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Why such success?: Nursing students show consistently high satisfaction with bioscience courses at a regional university
Background: An understanding of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology is considered essential for graduate nurses, but many nursing students find such courses difficult and anxiety-provoking. This was contrary to the authors’ experiences, so student perceptions were studied at the survey institution. Objective: This paper examines nursing students’ satisfaction with bioscience and nursing courses in the first two years of a Bachelor of Nursing at an Australian university, in order to suggest strategies for effective bioscience teaching. Design: Quantitative data for student satisfaction, measured on the Likert scale, were collected for three bioscience and 11 nursing courses from 2010 – 2012. Mean satisfaction was compared among courses and offerings by ANOVA, with offerings nested within courses, and correlation analysis was used to examine the relationship between student satisfaction and pass rate. Qualitative data were sourced from open questions, emails and forum posts and examined for recurrent themes. Results: Students rated the three bioscience courses in the top four of the 14 courses. There was no relationship between satisfaction and pass rate. Qualitative responses showed satisfaction with the course content, the learning materials, the delivery style and lecturer support. Conclusion: It is possible to deliver bioscience courses that are appreciated by nursing students. Four principles are suggested in this paper that may improve student satisfaction with bioscience courses and, therefore, result in more effective learning and better prepared nursing graduates.