Science in nursing or nursing science? A preliminary report

Year: 2006

Author: Logan-Sinclair, Patricia, Coombe, Kennece

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Introductory level sciences occupy approximately a quarter to a third of undergraduate nursing programmes. It has long been held that the science subjects in undergraduate nursing programmes cause students, on average, the most anxiety. Science lecturers have expressed concern over an apparent need to reduce content in order that students cope. The professional literature indicates the existence of a science-nursing tension, however, there is little to clarify what it is about the sciences that nurses wish to reject and there is expressed a binary polarity from 'science is extremely important to nursing' to 'science should be removed from nursing curricula'. There have been calls to 're-envision' science curricula for nursing. This has resulted in programmes being redesigned such that the science content is fully integrated rather than discrete. The few evaluations performed on such programmes have not demonstrated a lessening of student anxiety or indicated evolving changes to the science-nursing tension. The aim of this project is to clarify the level of science that nursing professionals feel is actually required for undergraduate programmes. The method has been designed as a modified Delphi approach using focus groups, surveys and document analysis.