Registered nurses entering a Nurse Prescriber programme participated in a\ud mixed methods case study to explore the extent of their bioscience knowledge and the confidence with which that knowledge was held. Forty two Nurse Prescriber students, aged 26 – 55 years, from a range of job roles\ud were recruited. Using questionnaires and interviews, both quantitative and qualitative data were obtained. An examination of the Nurse Prescribers’\ud views of pre-registration nursing demonstrated that the knowledge gained had\ud been related to practice but had been both superficial and lacking in breadth. The bioscience in pre-registration programmes had not sufficiently prepared the participants for their roles as registered nurses. The importance of experiences gained as a registered nurse in the practice setting in the learning of bioscience was strongly emphasised. Participants reported\ud greater learning of bioscience by informal methods such as work experience, use of books and the Internet and discussion with colleagues than from experiences in the classroom. Interviewees placed particularly strong emphasis on the importance of learning from medical colleagues. The role of\ud post-registration programmes emerged as important in learning bioscience because it related to the job role. Post-registration courses also emerged as significant in giving confidence to the registered nurse. Confidence increased not just in terms of the knowledge held, but also in terms of nurses’ ability to communicate with patients, relatives, and doctors, their ability to understand nursing skills, and their willingness to admit when something was not known
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