Is it time to consider a four year Nursing Bachelor Degree in Australia? A discussion paper

Document Type

Journal Article


Elsevier BV

Place of Publication



School of Nursing & Midwifery


Originally published as: Christiansen, A., Jacob, E., & Twigg, D. (2018). Is it time to consider a four year Nursing Bachelor Degree in Australia? A discussion paper. Collegian. 25(5), 567-571. Original article available here.


Background: The need for new graduate nurses to have the capabilities to function effectively in increasingly complex, dynamic and diverse health care settings has energised debate about the need for four year nursing degrees. Questions: What types of four year bachelor degrees are evident globally and what are the key arguments and evidence suggesting a need for four year nursing degrees in Australia? Methods: A scoping of contemporary literature is conducted to identify and discuss the key trends, concerns and evidence that informs the current debate on the appropriate duration of nursing degrees. Findings: A unique combination of emerging health care challenges and shifting health care priorities are fuelling the call to reconsider the duration of nursing degrees in Australia. Discussion: Future nurses will need the capabilities to work effectively across organisational and geographical boundaries, work as partners with a well-informed public, engage with advancing technologies and work autonomously and collaboratively as equals in inter-professional teams. Conclusion: The need for nurse education to produce nurse graduates with key capability for the future, gives credence to a call for a four year nursing degree in Australia



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