Main Factors for Creating a Nursing Curriculum Including Oriental Medicine and Challenges of Its Implementation: A Case Study of a Taiwan University

Monday, 9 November 2015

Toshie Yamamoto, PhD, RN, PHN1
Shu Chun Chien, RN, PhD2
Fusako Kawabe, PhD, RN,3
Akiko Nagata, MN, RN1
(1)Graduate School of Nursing, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
(2)Center for Education and Research in Nursing Practice, Graduate School of Nursing, Chiba University, Chiba-shi, Japan
(3)Department of Fundamental Nursing, Chiba Prefectural University of Health Sciences, Chiba, Japan


Prompted by a suggestion in the model core curriculum for medical education in 2001, all medical faculties and university hospitals in Japan have successively established courses in Oriental medicine and Oriental medicine departments, respectively. Conversely, there are no requisite courses at nursing universities teaching knowledge and skills in Oriental medicine; this subject holds a different position in the curriculum at each university. This indicates that nurses working in Oriental medicine departments have to engage in outpatient nursing without having acquired any knowledge or skills in Oriental medicine in their basic education courses. It’s necessary to clarify worldwide knowledge and skills for nurses working at outpatient department in this field in order to effectively attend to patients and to develop a program for teaching them.


This study is the third stage for creating a nursing model of Japanese Oriental Medicine. The first stage was to outline the trends in nursing research on the use of Oriental medicine in nursing in Japan. The second stage was to investigate participants were nurses and doctors who practice at the Japanese Oriental “Kampo” Medicine of university hospital with method of Focus group interview. On the third stage, purpose of this study was to inspect the nursing school which was the first one to develop their curriculum involved Traditional Chinese Medicine in Taiwan in order to acquire suggestions for creating a nursing model in Japan. 


Four viewpoints were applying to inspection based on the first stage of literature review 142 papers from the Japan Medical Abstracts Society and the resulting of second stage of focus group interview as stated above. They were

1)     The major history of developing curriculum involved Traditional Chinese Medicine.

2)     The contents of curriculum design..

3)     The education strategies to involve Traditional Chinese Medicine in clinical practice.

4)     The evaluating method of the effectiveness of education.


The nursing school is one department of China Medical University (CMU) which established in 1958 and located in Middle West of Taiwan. The characteristic of CMU was the only one University has Chinese Medicine School in Taiwan. The nursing school was a vocational nursing school before which established in 1966 and was raised to university status in 1975. The master course started since 2001.

In the past, students were taught the skills of acupuncture and moxibustion by doctors only. However, they could not to practice the skills in clinical setting because without doctor license. Taiwan government promoted the Traditional Chinese Medicine from 1900s due to the announcement “The Promotion and Development of Traditional Medicine” of WHO in 1978. Since then, Taiwan Health Ministry formulate the course “ Chinese Medicine Nursing” include seven subjects, nine credits from that time. The subjects were:

1. Introduction of Chinese Medicine (2credits)

2. Introduction of Chinese Pharmacy (1credits)

3. Introduction of health food cuisine combined with medicinal herbs.(1credits)

4. Nursing of Chinese Medicine (2credits)

5. Nursing of acupuncture and moxibustion (2credits)

6. Nursing of wound care on the perspective of Chinese Medicine .(1credits)

7. Nursing clinical practice of Chinese Medicine .(1credits)

Before starting the course for the purpose of faculty development, nursing faculties visited the clinics of university hospitals in China twice and attended outpatient department every week through one year.

One representative faculty of five majority nursing courses was requested to be responsible for curriculum development, then shared the meeting information and forward the work with other faculties. Students were prepared to experience symptom control on patients applying method which had learned from the lectures. Meeting and questionnaires were implemented for the evaluation of the effectiveness of education.


From the inspection, experiences in the clinical practice were identified as an effective educational strategies.

However, the theoretical framework for intensive application of Chinese Medicine in nursing has not established. This is also an important issue for our progressing research.