Theory-practice gap: Nursing students’ self-reported depth of understanding of bioscience and its relevance to clinical practice

Bronwynne Rafferty, Katlego Mthimunye*, Million Bimerew

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Bioscience subjects are essential as they allow nurses to have a clear understanding of the patient’s condition and ultimately allow them to provide appropriate and timeous care. However, these subjects remain a significant problem in the endeavour to produce highly competent nurses. Aim: The study aimed to investigate the nursing students’ self-reported depth of understanding of bioscience and its relevance to clinical practice. Methods: A quantitative research approach using a descriptive survey design was employed. The sample (n = 211) included second-, third- and fourth-year undergraduate nursing students. A three-part self-administered questionnaire was adapted and used to collect the data. Data were analysed using IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences software version 25.0 (IBM SPSS-25). Descriptive statistics and Chi-squared test were performed to describe the relationship among the study variables. Results: Participants rated their understanding of the application of Human Biology (n = 86, 40.76%) and Pharmacology (n = 88, 41.71%) as good, while Physics (n = 80, 37.91%) and Chemistry (n = 85, 40.28%) were rated as adequate. Most participants rated Human Biology (n = 175, 83.73%) and Pharmacology (n = 181, 86.19%) as essential, while Physics (n = 129, 61.72%) and Chemistry (n = 133, 63.64%) were rated as relevant to clinical practice. Physics (n = 112, 60.54%; n = 95, 50.53%) and Chemistry (n = 126, 68.85%; n = 113 61.41%) were rated as not relevant to monitoring a patient’s heart rate and blood pressure. Participants’ perception of the relevance of Chemistry in monitoring a patient’s blood pressure was statistically significant (χ2 = 6.871 (df 2), p
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0294319
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2023

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