Using the Delphi process to attain expert consensus on bioscience concepts, topics, and skills in undergraduate nursing curricula

Elizabeth Ann Andersen, Lisa Moralejo


Although many nurse scholars agree that biosciences are lacking in nursing curricula, it is difficult to determine exactly which bioscience concepts, topics, and skills are most important and relevant for undergraduate nursing students. The aim of this study was to gain expert consensus on pharmacologic and microbiologic concepts, topics, and skills necessary to prepare nurse graduates who are able to practice in a safe and professional manner.  Five experienced clinical nurse educators familiar with undergraduate nursing programs and knowledgeable about undergraduate nursing students were invited to participate as expert panelists in a three-round electronic Delphi process. Two panelists were external to the university, and three were internal. The opinions of the expert panelists converged on the necessity of 20 pharmacological concepts and/or lecture topics, 18 microbiological concepts and/or lecture topics, seven pharmacological and 16 microbiological procedural skills. Top ranking pharmacology lecture topics included applied pharmacology as well as disease and symptom management (cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes most prominent). Top ranking microbiology lecture topics included hepatitis A, B, and C, as well as tuberculosis and nosocomial infections. The results of this study are relevant to Schools of Nursing who wish to offer core bioscience courses in order to improve curriculum quality and meet the needs of industry partners and accreditation bodies.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

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

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