Renewal of an entry to practice baccalaureate nursing curriculum: Adapting to complexity

Catherine Mary Fetherston, Caroline Browne, Prue Andrus, Sharryn Batt


Curriculum re-design in entry to practice nursing degrees requires a rigorous and multifaceted approach to align the needs of students, professional and industry stakeholders, community needs, the faculty’s vision and university and regulator requirements. This paper relates the initial steps in the process taken to achieve this re-design in one Australian university’s Bachelor of Nursing program, and describes our experiences in two parts. The first part outlines the context in which the need for curriculum renewal was triggered and the ensuing processes undertaken in the development of our new course aim, course outcomes and graduate attributes. The second part discusses how undertaking these activities then came to influence the adoption of Complexity Thinking in the design of our conceptual model, which then guided our program structure and overarching learning and teaching approaches. We share these experiences to illustrate the steps we undertook on this journey, to outline and example the program we created, and to continue the scholarly discussions around the design of baccalaureate nursing program structures, especially those that implement pedagogies inspired by the concepts related to Complexity Theory. The choice of complexity thinking as a guiding theory was key in providing the lens through which we were inspired to graduate nurses with the skills to provide care in complex situations and value the learning that comes through uncertainty, reflection, adaptation and emergence.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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