Background: High-quality and relevant nursing education is needed to ensure graduates meet entry to practice competencies. Despite the important role of curricula in the development of nurses and the nursing profession, there does not appear to be a consistent or widely accepted approach to nursing curriculum renewal. Objective: To identify and synthesize existing curriculum renewal/redesign practices, create an aggregated logic model depicting an evidence-informed process for nursing curriculum renewal, and stimulate dialogue about how to keep nursing curricula relevant in an ever-changing healthcare context. Design: An integrative review, modeled on the Joanna Briggs Methodology of Systematic Reviews, of the available published articles, including empirical research and discussion articles. Data sources: We searched for quantitative, qualitative, and non-research literature (English and French) on full nursing programs or curriculum revisions for pre-licensure nursing students enrolled in an undergraduate or associate degree program. Databases included CINAHL, Nursing and Allied Health, and Medline from January 2010 to January 2017. We then did a hand search for articles from January 2017 to April 2019. Synthesis: Extracted data were synthesized into an aggregated logic model based on Yin’s method of cross-case analysis. Data included information about the internal context, the external context, drivers, the preparatory phase, the active phase, outcomes, and evaluation methods of the described curriculum renewal process. Results: Twenty articles were included, which were published between 2010 and 2018. The resulting logic model, The Ottawa Model for Nursing Curriculum Renewal, includes information on the context, process and outcomes of the renewal process, and how and when to evaluate curricula. Conclusion: This synthesis aids in defining the process of curriculum renewal for undergraduate nursing education. It stimulates systems level thinking and reveals gaps, such as the need for further research into curriculum evaluation. The Ottawa Model for Nursing Curriculum Renewal is a usable template to aid educators undertaking their own process of curriculum renewal.
High-quality and relevant nursing education is needed to ensure graduates meet entry to practice competencies. Nurses are expected to maintain quality and ethical standards in busy, high-pressured, and sometimes under-staffed clinical environments (de Vries and Timmins, 2016; Peternelj-Taylor, 2013). Nurses support and advocate for individual and collective wellbeing, understand population health needs within fluctuating global landscapes, and provide skillful care for persons with acute and chronic conditions (D’Antonio et al., 2013; Faison and Montague, 2013). Given the complexity of nursing practice, undergraduate nursing curricula must constantly adapt and evolve to adhere to professional standards, meet academic accreditation requirements, integrate new evidence, respond to social and demographic changes, and accommodate technological advances (Hickey et al., 2010; Mailloux, 2011; van de Mortel and Bird, 2010). Contemporary nursing education includes greater pedagogical diversity, integration of new technologies, increased use of simulations, distance learning, and a shift away from strictly didactic teaching approaches (Hsu, 2012; Lira and Lopes, 2011). Research also supports the need to incorporate experiential and work-integrated learning opportunities to ensure that students gain exposure to clinical settings and are safe to enter nursing practice upon program completion (Didion et al., 2013; Noland, 2014; Wright, 2015). Despite the important role of curricula in the development of nurses and the nursing profession, there does not appear to be a consistent or widely accepted approach to nursing curriculum renewal.