Diversity, contradictions, and distinction – A scoping review of honours programmes in nursing

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftReviewpeer review


Background: There is a long-standing tradition of honours education in the field of nursing, dating back to the early 1960s in the United States. However, its adoption in European and particularly Scandinavian egalitarian educational contexts is relatively recent. Purpose: This scoping review aims to provide an analysis of the global utilisation and distribution of honours education within the field of nursing. Method: In this scoping review, we conducted an extensive examination of the existing literature to assess the worldwide implementation of honours education in nursing. We employed a systematic approach to identify key trends, patterns, and commonalities in the use of the honours concept across different regions. Results: Our review reveals three predominant approaches to honours education, primarily concentrated in the Anglo-Saxon world: distinction programmes, add-on-year programmes, and embedded programmes. Regardless of the approach, our findings highlight a consistent lack of robust theoretical foundations, limited documentation supporting the educational impact, and a noticeable absence of standardisation. Instead, honours education appears to serve a symbolic and distinct purpose rather than a purely pedagogical one. Conclusion: As the prevalence of honours education continues to rise within continental education systems, it becomes imperative to prioritize further research to ensure the optimal allocation of resources. Addressing the lack of evidence, especially in terms of educational value and theoretical foundations, is crucial for refining and maximizing the potential benefits of honours education in nursing. A more strategic and cohesive approach to developing honours programmes is essential to enhance their effectiveness and alignment with global educational goals.

TidsskriftJournal of Professional Nursing
Udgave nummerNov/Dec
Sider (fra-til)116-125
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 1 nov. 2023


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