AIM: The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of a more 'community-oriented' baccalaureate nursing curriculum on students' intervention choice in community care.
BACKGROUND: Following a healthcare shift with increased chronic diseases in an ageing patient population receiving care at home, nursing education is revising its curricula with new themes (e.g., self-management) on community care. Although it seems obvious that students incorporate these themes in their nursing care interventions, this is unclear. This study investigates the effect of a redesigned curriculum on students' care intervention choice in community nursing.
DESIGN: A quasi-experimental quantitative study.
METHODS: This study with an historic control group (n = 328; study cohorts graduating in 2016 and 2017; response rate 83 %) and an intervention group n = 152; graduating in 2018; response rate 80 %) was performed at a University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. The intervention group experienced a curriculum-redesign containing five new themes related to community care (e.g., enhancing self-management, collaboration with the patients' social network, shared decision making, using health technology and care allocation). The primary outcome 'intervention choice in community nursing' was assessed with a specially developed vignette instrument 'Assessment of Intervention choice in Community Nursing' (AICN). Through multiple regression analyses we investigated the effect of the curriculum-redesign on students' intervention choice (more 'traditional' interventions versus interventions related to the five new themes). The control and intervention groups were compared on the number of interventions per theme and on the number of students choosing a theme, with a chi-square or T-test.
RESULTS: Students who studied under the more community-oriented curriculum chose interventions related to the new themes significantly more often, F(1461) = 14.827, p = <0.001, R2 = .031. However, more traditional interventions are still favourite (although less in the intervention group): 74.5 % of the chosen interventions in the historic control group had no relation with the new curriculum-themes, vs. 71.3 % in the intervention group; p = .055).
CONCLUSIONS: Students who experienced a more 'community-oriented' curriculum were more likely, albeit to a limited extent, to choose the new community care themes in their caregiving. Seeing this shift in choices as a step in the right direction, it can be expected that the community care field in the longer term will benefit from these better skilled graduates.