Curriculum Development in Nursing: Process and Innovation

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Curriculum Development in Nursing: Process and Innovation Leana R. Uys and Nomthandazo S. Gwele London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2005, pp. 237.

Innovations in nursing education are imperative because of the changing global economy and increased diversity in the workplace. The text by Usy and Gwele states that the successful implementation of innovations in nursing education requires careful consideration of curriculum development because curriculum changes can be daunting to nursing students, faculty, and the school administration.

There are many nursing textbooks on curriculum development; however, there is not a single textbook that can be regarded as the authority on the topic of curriculum development. The authors of this text may be seen as experts on the topic of innovative curriculum development, and they present convincing arguments for developing innovative nursing curriculums. A summary of their arguments in chapter one includes: nurse educators have dual roles; nurses face increased demands worldwide; health care is often dependent upon the quality of nurses since they provide the bulk of human resource capacity; traditional hospital-based, lecturer-dependent, and narrowly focused training often does little to prepare for practice in under-served areas, where they need to work and think independently, nurses need to be the leaders in their local health team; and the challenge in nursing is doing more with less (p. 11).

In addition, the authors use multiple international case studies to make the above points and include international reading recommendations throughout the text. The authors' arguments in support of innovative curriculums were sound, comprehensive, and logical.

Even though the book is only 237 pages, it is well organized and user-friendly. The book has a high level of readability that may be attributed to English being a second language for both authors because their primary language is Afrikaans. The authors guide the reader from general to specifics topics. The book format begins with a philosophical basis for curriculum development and ends with blueprints to develop innovative models. The text provides enough detail for nurse educators to apply the process of developing an innovative curriculum, offers a blueprint for the process, and outlines theoretical rationales for nursing decisions.

One of the positive components of the book is that it provides advantages and disadvantages of innovative curricula and a blueprint for committee members who want to implement such models. Another positive outcome of the book is that the authors have developed a global view on nursing as well as illustrated case studies. The format is easy to follow, and the book is divided into thirteen chapters.

The authors began chapter one with a review of the philosophical basis for the process of curriculum development. Similarly, chapters two through seven discussed the process, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum development. Each of the chapters (2-7) listed a step in the development process. For example, the title of chapter six is "Implementing a New Curriculum" and at the end of the chapter, one article describes an example of an implementation process, an extensive reading list, and reference to a research article (pp. 93-108).

Most importantly, chapters 8 through 13 provide additional examples of common types of innovative curricula advantages and disadvantages as well as describe specific tasks related to developing a curriculum. …