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The expanding scope of practice of paramedics and nurses demands they possess a sophisticated knowledge of bioscience to enable them to think critically and make rational clinical decisions. It is well documented that nursing students struggle with bioscience but there are no studies examining the performance of paramedic students in this crucial subject. In this study, we compared the academic performance of first year nursing, paramedic and nursing/paramedic double degree students in a bioscience subject. Regression analyses were used to identify predictors of academic success. Data revealed a low success rate in bioscience for all three degree programs (63.2, 58.8, and 67.6% respectively) and a strong correlation between academic success in bioscience and non-bioscience subjects (r2 = 0.49). The best predictors of overall academic success were the University Admission Index score and mature entry into the course. Previous study of biology was associated with an increased bioscience and overall GPA but not with non-bioscience grades. Discriminant analysis was used to develop a model that could predict overall academic success with an accuracy of 78.5%. These criteria may be useful during the admission process and for the early identification of students at risk of failure.


School of Exercise Science

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Journal Article

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