Bioscience assessments: Making connections to clinical practice

Vanessa K. Hughes, Christopher Gordon


Evidence suggests that undergraduate nursing students feel a disconnect between bioscience theory and clinical practice. Students tend to utilise rote learning as their primary means of learning, as bioscience is often heavily content driven. In addition, many assessments promote surface learning which appears to impact on students understanding of bioscience integration with clinical practice and therefore, does not align with curriculum strategies.

We report on the infusion of novel assessment items to promote and contextualise bioscience knowledge within clinical application. Students will be required to produce evidence-based patient and clinician-focussed support materials to reinforce linkage of disease understanding with clinical best practice guidelines. In this way, bioscience knowledge translation occurs in a pragmatic and realistic mode with direct application to student clinicians within acute care health settings. This pedagogical approach is underpinned using concept maps, which have been shown to improve understanding of complex physiological interrelationships.

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