The study of biology as a cause of anxiety in student nurses undertaking the common foundation programme


L Nicholl Buckinghamshire College of Nursing and Midwifrey, Lovelock Jones Nurse Education Center, Barracks Road, High Wycombe, Bucks HP11 1QN, England


The subject of biology was identified as a cause of anxiety amongst student nurses on the common foundation programme (CFP), both verbally and in each of the written course evaluations, at a college of nursing and midwifery in the South of England The aim of this study was to identify the major causes of anxiety and identify methods of reducing this anxiety in the present students, as well as minimizing anxiety in those students commencing their nurse education Action research was considered the most appropriate design for this study Student nurse participation was encouraged throughout the study (n = 66) A modified Delphi technique was used to identify and prioritize the causes of anxiety and a student quality circles group was formed for the purpose of problem solving by the students This stimulated some of the biology teachers to form biology sub-groups to consider the students' proposals Many changes were implemented A focus group data collection method was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the relevant changes for the present students The meeting was recorded and the tape examined for relevant data The data indicated that although the students perceive biology as a subject that causes anxiety they did acknowledge that many of the changes made by the teachers were a positive step towards reducing the anxiety Although the results were encouraging, it is noted that to gain a true understanding of the effect of the changes, further evaluation would need to be completed The use of triangulation may be considered more appropriate to enhance the quality of the data obtained