There has been considerable devaluing of the acquisition and use of biological science knowledge within the nursing profession. For a more effective nursing profession based on holism, biological science should be adopted to nursing education in a systematic way. It is useful to look through the development of biological science education in nursing at SNU.There were suggestions to improve biological science education in nursing. Firstly, teaching methods in biological sciences need to be developed by instructors for more effective learning. Secondly, it was necessary that there should be clearer guidelines as to depth and scope of knowledge to be taught from the biological base theoretically as well asciences in nursing perspectives. Thirdly, instructors who teach biological sciences in nursing education are required to have their own specialties of biological science with a nursing background and to extend their knowledge base theoretically as well as clinically. Fourthly, specialist programs for biological sciences should be offered in the Graduate School of Nursing and inservice education programs of biological sciences in nursing practice should be prepared. Finally, a new curriculum of biological science in nursing at SNU was established under the guidance of nurse physiologists (Choe, 1999). Five revised biological sciences such as human structure and function with lab, nutrition and diet, pharmacology in nursing, microbiology in nursing, and pathophysiology, focus on biological knowledge on the basis of nursing science.The syllabus of Human structure and function with lab was presented as continuous endeavors to develop systematic curriculum of biological science education in nursing. In the future, nursing knowledge would be expanded to other related biological disciplines such as genetics and environmental science.
In the last few decades, the role of nursing has branched out into new dimensions of patient care, holding a unique and independent place in health care settings. Unfortunately, however, most nursing schools have not made corresponding revisions in nursing courses dealing with bioscientific aspects of nursing knowledge which will be the basis of their understanding of patients' physical problems and how they will implement the nursing process. Our College of Nursing is very aware of the importance of biological science in nursing education, and reinforced its curriculum in a recent curriculum renovation, integrating and focusing on the courses related to bioscientific aspects of nursing. In this article, a brief overview of courses including pathophysiology, pharmacology, nutrition and diet, and microbiology will be introduced.
In the majority of educational institutions of nursing in Japan, various subjects in the basic natural sciences have been established as required or elective courses. However in our university, relatively few hours have been set aside for these subjects in the curriculum. Concerning this situation, I propose to expand education in the basic natural sciences in our university because of the following three reasons 1. to reduce variation in freshmen's scientific scholarship which had been caused by the narrow election of science subjects during their high school years. 2. to improve or amplify their basic understanding and general knowledge of sciences that belong to the liberal arts. 3. to maintain (or enhance) the motivation of students to learn the basic medical subjects and the specialized nursing subjects in the university curriculum by performing systematic and step-by-step education in the basic natural sciences during the first several months just after the entrance of students into our university. I also propose here to re-estimate the minimum requirements for basic medical education in nursing from the viewpoint of the specialty of nursing work. Hereafter, we have to improve the total curriculum in our university in order to fulfill the above minimum requirements.
Most nurses start their careers as clinical nurses and clinical fields require them to be sensitive to changing medical environments and to absorb current medical and nursing knowledge actively. It is common for new nurses to be frustrated because of a big gap between what they learned at school and what they should practice. Therefore, practical strategies are needed to help nursing students to be well prepared to move to clinical nursing. Some suggestions are summarized for fostering competent clinical nurses from a clinical nurse's viewpoint. First, the identity of nursing as a unique discipline should be emphasized at school. Nurses who have clear answers to what nursing is, can have a pride as a nurse and deliver nursing care more productively. Second, the curriculum of the nursing school should be standardized even though three-year college and four-year university backgrounds co-exist in the same license. Therefore, the school of nursing should guarantee students' abilities to step into clinical nursing. Third, the school of nursing should utilize expert clinical nurses as clinical professors with adequate compensation. Clinical nurses with master and doctoral degrees will remain in the clinical field long as a linking agent between theory and practice and as a role model. Fourth, an internship program should be considered to allow nursing students to broaden their scope of nursing and to deepen their clinical experience.These strategies can also help clinical nursing be accepted as a unique and challenging profession among nurses and other healthcare members.
It is necessary for basic science education to be more complete in nursing education. However in clinical practice, it is necessary to balance science with nursing that respects humanity and individuality. This clinical nursing viewpoint of basic science education is discussed in this paper. Nursing that respects individuality is more difficult to practice than logical thinking that analyzes client's elements in order to resolve nursing problems. The goal of scientific education until now has been to understand the parts of human beings. Therefore, nurses could not understand clients as to their wholeness or in regards to their individuality. In future, basic science education in nursing needs to develop a synthetic view of the individual that accounts for more than the total sum of the parts. Accordingly, basic science education needs to develop the student's ability to use practically and complementally both analytic and synthesizing methods on the premise that a flexible viewpoint originates from holism and daily life(or phenomenological life-world).