Background: Professional programs should prepare and empower students to meet industry expectations and real-world challenges. However, as clinical placement opportunities cannot be completely controlled and standardised, student preparedness to succeed in graduate roles is difficult to assess. Although real-world settings may not align with the curriculum, it remains an important and challenging academic activity to examine students’ capability to succeed. A step towards such assessment is taken by examining students’ beliefs and feelings of empowerment to meet industry standards for care delivery. The research and/or issue under consideration: This project assessed the viability of an impact evaluation method to determine whether the BNSc curriculum empowered students to meet industry expectations. Any lack of student belief in their empowerment to successfully deliver care in these settings may reveal gaps between curriculum and industry requirements. Method: An impact evaluatio method was deployed and provides findings from which a judgement of program worth can be concluded1. Evidence was assembled using qualitative interviews, workshops and document content analysis to examine the curriculum/industry experiences. University ethics approval was obtained and the palliative care setting was chosen as it requires complex care and is supported by documented graduate capabilities2. Results and implications: Industry expectations of nursing graduate capabilities were assessed against students’ own beliefs and feelings of empowerment to achieve that standard. Students did not feel fully empowered to meet all of the documented palliative care graduate capabilities, revealing gaps between curriculum and industry expectations. Empowerment is critical to evaluate as it directly impacts students' reflections on the value of the program of study undertaken.
2015 Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA): Learning for Life and Work in a Complex World, Melbourne, Australia 6-9 July 2015
Proceedings of the 2015 Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia /