Established in 2012 Bioscience in Nurse Education (BiNE) is a Higher Education Academy Specialist Interest Group with membership from UK higher education institutions (HEI’s). BiNE supports educators who teach biosciences offering a platform to share local experiences and promoting consistency and quality of biosciences teaching learning and assessment in nursing education.
For decades concerns have been expressed in the literature and informally by educators about the limited bioscience knowledge underpinning nursing practice and the potentially detrimental impact this may have on patient care (Clancy et al 2000; Davis 2010; McVicar et al 2010). Whilst an underpinning knowledge of biosciences is considered an essential basis for safe and effective care (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) 2010; NICE 2007) there is no guidance about the depth and detail required to support nursing practice to prepare nurses for registration and for advanced level roles. Instead the extent of bioscience knowledge is determined by individual HEI’s. The absence of explicit professional guidance has led to variation in the extent and level of bioscience taught across HEI’s (Taylor et al 2015). In 2013 BiNE undertook a survey to explore members’ views about bioscience education in pre- and post-registration nursing programmes. The findings confirmed significant variations in pre- and post-registration curriculum design and delivery of biosciences across HEI’s including a varied profile learning teaching and assessment strategies. Findings shared at NET 2014 (Fell et al 2014) via publication (Taylor et al 2015) and with the NMC informed the development of an innovative Quality Assurance Framework for Bioscience Education in Nursing (B-QAF) published and disseminated in 2016. B-QAF is the focus of this paper.