Teaching nursing's history: A national survey of Australian Schools of Nursing, 2007-2008

Margaret McAllister, Wendy Madsen, Judith Godden, Jennene Greenhill, Rachel Reed

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    13 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper reports on a survey of Australian Schools of Nursing that took place over an 8 months period between 2007 and 2008. This study was implemented to extend understanding of effective teaching of nursing history, an area not previously researched in Australia. A critical interpretive method enabled us to problematise the issue, to highlight what was said about the importance of history teaching as well as ad hoc practices and barriers. The study found that participants value history of nursing teaching, but the crowded curriculum is erasing history's place and potential. It revealed ideological tensions shaping and constraining history of nursing teaching. In Australia, the way nursing's history is taught varies and teaching content, strategies and resources utilised are not evenly available. Pedagogical innovations are not effectively disseminated. Our recommendations for Australian Schools of Nursing that have more general applicability are: (1) Nursing curriculum needs to be developed from a set of principles and standards that define the attributes of the professional nurse, not in response to interest groups and (2) History of nursing pedagogy should be systematically developed and disseminated through a national virtual centre, linked to international centres, to enhance teachers' understanding of the discipline area and to support their teaching practice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)370-375
    Number of pages6
    JournalNurse Education Today
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2010


    • Australia
    • Critical theory
    • History
    • Nursing


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