Research and Scholarships
The network has facilitated collaborative research in bioscience learning and teaching in nursing education. This in turn has started to produce research outputs including reports, conference papers and publications - further details can be found in Publications and Reports section.
A survey was undertaken in 2013 exploring the experiences, views, concerns and recommendations of BiNE members about biosciences in nursing education. The aim of this research was to evaluate and capture the views of nurse educators on the current provision of bioscience learning and teaching in both pre and post registration nursing courses across the UK.
Data were collected from BiNE members using a semi-structured questionnaire. Data received from 10 institutions were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis.
The results highlighted startling variability in bioscience provision in nursing courses across the UK. For example, in relation to pre-registration nursing courses, lecturers reported that the hours of taught biosciences ranged from 20–113 hours, principally within the first year. This represents between just 0.4–2.4% of course time (4600 hours). Findings also indicated that large group lectures predominate and that there is a lack of bioscience focus within assessments. Perhaps unsurprisingly, all respondents stated that students consistently requested more time and greater priority for biosciences in their course.
This survey suggests that the number of hours spent teaching biosciences is minimal and varies widely between higher education institutions. All respondents expressed concern about the challenges of teaching difficult bio-scientific concepts to large groups in such a limited time and called for greater clarity in national guidelines to ensure that all nurses are adequately educated and assessed in bioscience subjects.
The findings of this survey were reported in a HEA report in 2013 and a journal article discussing the findings in relation to pre-registration bioscience education has recently been published (Taylor et al., 2015).
Biosciences Quality Assurance Framework (B-QAF)
In the absence of explicit national professional guidance, a Biosciences Quality Assurance Framework (B-QAF) for Pre-registration Nursing Education has been developed by a Steering Committee, through BiNE group activities. This B-QAF is intended as a resource for nursing educators to use when developing curricula and in pedagogical planning.
It suggests essential learning outcomes, supplementary guidance, and provides a selected number of nursing relevant examples to guide educators to promote engagement and application of the biosciences. It aims to be adaptable for, and relevant to, the domains of nursing and all fields of practice with the objective of facilitating both knowledge gain and knowledge transfer.
The aims of this B-QAF are to promote:
- curricula that are designed to enhance new registrants' confidence in bioscience knowledge, competence in integrating biosciences in evidence-informed clinical decision making and care, and communication with multi-professional teams and patients
- consistency of bioscience outcomes for pre-registration nursing courses across the UK
To achieve these aims, the purpose of the B-QAF is to:
- support AEI’s across the UK by suggesting minimum bioscience outcomes for nurses at the point of registration
- enable educators to map biosciences within pre-registration nursing curricula to help them identify and apply relevant concepts to their courses
- assist educators in developing teaching, learning and assessment strategies for biosciences in pre-registration nursing curricula
You can access a copy of the B-QAF framework in the Publications and Reports section.
Journal of Clinical Nursing Biosciences Special Edition
BiNE member Anne Waugh is guest editor of a forthcoming special edition of Journal of Clinical Nursing (JCN) which will focus specifically on biosciences in nursing. This special edition will include a number of articles written by BiNE members.