Final year Australian nursing students' experiences with bioscience: A cross-sectional survey

Document Type


Publication details

Interim Citation:


Nursing students have reported bioscience to be challenging and difficult to understand. This may have a negative impact upon their ability to understand patients’ clinical condition and nursing practice. We sought information about students’ experiences with bioscience. One hundred and twenty six final-year nursing students completed a questionnaire. The findings showed that the majority of participants considered bioscience subjects to require more work compared to nursing subjects (65.9%), would like a better understanding of bioscience (73.8%) but understood that bioscience forms the foundation nursing practice (76.2%). Younger participants without secondary school science rated bioscience harder than nursing subjects (p=0.024) and spent more time studying bioscience compared to older participants (>30 years; p=0.006). Participants without any secondary school science lacked an ability to apply bioscience concepts to patient conditions (p=0.005). These results show that nursing students, especially those without secondary school science, would benefit from improved bioscience integration with nursing practice. Nursing and bioscience educators should consider greater alignment of bioscience with nursing practice subjects, especially earlier in the curriculum.