The 8th NETNEP conference brought together the researchers and educators of health care education

The 8th NETNEP conference was organized in the end of October 2022, in Sitges, Spain with the theme “From education to impact: Transforming nursing and midwifery education”. From the beginning the NETNEP conference aimed to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience of nursing, midwifery and healthcare education worldwide and NETNEP 2022 continues this aim by encouraging the sharing of research and practice of nursing, midwifery and healthcare education. Moreover, the conference gave the possibility to discuss with colleagues and network. Especially, in the poster hall, there were a lot of interesting discussions.

This year there were more than 800 delegates. The programme consisted of keynote presentations, oral and poster presentations – including the Rapid-5 short oral communications and also some workshops. The topics of the conference was: 1) Teaching & assessment, 2) Learning in practice – Clinical education, 3) New technologies, simulation and social media in teaching and practice, 4) Curriculum innovation & development, 5) Evidence and educational discourse, 6) Research, scholarship and evaluation and 7) Professional development & leadership.

The first keynote speaker Dr Hester Klopper from the Stellenbosch University in South Africa spoke the Global trends and transformation: Implications for nursing and midwifery education. She brought up in developing the nursing and midwifery curricula the importance of interprofessional and transdisciplinary, collaboration, social justice for health, pandemic response and skills se for the future, both hard and soft skills.

Most of the presentations concerned the nursing education, the students experience of education, their learning outcomes and use of different kind of teaching methods in teaching. New technologies and digital pedagogy were well presented. Much less was educator education, role and competence featured. Therefore, our New Nurse Educator -project was a good addition for this topic with total of four posters and two oral presentations.

As a summary can be said that the conference was organized very nicely, the programme was good, there were a lot of different kind of presentations. The quality of the presentations was varying as it always is in this kind of large conferences. Sitges, the small town in Catalunya was an exquisite place and sun was shining all the time. Already waiting for the next NETNEP conference, even the topics, the place and the dates are not yet informed.

Thankyou Sitges, you were good to us!


A peak to the future of Nurse Educator Education

Being a nurse educator is not a mundane task. Educators are responsible of assuring the competence of the newly graduated nurses hence there is vast variety of competencies that are required to accomplish that task successfully. The competence areas of nurse educators include pedagogical, research, communication, collaboration and leadership competence, substantial clinical competence, ethical competence and cultural competence. The educators in the field of nursing should also have competence in digital pedagogy. Furthermore, the educators need working life skills, such as self-direction, reflection and life-long learning skills. In addition, the educators’ competence requirements are in constant adaptation to meet the current and future global health issues.

Globalization is yet another challenge the educators especially in field of health sciences are experiencing. The world is changing rapidly, and prevalence of current health issues is estimated to increase due to population growth, aging and relocation. In addition, population growth and environmental issues increase risk of pandemics, such as the COVID-19. Health promotion, disease prevention, supportive environments and efficient, sustainable and equal health care systems within EU are emphasized in EU health program ( The nursing education is called to coincide these goals.

Educators have to be creative and innovative to find and develop sustainable methods to guide the students in global learning. Knowledge regarding new health issues is required before the issues have arisen, which means, the educators need constant updating of their own competence and keen interest in innovative thinking to stay one step ahead of the needs of the health care services. Ability to be innovative, requires also knowledge of historical events and understanding of social and cultural factors in regards of health and care.

In spite of the colossal efforts educators make, to stay ahead in nursing education, not all the changes are possible to predict, hence learning in higher education should focus on empowering students in health sciences to cope with the changing demands of the working life. This means, educators should be able to teach and enhance analytical thinking, problem solving, development of professional and social identity and attitudes and encouraging the students to life-long learning from the beginning of their career.

In Finland, nurse educator education as nurse education in general, are regulated. However, that is not the case in Europe. The Bologna declaration was established in 1999 to standardize higher education across Europe yet there is no common regulation for nurse educators. In addition, a recent study comparing graduating nursing students from 10 European countries, found significant differences in the competence of the students.  Hence, there is a need to harmonize the educator education to guarantee the equal education of nurses within Europe.

First in Europe, A New Agenda for Nurse Educator Education in Europe (New Nurse Educator) -project aims to take the first steps in harmonizing the nurse educator education within Europe. The New Nurse Educator is an Erasmus+ funded project implemented in collaboration between six countries and seven universities: University of Turku and University of Eastern Finland from Finland, Humboldt University from Germany, University of Malta from Malta, University of Nitra from Slovakia, University of Catalonia from Spain and The University of Edinburgh from Scotland.

The project aims to describe the current situation in nurse educator competence , education and need for continuous education in Europe, to develop, implement and evaluate a transnational educator education unit and make common recommendations for nurse educator education in Europe. This project offers an opportunity for European universities to take the first steps toward a common education program in field of nurse educator education, to harmonize and strengthen the nurse educator education and to guarantee  equal education to student nurses in Europe.

Leena Salminen, Project coordinator


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