First Advisor

Barbera, Jack

Document Type


Date Created



This two-stage study focused on the undergraduate nursing course that covers topics in general, organic, and biological (GOB) chemistry. In the first stage, the central objective was to identify the main concepts of GOB chemistry relevant to the clinical practice of nursing. The collection of data was based on open-ended interviews of both nursing and chemistry teaching faculty as well as practicing nurses. From the resulting interviews, three themes emerged: topics that were Important--had a direct application in nursing clinical practice; topics that were Foundational--not directly important for nursing clinical practice but facilitated the understanding of the important topics; and topics that were Not Important--did not have a direct application or were not significant in nursing clinical practice. Utilizing the data collected, a list of clinically relevant chemistry concepts was developed. The resulting list was compared with the opinions ofnursing and chemistry faculty at the national level.The second stage involved the design and development of an assessment in the form of a concept inventory. The General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry Concept Inventory (GOB-CTI) is a 45-item, multiple-choice instrument designed to assess students’ conceptual understanding of the main chemistry concepts identified as essential in clinical nursing practice. This dissertation describes the developmental process of the individual items along with an evaluation of a pilot version of the instrument. In developing items for this instrument, essential concepts were identified through a series of expert interviews and a national survey. Individual items were tested with students from the target population for clarity and wording. The pilot version of the instrument contained 67 items covering the range of identified concepts from the first stage. The pilot version was tested with a sample of 458 students and a revised version tested with a sample of 200 students. Data from the two pilot studies were used to evaluate each item and narrowed the total item count to 45. A detailed analysis is given to illustrate how items were selected and/or modified for the final version of the instrument. A psychometric analysis performed on data from the 45-item final version was used to evaluate validity, reliability, and item statistics. The final version of the GOB-CTI has a Cronbach's alpha value of 0.763. An expert panel assessed face and content validity. Convergent validity was established by comparing the results from the GOB-CTI instrument with the General-Organic-Biochemistry Exam (Form 2007) of the American Chemical Society (GOB-ACS). This instrument was developed in collaboration with nurses, nurse educators, and chemistry instructors to focus attention on the subset of chemistry concepts deemed essential to practicing nurses. By using this concept inventory, chemistry instructors may better understand the incorrect ideas and difficulties their nursing students have in chemistry.

Abstract Format



Concept inventory; Chemistry -- Study and teaching; Nursing students


274 pages

Local Identifiers


Rights Statement

Copyright is held by author.