National comparative curriculum evaluation of baccalaureate nursing degrees: a framework for the practice based professions.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nurse Educ Today, 2005, 25 (6), pp. 418 - 429
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The primary aim of the study was to determine whether Australian undergraduate nursing curricula incorporate the necessary skills and knowledge to prepare graduates for the current health care environment in Australia. The eligibility criteria for inclusion in this evaluation included Australian university undergraduate pre-registration nursing programs. All of the 29 universities offering such programs in Australia were contacted by letter to the Deans of Nursing and their current curriculum document requested. Twenty six of 29 (90%) eligible Australian curricula were included in the curriculum evaluation. A comprehensive and flexible curriculum evaluation framework was developed for the analysis of the 26 curricula. The evaluation revealed the ways in which nursing curricula balance various aspects of courses, respond to changes in society, education and health care industries. Overall it was found that graduates are well prepared for practice. However questions of quality and coordination of clinical learning were highlighted for future focus and major challenges lie in addressing excessive workload and assessment. Also work needs to be done in improving the inclusion of issues around the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) peoples, people living in remote or rural Australia and older people.
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