Nursing education curriculum in mainland China and the United States: A comparative perspective

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This paper examines the standard three-year secondary nursing education curriculum in China and compares it with a 21-month generic associate degree nursing curriculum in the United States in terms of course offerings, time allocation, and clinical experience. Content analysis and interview are the primary methods of inquiry. Content analysis of the two nursing education curricula is conducted with descriptive statistical analyses. Interviews (N = 6) with nursing faculty and administrators from four secondary nursing programs in Henan Province, China were conducted in 1998. Differences between the two curricula are found with regard to the types of courses offered and time allocation to various course categories. Although little discrepancy is uncovered from the comparison of nursing courses at first look, a closer examination reveals otherwise. The most striking difference of the two curricula lies in the arrangement and staffing pattern of clinical instruction. The study also finds that the medical profession has profound influence on nursing education curriculum in China, and the uniqueness of the Chinese curriculum is the integration of traditional Chinese medicine into the nursing curriculum.


Bachelor of arts degree; China; Comparative education; Cross-cultural studies; Medicine; Chinese –Study and teaching (Higher); Nurses – Education; Nursing – Study and teaching (Higher); United States; Universities and colleges—Curricula


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Nursing | Other Nursing


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