A Survey of Family Nursing Education in Canadian Universities

Lorraine Wright, Janice Bell


In this study, the content and implementation of family nursing education in Canadian university curricula was investigated. A national survey was conducted for the purpose of providing an accurate description of family nursing content, and of teaching methods related to family assessment, intervention and interviewing skills. In addition, information about student evaluation methods and the clinical experiences involving families was obtained. The findings of this study identify current trends in family nursing education and will be of interest to nurse clinicians and educators. These results provide direction to nursing educators who wish to strengthen the family nursing content in their programs.
Literature Review
The discipline of nursing has always recognized the importance of the family in the promotion and maintenance of health. However, it has been surmised that family involvement ranges from non-existent to focusing on the family as the unit of care (Wright & Leahey, in press; Wright, Watson, & Bell, in press). Recently there has been an active trend to reclaim and rediscover the territory of family involvement in nursing practice. This is evident in the use of terms like: "family-centered nursing" (Logan & Dawkins, 1986), "family nursing" (Friedman, 1986; Gilliss, Highley, Roberts, & Martinson, 1989; Leahey & Wright, 1987a, 1987b; Wright & Leahey, 1987), and "family interviewing skills" (Wright & Leahey, 1984). Prior to this decade, nursing curricula have paid relatively little attention to the family as an object of systematic study.

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