I find it a little bit disturbing that we could be pushing toward a ‘one-size-fits-all’ national curriculum.
Particularly when we already have one that is set by the requirements of Nursing Council, i.e. scopes of practice, competencies and areas of practice for undergraduates. What we have currently gives us opportunities to develop programmes that are able to respond to the health workforce inequities for Pacific and Māori.
I come from a history of working in both a Bachelor of Nursing (BN) programme and developing and working in the Bachelor of Nursing Pacific (BNP) programme.
I have spent the last 13 years going over the same rhetorical questions around what makes our programme BNP and Māori programmes different.
Three areas for consideration are the notions of: what counts as knowledge, who gets to define what counts as nursing knowledge and who gets to decide what is appropriate for nursing curricula. In the past most who have had the opportunity to develop curricula are those who hold the hegemonic power.
I suggest that we don’t have a national curriculum in which one-size-fits-all, but that all graduate profiles include key specific outcomes, that we cover and the rest are specific to our unique programmes and communities we serve.
We have ‘been there and done that’ with a one-size fits-all approach and the experiment didn’t work for particular population groups.
This is too prescriptive, kills creativity and is detrimental to the diverse and complex requirements of the populations we serve. I’m open to discussion on what we need to improve on in relation to what Nursing Council already offers.
What I am not open to is becoming invisible in the debate on what counts as knowledge and whose knowledge counts in developing nursing curricula.
Furthermore I am not interested in contributing to the continuing invisibility and marginalisation of students and their access to nursing programmes.
National curricula are promoted by those who wish to maintain and increase power of control. These points of view are promoted by those who would see the increasing bureaucratisation of nursing rather than developing a nursing workforce fit for purpose from a health consumer’s, families’ or communities’ perspective.