The Role Biomedical Science Laboratories Can Play In Improving Science Knowledge and Promoting First-Year Nursing Academic Success The need for additional nursing and health care professionals is expected to increase dramatically over the next 20 years. With this in mind, students must have strong biomedical science knowledge to be competent in their field. Some studies have shown that participation in bioscience laboratories can enhance science knowledge. If this is true, an analysis of the role bioscience labs have in first-year nursing academic success is apposite.
In response, this study sought to determine whether concurrent enrollment in anatomy and microbiology lecture and lab courses improved final lecture course grades. The investigation was expanded to include a comparison of first-year nursing GPA and prerequisite bioscience concurrent lecture/lab enrollment. Additionally, research has indicated that learning is affected by student perception of the course, instructor, content, and environment. To gain an insight regarding students' perspectives of laboratory courses, almost 100 students completed a 20-statement perception survey to understand how lab participation affects learning.
Data analyses involved comparing anatomy and microbiology final lecture course grades between students who concurrently enrolled in the lecture and lab courses and students who completed the lecture course alone. Independent t test analyses revealed that there was no significant difference between the groups for anatomy, t(285) = .11, p = .912, but for microbiology, the lab course provided a significant educational benefit, t(256) = 4.47, p = .000. However, when concurrent prerequisite bioscience lecture/lab enrollment was compared to non-concurrent enrollment for first-year nursing GPA using independent t test analyses, no significant difference was found for South Dakota State University, t(37) = -1.57, p = .125, or for the University of South Dakota, t(38) = -0.46, p = .651.
Student perception survey examination included computation of means and standard deviations for statements related to the educational importance of lab courses, the value of lab experimentation, and the usefulness of concurrent lecture/lab enrollment. Independent t test analyses sought to determine differences within the courses of anatomy lab and microbiology lab as well as differences between the instructors involved. Results suggested that student perceptions may be dependent on the course, the instructor, and possibly the content.