Research Output
An Exploratory Study of Designing and Developing Core Physiology Curriculum for Pre-registration Nursing Education
  Physiology is considered a core component for all nursing and midwifery courses, however there is a lack of clarity on content across higher education on what is included in this core component. Physiology is part of ‘bioscience’ education, within pre-registration nursing (and midwifery) programmes, but the content and delivery is highly varied, lacking consistency and parity across different institutions and education programmes in the UK (McVicar et al 2015). The bio-scientific nursing community have warned that nurses pre-and post-registration lack the confidence to apply and articulate biological knowledge to patients and to other health-care professionals respectively. Despite evidence highlighting concerns over nurses lacking bioscience knowledge and unsafe practice (Taylor et al 2015), there is no universal agreed curriculum for the detailed outcomes. This study aimed to inform the creation of a discipline specific physiology core curriculum that is agreed by stakeholder groups vested in nursing and physiology education to clarify relevant physiological topics required in pre-registration nursing. Initially, 360 learning outcomes were identified from textbooks, online sources and the Bioscience in Nurse Education group (BiNE). Using a modified Delphi approach, an expert panel of 8 from BiNE (all academics who teach nursing and/or physiology) reviewed and modified the list resulting in 195 proposed outcomes. The outcomes were grouped using a systems approach for circulation through an online survey. The first round was circulated to Universities in the UK who teach Nursing (n=65).It allowed for all outcomes which had 80% to be automatically included to the next round, and comments could be made on each outcome. At this point 35 outcomes were to be modified, one to be added and 14 rejected (response rate 21%). The panel reviewed the modifications prior to the second round survey. The second round allowed either accept or reject, and comments could be added at the end of each system. From the 182 outcomes circulated (response rate 23%), 177 outcomes were accepted, with 4 were rejected and one was removed by the panel consensus due to replication. The majority, 106 of these 177 outcomes reached 100% consensus from both the expert panel and the second round Delphi survey. Only 4 outcomes were rejected (less than 80% consensus) through the second round of the survey suggesting high consensus from the participants who are experts in this subject group. This work provides guidance for higher education institutions to deliver a comprehensive education for student nurses to support fit for purpose graduates. This core curriculum does not suggest how it is delivered but gives the basic level required for qualification as a nurse to commensurate with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)(2018) new standards for the 'future nurse'.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    08 July 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    The Physiological Society


Wood, A. (2019, July). An Exploratory Study of Designing and Developing Core Physiology Curriculum for Pre-registration Nursing Education. Paper presented at Physiology 2019


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