Science in undergraduate nursing programmes: generating symbiotic praxis

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This research study used a mixed method approach to explore the tension between nursing and science and how it impacts upon nursing undergraduate programmes. It aimed to obtain clarification from registered nurses regarding the science topics that should be included in nurse education programmes, the level and depth of required material, and who they felt were the more appropriate teachers for science subjects in undergraduate nursing degrees.Science has an uneasy footing within nursing education despite human bioscience being considered foundational to nursing practice. The science “ nursing tension has been associated with medical hegemony and medicine's grounding in biomedical science. Nursing has explored a number of theories and philosophies for practice that distance nursing from medicine.This research project included a document review and used focus groups and surveys to collect relevant data. Documents examined pertained to nurse competencies, guidelines for undergraduate programme development provided by nurse registration bodies, curriculum documents and subject outlines. Descriptive and non-parametric statistics were generated from the quantitative data supplied by the survey respondents. The narrative data from the focus groups and the surveys were initially analysed using thematic analysis, then the whole corpus was analysed using a constant comparative analysis leading to the development of theoretical constructs. There were 85 registered nurses who responded to the main survey, another nine participated in the first focus group while six attended the second. Collectively, the number of years of experience working as a registered nurse demonstrated a normal distribution. Of the 31 Australian universities that offer undergraduate degrees in nursing, 15 supplied the curriculum and teaching philosophies from their approved degree documentation.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Letts, Will, Co-Supervisor
  • Angel, Lyndall, Co-Supervisor
  • Coombe, Kennece, Co-Supervisor
Award date01 Sept 2008
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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