Zealand, paediatrics is taught as a component of the Bachelor of Nursing Programme. Students graduate as comprehensive nurses, with the ability to work immediately in a paediatric setting. The Nursing Council of New Zealand sets guidelines for nursing schools to comply with when developing their curriculum. However, the teaching of paediatrics is ultimately determined by the school.
It was unclear exactly what to teach undergraduates in regards to child health, and there were no clear guidelines in the literature as to what is taught elsewhere.
In 2015, a curriculum mapping exercise was undertaken to determine where and when paediatrics was taught in the Bachelor of Nursing programme. Curriculum mapping allows for greater transparency within a course and can provide better allignment. This was completed using the New Zealand Child Health Nursing Knowledge and Skills Framework from the College and Youth Section (NZNO) and Plunket NZ (2014).
After the exercise was completed, it was discovered that there were some areas that needed to be covered further and some aspects that were covered better than perviously thought. Since then, a robust and staircased delivery of paediatrics has been establised, keeping in line with the philosophical underpinning of the school.
Students now graduate with a clear and transparent introduction to paediatric nursing, and are able to articulate where and when this learning occurred. This is transformative in that this school is preparing students well to work with children upon graduation, to meet the needs of our growing population.
Key words: Paediatrics; curriculum mapping; child health teaching; undergraduate nursing.