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Physiology knowledge retention in third-year nursing students

Faculty Advisor




knowledge retention, physiology, nursing students

Abstract (summary)

There is a growing concern that medical, allied health & nursing students struggle to retain & apply physiological knowledge in the subsequent years of their disciplines (Narnaware & Neumeier, 2020). However, physiological knowledge retention has not been studied as extensively as anatomical knowledge retention in healthcare, with very few studies focusing on nursing students (Aari et al., 2004). The present study evaluates physiological knowledge retention in third-year nursing students. Students were quizzed on ten major organ systems using an online platform, Kahoot (Kahoot, Inc. Oslo, Norway). The results show that the mean class average in the first year was 64.9 ± 10.5 (±SD), which significantly (P<0.05) decreased to 50.95 ± 9.2 (±SD) in the third year. This equates to a knowledge retention rate of 88.1% or 11.9% knowledge loss within three years. Organ-specific knowledge retention was the highest for inflammation (100%), respiratory physiology (99.10%), and vascular physiology (95.01%), followed by blood (89.16%), digestive physiology (86.28%), endocrinology (83.76%), defences (82.50%) and renal physiology (82.19%). Retention was comparatively lower for fluid and electrolyte balance (79.36%) and reproductive physiology (77.54%). Although organ-specific knowledge retention was found, this study identifies the potential gaps in knowledge retention, which helps develop an effective and robust interventional strategy to improve knowledge retention in nursing students.

Publication Information



Presented on April 20, 2023 at Student Research Day held at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. Award winner, Human Anatomy & Physiology Society conference, held May 24 - May 28 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Item Type

Student Presentation



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