University Of Tasmania
126384 - Shifting the Focus.pdf (245.85 kB)

Shifting the Focus: Increasing Engagement and Improving Performance of Nursing Students in Bioscience Subjects Using Face-to-Face Workshops to Reduce Anxiety

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 18:41 authored by Cox, JL, James CraneJames Crane
The difficulty many undergraduate nursing students experience with science subjects is often attributed to deficiencies in background knowledge, but anxiety about science subjects could also play a role. While reports indicate that nursing students feel anxious about science-based subjects, the cause of this anxiety and how to reduce it has received less attention. This project aimed 1) to identify the sources of anxiety experienced by nursing students at the start of their first year, and 2) to develop a workshop to reduce anxiety and enhance engagement with science subjects. When surveyed, a substantial proportion of nursing students reported feeling anxious about a range of science and non-science-based activities. To address this anxiety, a two-day, face-toface workshop was developed and made available to nursing students. Attendees report that the workshops reduced their anxiety and enhanced their engagement with science subjects. In addition, the final grades and the rate of progression of workshop attendees through their nursing course have been significantly higher than nonattendees. These outcomes demonstrate that face-to-face workshops aimed at reducing anxiety can improve nursing student’s engagement with, and performance in, bioscience subjects.


Publication title

International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education










Tasmanian School of Medicine


Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright the authors 2014

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the health sciences

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    University Of Tasmania