Molly Page & Belinda McGrath

906 – Putting the science into nursing

This presentation reports on the use of an integrated concept-based learning nursing curriculum that incorporates a framework of nursing science, nursing assessment and clinical practice.  This framework was adopted to address the challenges student face in developing an understanding of the application of bioscience to nursing.

Bioscience is often taught by scientists however, this risks a disconnectedness from nursing resulting in disorganisation and a mismatch of factual information.  Students often use rote style formats to make sense of the topics, only to find these methods do little to contribute to the application of knowledge to practice.   Nursing academics have called for change as concerns are raised about the difficulty for scientists to apply the context (of science) to a nursing perspective.

The concept-based learning curriculum enables a process whereby students study nursing science and explore the principles of nursing assessment using a ‘dialogue and questioning’ teaching strategy.   In a simulated learning environment, students utilise knowledge from nursing science and apply it to practice.  In this way students begin to integrate the application of theory to the practical environment.

Student nurses need to have an understanding of the connections between science and nursing practice so they can discuss and critique their findings.  They report that the integrative framework used in the curriculum assists them to build confidence and knowledge that they can apply in the clinical setting.

Key words: Bioscience; Nursing science; Undergraduate nursing education; Concept based learning.