Evidence-based teaching – To infinity and beyond!

“Our dreams of being better teachers are coming true and we thank you for your support and this opportunity.”

One can hardly wish for a higher reward than this kind of feedback from a student.

Evidence-based practice is already a familiar concept in nursing, and in education it is clear, that the content that is being taught, ought to be evidence-based. But evidence-based teaching is more, than content. Nurse educators need evidence-based knowledge in designing curriculum and selecting appropriate teaching and learning methods (Kalb et al., 2015). Evidence-based teaching can be seen as a decision-making process including the best available evidence about teaching and learning, and also expertise and judgment of the educator and the preferences and goals of the learners (Oermann, 2021). Furthermore, nurse educators need to be able to facilitate the future nurses in their profession, so that they are familiar with processes and implementation of evidence-based practice (Kajander-Unkuri et al., 2020).

Evidence-based Teaching study unit is the fourth study unit of Empowering the nurse educators’ in the changing world (ENEC) study programme. The study programme is aimed for nurse educator candidates and educators in Europe. The study programme can be utilised as Continuous professional development (CPD) activity or as a part of degree education in nursing and health sciences educator education. University of Eastern Finland has been the coordinator and main organiser of this study unit.

Participants of EBT completing their teacher training in the partner and collaborator organisations.

Evidence-based teaching study unit was organized as hybrid implementation. Majority of the activities were conducted online, but the students of the study unit performed a teacher training in one of the partner universities in international groups. Due to pandemic situation and the war in Ukraine, that has especially affected the neighbouring countries, the students were allowed to participate the teacher training also online. In addition to teacher evaluations, the study programme utilised both self- and peer evaluation as one of the learning methods, as they both can be even more beneficial than educator evaluation, even though the self- and peer evaluation don’t always concur (Iglesias Pérez et al., 2022). The students also received feedback from the students who they were teaching during their teacher training sessions.

Distance participation was possible in both sending and receiving universities. Images from Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra.

As in the beginning of this blog, students experienced the teacher training beneficial to them. Furthermore, the partners hosting the teacher trainees, also had a good experience with the international students:

“The students managed to engage colleagues in a stimulating discussion about differences and similarities between the countries and I believe that everyone learned a lot. I was very impressed about their well-planned and structured lesson.”

Students and faculty at the University of Eastern Finland.

The impact of visiting students went beyond the teacher training they had during the training week. They met with the faculty and students at the universities, universities of applied sciences, colleges, Hospital districts, vocational institutes and many other collaborators and have made great impression on the hosts of the training.

Students and faculty at the Charité.

 “Just as feedback, your Erasmus students are wonderful. They’ve been well prepared and have spent lots of time considering how to approach the teaching sessions. They deliver well and have helped each other.”  

 “I loved their use of a hospital soundtrack – beeping, phones ringing – to help explain how stressful the backdrop is in a hospital. That worked really well. They used clever QR code links to mentimeter and tried to engage a slightly stubborn year 1-2 audience. I have to learn how to do that!”

EBT students had plenty of different visits during their week at University of Turku.

The evidence based teaching study unit was a very intensive yet beneficial study unit. Both teachers and students had immense opportunities to share experiences and learn from each other, beyond the content of the study unit. All of the hosts arranged some extra curricular activities and possibilities to learn about the culture and quisine of the hosting country.

On behalf of teams UTU and UEF and the whole New Nurse Educator -project, we thank all our collaborators, faculty and students for a great study unit.

Faculty and students of the Nursing Department and Physiotherapy Department in the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Nursing, physiotherapist and medical staff from the Hospital Universitari General de Catalunya-Grupo Quironsalud, in special Sara Cano and Montserrat Granados.

Staff of the Faculty Hospital in Nitra

Staff and students from Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra

Ms. Lorraine Close, Ms. Ally Lai and Dr. Sarah Rhynas from The University of Edinburgh.

Students and staff of The University of Edinburgh

Ms Carmen D’Amato, Director of Nursing, Ms. Bernice Zarb and Mr. Mathew Abela, Mater Dei Hospital, Malta.

Students and staff of University of Malta

Staff and students of the Institute of Health and Nursing Science at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Students and staff from Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Clinical nurse educators and staff from Kuopio University Hospital

Mika Alhonkoski and the students in practical nursing, Turku Vocational Institute

Öhberg Isa and the student nurses, Turku University of Applied Sciences

Merja Nummelin, the coordinator of clinical nurse educators and the clinical nurse educators from Turku University Hospital

Karolina Olin and Karoliina Marjaniemi, County Patient Safety Control Center at Turku University Hospital

Camilla Strandell-Laine, Novia University of Applied Sciences

Professor Helena Leino-Kilpi, Assistant Professor Anna Axelin and the students of Future health and Technology from University of Turku

And on behalf of all the staff and students of the New Nurse Educator -project, we want to thank Anneli Vauhkonen, Terhi Saaranen and Juha Pajari from University of Eastern Finland for organizing the study unit Evidence Based Teaching.

Authors are:

Imane Elonen, MNSc, Doctoral researcher, University of Turku

Anneli Vauhkonen, MNSc, Doctoral researcher, University of Eastern Finland


Iglesias Pérez, M. C., Vidal-Puga, J., & Pino Juste, M. R. (2022). The role of self and peer assessment in Higher Education. Studies in Higher Education, 47(3), 683-692.

Kajander-Unkuri S., Melender H-L., Kanerva A-M., Korhonen T., Suikkanen A. & Silén-Lipponen M. (2020) Sairaanhoitajan osaamisvaatimukset – suomalainen koulutus 2020-luvulle. Teoksessa: Silén-Lipponen M. & Korhonen T. (toim.). Osaamisen ja arvioinnin yhtenäistäminen sairaanhoitajakoulutuksessa – YleSHarviointi-hanke. Kuopio: Savonia-ammattikorkeakoulun julkaisusarja 5/2020, 22-30. 

Kalb K.A., O’Conner-Von S., Brockway C., Rierson C.L. & Sendelbach S. (2015) Evidence-based teaching practice in nursing education: faculty perspectives and practices. Nursing Education Perspectives 36(4), 212-219. 

Oermann, M. (2021). Evidence-Based Teaching in Nursing. In Oermann, M., De Gagne, J., & Phillips, B (Eds.), Teaching in nursing and role of the educator: the complete guide to best practice in teaching, evaluation, and curriculum (3rd ed., pp. 377–394). Springer.


Studying in an international group

Blog post by Anndra Parviainen, University of Eastern Finland

My love and passion to nursing education ignite me to enrol in a comprehensive nurse educator education program offered by the Erasmus+ funded New Nurse Educator projectEmpowering the Nurse Educators in the Changing World. The study program is aimed for nurse educator candidates to prepare them for their work as nurse educators and to nurse educators to help them maintain their professional competence as nurse educators.

Issues in Future Nurse Education (5ECTS) is one of the study units of this program. Participants of the course were from different countries like Germany, Finland, Malta, Spain, Slovakia, and UK. Coming from Philippines, I realized that even though we came from different countries with different health care systems and culture, we are the same when it comes to the global health challenges and future issues in nursing education that we faced in this time. The most exciting part of the study unit was the intensive collaborative group project on integrating contemporary and future issues in nurse and health professions education in curricula in higher education.

Photo by Gerd Altman, Pixabay

Students were encouraged to form groups and come up with a topic for their collaborative group project during the first online session. The topics of the group projects were: interprofessional education, leadership, competence-based education, and mental health. The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity highlighted the need to build a broader coalition to increase awareness of nurses’ ability  to play a full role in health professions practice, education, collaboration, and  leadership; the need to continue to make promoting diversity in the nursing workforce a priority; and the need for better data with which to assess and drive progress (National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine, 2021).

My experience working in an international team of learners is very rewarding. I admire the respectful atmosphere during the whole study course. There might be some misunderstandings due to miscommunications and language barrier, but at the end of the day, together we find solutions by communicating and clarifying things that seems to be unclear in a respectful and peaceful way. The uniqueness of every learner and wide array of expertise makes the learning process exciting and enjoyable.

Research evidence shows that collaborative group learning as pedagogical educational approach is effective for preparing students to work collaboratively with one another (Prichard et al., 2006; Sáiz-Manzanares et al., 2020). The impact of working in an international team of learners to my learning have improved my interpersonal skills and communication skills. Our mentors have shown us good example on how to facilitate collaborative learning and this skill is important to me personally as a nurse educator as I can use this approach in facilitating learning to my students. In conclusion, I can say that the course has empowered nurse educators like me by acquiring the updated knowledge and skills regarding the process of learning from multicultural group.

Image by Gordon Johnsson, Pixabay


National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine. (2021). The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity. The National Academies Press.

Prichard, J. S., Bizo, L. A., & Stratford, R. J. (2006). The educational impact of team-skills training: Preparing students to work in groups. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 76(1), 119–140.

Sáiz-Manzanares, M. C., Escolar-Llamazares, M. C., & Arnaiz González, Á. (2020). Effectiveness of Blended Learning in Nursing Education. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(5), 1589.

The author of this blog is Anndra Parviainen, a PhD-student form University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Sciences, Kuopio Campus Finland. Originally, she is from Philippines. She came to Finland to advance her nursing career year 2015. At present, she works as Project Researcher in UEF and as Global Education Designer. Issues related to precision medicine, personalized care, and the integration of genomics in nursing education are her main areas of interest and are also related to her dissertation.


Just having fun in EleneIP!


The author of this blog is Johanna Kero, a PhD-student form Tampere University(current) and University of Turku (former). She works as a nurse lecturer in Satakunta University of Applied Science. Her interest is to pilottest different digital learning environments and applications with students. Her motto is: pilots never fail!

Empowering Learning Environments in Nursing Education (EleneIP) –course is a modern and innovative study unit for nurse educators and educator candidates. The study unit originates from an Erasmus+ project over a decade ago (Salminen et al. 2016). Then a two-week intensive face-to-face study unit has been modified and modernized into a hybrid study unit consisting of both interactive and individual online working and a face-to-face intensive week.

The constantly renewing study unit is well established and has gained great popularity among both Finnish and international students. The signature features of the study unit are the warm and inviting international atmosphere and solid evidence base that is constantly reviewed, to maintain high quality and timely research evidence. ELENE-IP gives an opportunity not only to meet international students and nurse lecturers but also  new ideas how to advance nurse education. During the course participants have an opportunity to test many digital learning environments and applications such as Instagram, Reddit, Mentimeter, Powtoon, What’sApp and many others.

As a doctoral candidate of University of Turku, I had a great opportunity to be a part of international EleneIP-course in a role of tutor in autumn 2021.  The year earlier, Covid-19 pandemic forced the ELENE-IP to be organized online but it didn’t matter. It is known that virtual training workshops can provide numerous benefits to learners (Smith et al. 2021) and I agree since the use of digital applications mentioned earlier, even simulations, worked very well as an online workshops.

Students and teachers during ELENE IP 2021 in September 2021. Photo Anna Mäkinen.

In autumn 2021, the EleneIP had biggest number of participants than ever before, about 40. Participants represented 10 different nationalities. What made this year special, was the number of international students, which was boosted by the Erasmus+ funded New Nurse Educator project participation with additional 15 international students. In addition, for the very first time, the intensive week was arranged as a hybrid-model as well, meaning that some of the students completed the study unit fully online whereas others were able to enjoy the hybrid model with face-to-face intensive week. Even though a minority of participants were participating online, the distance-accessibility (Smith et al. 2021) was deemed essential for this international course at this time of pandemic. Online learning can be highly satisfying, increase knowledge and improve engagement to the subject (Kim et al. 2021). Furthermore, both hybrid and online studies can be equally good for students (Ainslie et al. 2021). The online students in ELENE-IP intensive week, were able to participate all education and group works, but they felt occasionally forgotten and invisible. This is something all educators need to remember, when utilizing simultaneous hybrid education. Inclusion of distance students may require just a little bit extra attention but it is worth your while.

As a summary, in my opinion after EleneIP-intensive week my knowledge and expertise of digital teaching increased both in class room and online. If you feel that you need more competence of digital learning and teaching, EleneIP-course is the answer: you learn by doing from both point of views of learner and teacher.


Ainslie, M., Capozzoli, M., & Bragdon, C. (2021). Efficacy of distant curricular models: Comparing hybrid versus online with residency outcomes in nurse practitioner education. Nurse education today, 107, 105146.

Kim S-Y, Kim S-J & Lee S-H. 2021. Effects of Online Learning on Nursing Students in South Korea during COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18(16): 8506

Salminen L, Gustafsson ML, Vilen L, Fuster P, Istomina N & Papastavrou E. 2016. Nurse teacher candidates learned to use social media during the international teacher training course. Nurse Education Today. 36, 354–359.

Smith T.S., Holland A.C., White T., Combs B., Watts P. & Moss J. 2021. A Distance Accessible Education Model: Teaching Skills to Nurse Practitioners. The Journal of Nurse Practitioners 17: 999-1003


Education of nurses and nurse educators in Germany

Author of the blog is Simone Campos Silva from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Germany is located in central Europe and has 83.1 million inhabitants, which means that it is the most populated member state of the European Union (Destatis, 2021). Germany is a federal republic with 16 federal states; each state is partly autonomous regarding its internal organisation. This independence applies, for example, to education and health.

Image: Johannes Ries, modified by NordNordWest

Nurse Education

With the new Nurse Professions Act of January 2020, there are now two ways of becoming a nurse in Germany (PflBG, 2017). One option is completing vocational training at vocational schools – this is equivalent to level 4 in the European Qualification Framework (EQF, 2017; Lehmann et al., 2019). This vocational training is the predominant way of educating nurses in Germany. There are approximately 1.200 vocational schools (BMFSFJ, 2021; Destatis, 2021). The vocational training takes up to three years and the nursing students receive a monthly salary during the training period, which increases every year (BIBB, 2020; BMFSFJ, 2021). The Nursing Professions Act introduced a new job title Pflegefachmann/ Pflegefachfrau (= nurse). This is a generalist education that combines general nursing, geriatric nursing and paediatric nursing. Still, nursing students have the possibility to specialise in geriatric nursing or paediatric nursing during their training (BIBB, 2020). In order to start vocational nursing training, students are required to have 10 years general education, meet certain health requirements and have a clean criminal record.

The second option to become a nurse in Germany is to go to university or university of applied sciences. This education is equivalent to level 6 in the European Qualification Framework (EQF, 2017; Lehmann et al., 2019). Depending on the source, there are between 30 or more than 40 universities offering nurse education, which lasts between 6-8 semesters (DBfK, 2016; BMFSFJ, 2021). When studying to become a nurse at a university or university of applied sciences, salaries are not regulated (BIBB, 2020). Nursing students receive the academic degree Bachelor of Science in addition to the job title Pflegefachmann/ Pflegefachfrau. In order to study at a university or university of applied sciences, nursing students are required to have 12 years general education.

References: BIBB (2020)1, BMFSFJ (2021)2, Destatis (2021)3, DBfK (2016)4, Lehmann et al. (2019)5, EQF (2017)6

Nurse Educator Education:

There is a very heterogeneous picture with regard to the education of nurse educators within Germany. In general, a distinction can be made between three different educational paths: Further education programs (EQF 4/5), bachelor programs (EQF 6) and master programs (EQF 7). Further education programs almost do not exist anymore but there are still numerous nurse educators teaching in vocational schools, who have been trained through these further education programs. In the last years, bachelor and master degree programs have emerged to train nurse educators. The Nursing Professions Act of 2020 specifies that a reasonable share of nurse educators must be trained at master level (PflBG, 2017). What exactly is meant by ‘reasonable share‘ is not defined.

In Germany, there are formal educational programs for nurse educators. According to the requirements of the Nursing Professions Act, these programs take place at master level at universities or universities of applied sciences – which is equivalent to level 7 in the European Qualification Framework (PflBG, 2017; EQF, 2017). Depending on the program, these master programs comprise between 60-120 ECTS and can be studied part-time or full-time. Funding is provided by the state. However, at private universities and universities of applied sciences tuition fees may apply.


Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB) (Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training) (2020): Pflegeausbildung aktuell. Modern, vielfältig und zukunftsfähig. URL: (15.11.2021)

Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (BMFSFJ) (Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth) (2021): Pflegeausbildung. Alles zur Ausbildung. URL: (15.11.2021)

Destatis Statistisches Bundesamt (2021): Statistik nach der Pflegeberufe-Ausbildungsfinanzierungsverordnung – 2020. URL: (15.11.2021)

Deutscher Berufsverband für Pflegeberufe (DBfK) (German Nurses Association) (2016): Position des DBfK zum Einsatz von primärqualifizierten Bachelor of Nursing in der Pflegepraxis. URL: (15.11.2021)

European Qualifications Framework (EQF) (2017): The European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning and repealing the recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning. URL: (15.11.2021)

Fachkommission nach Pflegeberufegesetz (2019): Rahmenpläne der Fachkommission nach § 53 PflBG. 2. überarbeitete Auflage. URL: (09.12.2021)

Lehmann Y, Schaepe C, Wulff I, Ewers M (2019): Pflege in anderen Ländern: Vom Ausland         lernen?. Heidelberg: medhochzwei.

Pflegeberufegesetz (Nurse Professions Act) (PflBG) (2017): Gesetz über die Pflegeberufe. URL: (20.12.2021)

Fig. 1: Map of Europe. Johannes Ries, modified by NordNordWest, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Evidence based teaching in nursing education – educators as key actors

The Authors of this blog post are:

Professor Terhi Saaranen, University lecturer Juha Pajari and Project researcher Anneli Vauhkonen from University of Eastern Finland.

In nursing we all know evidence based practice and how important it is in health care related decision making. Evidence based practice have many different definitions. WHO defines evidence based practice as an interdisciplinary decision making in clinical settings including the best available evidence, care context, client values and preferences and health care professionals’ professional judgement (WHO 2017). JBI defines evidence based healthcare as a decision making process that constitutes of feasibility, appropriateness, meaningfulness and effectiveness of healthcare practices. Nurse educators are in the vital role in development of EBP and facilitating students ability and attitudes to use evidence based practice in their future professions (WHO 2017). The same principles of EBP can be applied also in nursing education – to evidence based teaching (EBT) in nursing education.

Utilization of research in education is often preferred as searching research evidence about the learning content and updating the content. Evidence based teaching in nursing is seen from larger perspective. EBT is decision making including the best available evidence about learning, teaching, teaching methods, assessment, and other areas as well as expertise and judgment of the teacher and the preferences and goals of the learners. The ultimate goal of EBT is to improve student’s learning outcomes. (Oermann 2021.) EBT requires the commitment and competence of educators as well as resources to use evidence based information in their own activities. Perhaps one of the most important is the attitude towards EBT. A positive attitude creates commitment and a desire to develop EBT, which also requires the educator to continuously develop his or her skills.

Evidence based teaching can be thought of as being linked to all didactic stages of the whole curriculum process; directive, formative, functional, and evaluation stage. The directive stage is the foundation and guides the direction of the whole curriculum containing the philosophy such as the worldview of the nursing education, terms used in the field of nursing science discipline, expected competencies of the graduate and the theoretical framework such as learning theories and models. (Adapted Torres & Stanton 1982). The decision making in EBT process is tightly related to the surrounding environmental and organizational context (eg. international The EU Directive of recognition of professional qualifications and national regulation and local organization’s teaching curriculum design and requirements). In addition, educator considers the theories and concepts about learning and teaching (Oermann 2021).

The formative stage contains the curriculum design and requirements, course objectives and content map and is tightly linked to the directive stage. The third functional stage means the action in the level of specific courses containing the planning, implementation and evaluation of the course. EBT is commonly seen in the formative and functional stage when creating and developing courses. The evaluative stage is the assessment of the curriculum design process (Adapted Torres & Stanton 1982).

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

In this Erasmus+ funded project EBT in seen in directive stage with our bold aim to take the first steps in harmonizing the nurse educator education within Europe by research of nurse educator education and continuous education needs of nurse educators and by 30 ects transnational study programme for nurse educator and educator candidates. The study programme called Empowering the nurse educators in the changing world has been developed and it started in the autumn 2021 with positive feedback from participants. The study programme includes study units from current and future global health issues and education, competence in digital pedagogy and digital learning environments, ethics in nursing education and evidence based teaching. The usability of the study program and the learning outcomes are evaluated during the study programme. Next spring 2022, the University of Eastern Finland is leading the Evidence based teaching study unit where student can utilize EBT strategies learnt during this program in transnational teacher training. Teacher training will take place in all partner universities in this project. We hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will start to ease with the spring and that the students will be able to collaborate face-to-face and change good practices between participating countries.  

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler from Pexels

The Christmas is here, and it is time to calm down and enjoy the peaceful holiday season. This year in the project has been challenging because of corona pandemic, but also enjoyable with new encounters and learning experiences and of course evidence based action. Happy and peaceful Christmas time and joyful New Year to all.

Christmas greetings from Terhi, Juha and Anneli 

University of Eastern Finland (UEF) 

Faculty of Health Sciences  

Department of Nursing Science

A blog post from Terhi Saaranen in the blog of the Department of Nursing Science, University of Eastern Finland on 14 December 2021 has been utilized when writing this blog. Available at UEF blogs.


JBI 2021. JBI approach to EBHC. Available at

Oermann, M., De Gagne, J., & Phillips, B. (2021). Teaching in nursing and role of the educator: the complete guide to best practice in teaching, evaluation, and curriculum (third edition). Springer.​

Torres, G. & Stanton, M., 1982. Curriculum Process in Nursing A Guide to Curriculum Development. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

WHO 2017. Facilitating evidence-based practice in nursing and midwifery in the WHO European Region. Available at​

Welcome to our city and university

Fun Facts about Berlin and Charité

“All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore as a free man, I take pride in the words: Ich bin ein Berliner.” (John F. Kennedy 1963)

Author of the blog: Nicole Lallini, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Berlin Skyline, private photo.


Berlin is an exciting city: Berlin was divided and is now re-joined; Berlin is grey but also colourful; Berlin is traditional but also modern. We could probably go on like this indefinitely – and that is exactly what makes Berlin so special and interesting.

Berlin is the capital of Germany with currently 3.6 million inhabitants. The city is an energetic and lively metropolis which is constantly changing. Germany’s history is always present in Berlin because the Berlin Wall divided Berlin for many years into East and West Berlin – symbolizing the political powers of the cold war. Historical sites exist not only on the streets of the city (Eastside Gallery, Memorial Church), but there are also numerous museums and art works presenting the country’s culture and history. Berlin has its very own flair: each district is different and has its own little city in the middle of Berlin. For example, Friedrichshain is the students’ district, Kreuzberg has a lively bar and cultural scene, Charlottenburg symbolizes the old West Berlin, and Mitte is known for famous sights including the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin TV Tower, the Bundestag, Tiergarten or the Museum Island. Berlin is a multicultural city where people from all over the world live together. Berlin can also score with a lot of nature in the city and especially around the city. In no time, you can leave the city and relax in the forest or at the lake. Education is not neglected either in Berlin – four Berlin universities have joined forces to form the Berlin University Alliance: Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Charité and the Institute of Health and Nursing Science

Originally founded as a plague house outside of Berlin in 1710, the Charité can look back on more than 300 years of history. Nowadays, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin has clinics on four campuses and, with 3,001 beds, is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe. Research, teaching and patient care are closely interlinked. At the medical faculty, which is one of the largest in Germany, more than 8,600 students are trained in human medicine, dentistry as well as health sciences. In addition, there are 577 training places in 10 health professions (Text and image © Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin).

The Institute of Health and Nursing Science is one of Charité’s university institution and was founded in 1963. Since 2012 Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Ewers is the Director of the Institute. Students are able to study Health Sciences (B.Sc.) and Health Professions Education (M.Sc.) at the Institute. Educating the next generation of researchers and teachers in health and nursing sciences and promoting the development of the disciplines in Germany are the institute’s priority objectives. In particular, the Master’s program in Health Professions Education focuses on internationalisation, flexibility, interprofessionalism, research and practical study phases (Text © Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin). For more information visit:

Student life

Students studying at the Institute of Health and Nursing Science enjoy various benefits and discounts within Berlin. For example, they can use the public transport with their student ID and eat at reduced prices in the canteens of Charité’s various campuses. In addition, students receive reduced entrance fees to some of the city’s numerous museums (Museum Island, Museum of Medical History). Charité has also its very own Band “Die Echten Ärzte” (the real doctors) and a choir “Die Singing Shrinks” consisting of psychiatrists and neurologists – both are worth a listen. You can also demonstrate your linguistic and scientific skills at the Charité Science Slam. As you can see, Berlin and the Charité have a lot to offer. (Image:Student life at Charité, Pictures © Wiebke Peitz /Charité.)

We welcome you to come and study in Berlin and join John F. Kennedy (1963) by stating:

“Ich bin ein Berliner”.

Project experiences

New Ways Of Working On An Erasmus+ Project During The Covid-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learnt So Far

Author of the blog post is Dr. Michelle Camilleri from University of Malta.

When I was invited by my boss to join the New Nurse Educator Erasmus+ project back in September 2020 to represent Malta as one of the partners I immediately said yes without giving it, or Covid-19 much thought.  My passion for learning in practice, the development of nurse educators and nurse mentors probably clouded my judgement at the time, especially as the previous 6 months had been a very stressful and intense time. Like everyone else, I had been restricted to my home, juggling the kids online schooling, my own online work and the immense extra work the rapidly evolving Covid-19 pandemic created due to the restrictions, cancelled placements, academics requiring quick online teaching tutorials as well as the numerous unknowns that this virus brought with it.  Luckily, the European Commission allowed virtual exchange in (partial) replacement of physical exchange under the Erasmus+ mobility programme, so the project was able to start and continue (European University Association, 2020).

The thought of getting on a airplane at various moments during the academic year to meet up with other like-minded partners and work on our planned project was very enticing, and after having had an extremely stressful 6 months of “Covid-19 life”, I was looking forward to getting back to the normality of international work and travel! Only Covid-19 seems to be lingering around much longer than any of us wished! As I write this today, we have just completed our first year of the 3 year project without ever having met as a team in person. Like most other professionals, academics and students, our work became zoomified. There was no kick off meeting in Turku  and to this day, I have not yet had the opportunity to get to know each and every member of this project.

I would say at this point that this first year has been remarkably productive and interesting. The technology and everyone’s ability to use the technology was a huge asset. Furthermore, although we didn’t know each and every member on the project team, it was evident that several members were connected, possibly through previous international projects, exchange of students and/or other academic endeavours such as shared teaching, external examination and so on.  I didn’t know anyone on the project (apart from my boss), especially because I only joined after the application was worked on, submitted and approved.

Connecting with various members was difficult online, as coffee breaks and lunch breaks are those precious moments during international in person meetings, where you get to chit chat with different people and get to learn about them, what makes them tick and to perhaps continue with the discussions that would have just taken place prior to the break.  Consciously, I know that I have to work harder to get to know colleagues on this project in a very different way to what I am used to!  The social element of connecting within the professional world is so important and valuable, and the zoomification of our work on this project has truly highlighted the role that the social element plays in productivity and success. 

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Instead of coffee breaks, we talked about the weather, we talked about Covid-19 numbers, Covid-19 deaths as well as the latest restrictions or freedoms within our countries, and we talked about our nursing programmes, particularly how our students and academics were helping with contact tracing and vaccinations. Every meeting started with social covid-19 conversations, which in reality were wellbeing conversations (The TPHE Collective, 2020). I learned more and more about the other partner institutions, countries and cities as well as about the rise and fall of Covid-19. Most significantly, I learnt about how each member in our project team was feeling about the evolving situation. Using the limited view Zoom gives me of each person on my screen, I found myself focusing much more intensely on their facial expressions, the words they used and the tone of their voices. 

Has the technology been good or bad for our project? According to Alberti (2020), there are challenges and opportunities to work in this zoomified way, but put simply, the technology has enabled us to continue working on this project, and has ensured that we met our targets for the first year as laid out in our project application. For me personally, given that I have 2 small children under the age of 10, as well as two family members who were classified as extremely vulnerable, attending face to face meetings during this past year would have been simply impossible. I would have missed out greatly on connecting with the team, and would have definitely developed a huge sense of isolation. I also feel that I wouldn’t feel as connected to the project as I feel right now. Given the circumstances this pandemic has created, I feel that the technology has been a fantastic opportunity for us. Our learning of new ways of working has been steep. Technology is becoming such a crucial part of our working lives, and it will no doubt continue to shape our day to day working practices in the years to come. 

In spite of the amazing technology, today I still find myself looking forward to that first face to face meeting, even though we are still not entirely sure when this will happen. Nevertheless, when that face to face meeting will eventually happen, I feel that we will just pick up where we left off at the last Zoom meeting!

Here are some tips for anyone planning to work across borders when the borders are closed to travel:

  • Keep regular and frequent meetings
  • Talk about the weather! Always start with a round robin to hear how each “partner” is doing, where their country is at, and why not, an update on the weather conditions
  • Apply netiquette rules by keeping the cameras on and the microphones muted unless speaking
  • Use more technology – Have a repository/platforms where all documents are kept for quick and easy reference
  • Appreciate everyone is busy – Ensure important documents are sent a few days prior to the meeting – as time in the online meeting is limited so that each member who attends is prepared
  • Avoid individual isolation – Be mindful of the time, and ensure that each partner is actively involved in each meeting
  • Ensure connectivity – Carry out regular temperature checks, to gauge whether each partner is comfortable with the timings, pace and duration of the meetings
  • Recognise individuality – some members may need more time to engage virtually, than in person – and allow them the time and space to engage
  • Avoid individuals “zooming out” by keeping the meetings short
Image by Imane Elonen


Alberti, S. (2020, July 15). The “Zoomification” of work: Challenge or opportunity? HRD.

European University Association. (2020, September).

The TPHE Collective. (2020, May 6). The pandemic brings home the need to focus on humane and meaningful. Inside Higher Ed.

Nurse Educator Education

Connecting to the future

What is a brief history of nursing in Slovakia? If we had a time machine and could travel in time, first, we would go back to the 10th century to visit the first known shelters providing care for those in need. They were founded by Benedictines near the Monastery of Saint Hippolytus on the Zobor Hill near Nitra. The first monastic hospital was open in the area of modern Bratislava, the capital of modern Slovakia, in 1095. Other town hospitals were founded in other Slovakian towns in the 14th and 15th centuries. In them, both monks and civilians cared for the sick and dying travellers.

The next stop in our time travels would be in the Enlightenment Era (1717-1780), the period of Theresa’s and Joseph’s reforms which allowed new progressive elements in health care. The reforms limited the church’s influence and gradually improved care for the sick. In 1753, the first regional and town physicians (orig. fyzikusi) were named, and they introduced new hygienic measures. An important historic milestone for nursing in our area was 1770 when the Faculty of Medicine was founded at the Jesuit University in Trnava. For the first time in history, institutional education was required in both doctors and midwives.

We would also visit Janka Hrebendová, the Slovakian pioneer in nursing, who organised courses for women on wound care. Moreover, she organised care for the wounded in the battlefields in 1848. The first professional nursing school in the world established in London in 1860 significantly influenced the development of nursing in then Austria-Hungarian Empire too. So, we would witness publication of the first textbooks for nurses in Slovak. Nursing care was provided mostly to the sick in hospitals in poor working conditions.

Our next stop would be at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1914, when training for nurses became longer and included information on prevention, and health and social care both in theory and practice. In our time machine, we would celebrate the foundation of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918 and further development of nursing based on the experience of the Nursing School in Prague. The working conditions for nuns and civilian nurses, however, were still poor and demanding, both physically and psychologically. Humility, discipline, and obedience were required.

Flying through 1929, 1932 and 1933, we would see the establishment of new schools providing better nursing education and bringing some prestige to nurses.

The World War II was a period of care provided for the sick and wounded, and even abandoned children. After the War, in 1947, there were nine nursing schools in Slovakia. Political and societal changes after 1948 influenced nursing education too. Nurses were educated in secondary schools and their work was perceived as supplemental to medical care. Nurses were not independent; they were accepted only as assistants to doctors. Nursing in Slovakia was isolated from the developed countries. The nurses who gained information from abroad tried (often unsuccessfully) to introduce it in education and practice.

Our time machine would certainly stop in 1989, when political changes after the Velvet Revolution resulted in changes in all areas, including nursing. In the years to come, nursing was recognised as an independent scientific discipline focusing on university education, research, science, and international cooperation.

And here we are in 2021 and Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra is a proud partner in the international project – “A New Nurse Educator”.

Our travels continue to the future. In 2040, nursing in Slovakia …

Dana Zrubcová

Andrea Solgajová

Ľuboslava Pavelová

Welcome to our city and university

Here are some interesting facts about Kuopio for you

Hi, nice that you have found this blog. What do you know about Kuopio?

Kuopio is located in Eastern Finland in the middle of Finnish Lakeland and in the middle of nature, but still close to everything. Good transport connections by plane, train, bus or your own car enable easy arrival in Kuopio. On the other hand, it is quick to continue the journey from Kuopio to the Finnish capital Helsinki as well as to the well-known Lapland (looking from Southern Finland, Kuopio is located halfway to Lapland). The city of Kuopio is the core of North Savo province. 120,000 people live in Kuopio. Kuopio is a life-sized city where it is easy to find a balance between working, studying and leisure to create the perfect combination for your life. In Kuopio, you can live life at your own pace, in the middle of nature and the urban environment. The University of Eastern Finland (in pictue) is located next to the center of Kuopio, the university has 15,000 degree students (1000 international exchange and degree students every year). Teaching takes place in a student-centered way in modern learning environments. Meals for students are low priced. Of course, there is more to Kuopio than work and study, there are many opportunities for leisure time.

If you are only coming for a shorter visit, what do you expect from Kuopio? And what is Tahko? Borrowing the Kuopio-Tahko website, you can expect:

“Moments you wish would last forever. And Memories that will.”

Tahko is an outdoor tourism area formed around Tahko (small mountain). So if you’re coming in the winter, don’t forget your snowboard. In summer, book a mountain bike or hiking equipment. On the other hand, you can just freshen up at a spa hotel or cottages while enjoying good restaurants with local food. It is about an hour by bus from Kuopio to Tahko. There are also a lot of activities in Kuopio. Are you an outdoor person or do you have a better time in an urban environment? Inland cruises, nature trails and the Puijo outdoor area are sure to offer something to experience for longer distances as well. Do you dare to climb the Puijo Tower to see the lovely scenery? (see picture, the tower is in it) In the center of Kuopio you will find award-winning restaurants (Kuopio and the province of North Savo is the first region in Finland to receive the European Region of Gastronomy Award), newly renovated museum and port area, theaters and.. Just ask what you need. Bring a friend, borrow an electric city bike Vilkku and head out to explore the city! And that Kuopio-based celebrity, “muikkukukko”. What or who it is, come find out.

See you in Kuopio!

Best regards, team of the Department of Nursing Science, University of Eastern Finland

Juha, Anneli and Terhi

Find out more:


Kuopion alue

Department of Nursing Science

Nurse Educator Education

Creating occupational well-being through the competence of health care educators – development from project activities?

It is important to ensure the competence and occupational well-being of health care educators at different career stages, as the high employee turnover caused by the retirement of health care educators will cause a shortage of skilled and proficient workforce. At the same time, the ageing of the population increases the demand for social and health services. While increasing digitalisation at work can be perceived as a work resource, it may also cause burden if employees lack the required skills. The coronavirus pandemic has also challenged educators as it has led to an increase in remote education, and many teachers have been quick to adopt a variety of education technology solutions. Overall, we should pay attention to the fact that the competence and more extensive occupational well-being of health care educators significantly contributes to ensuring the high quality of nursing (Hyvärinen et al. 2018, Saaranen et al. 2020).

Currently, the education for health care educators is highly heterogenous at the European level. High-quality education and training for health care educators promotes rising up to the above challenges that teachers face in their profession. Uniform education in health also fosters better workforce mobility at the international level. The following paragraphs examine the situation of professional competence as part of occupational well-being and reflect on the significance of the project and development activities as a “tool” of change.

Professional competence as part of occupational well-being

The complexity of the concept of occupational well-being poses challenges to developing occupational well-being. The definition of occupational well-being usually includes meaningful work, the working environment, health, safety and well-being, and psychosocial factors (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 2021). The comprehensive concept of occupational well-being can be divided into four areas: worker and work, working conditions, professional competence and working community. Research has found that each area affects occupational well-being (Saaranen et al. 2020.) Occupational well-being can be considered as a process of empowerment of individuals and their community (Figure 1). Empowering both individuals and communities requires maintaining a balance between employee resources and stress factors in relation to job demands. 

Figure 1. Occupational well-being of health care educators as a process of empowerment and related factors (Saaranen et al. 2020). 

According to research, there has been an increase in stress factors in the work of educators, reflected as an increase in work-related stress and an experience of finding working hours insufficient for managing all work tasks (Golnick & Ilves 2020, Singh 2020). The work of educators is perceived as physically undemanding but mentally taxing. High stress levels and job burnout have been found to be connected to the quantitative and emotional demands of work (Singh 2020) and reduce job satisfaction and life management (Arian et al. 2018, Singh 2020).  These also undermine workforce productivity and commitment, increase sickness absences and shorten careers. As a result, there is need for development activities, but what should these look like and be founded on?

Foundation on a resource-based view – can a project facilitate change?

Resource-based (e.g. Saaranen et al 2020) activities promoting occupational well-being include mostly preventive activities aiming at maintaining work ability. Based on the above division of occupational well-being into four different areas (worker and work, working conditions, professional competence and work community), professional competence plays a key role in this context. A competent employee manages the requirements of work and is better equipped to maintain a balance between resources and stressors. Nevertheless, few studies have concerned the competence of health care educators at the global level. Research in the area has been primarily conducted in Australia, United Kingdom, USA and Finland. In Finland, research in the area has been carried out since the 1990s.

The currently ongoing A New Agenda for Nurse Educator Education Within Europe (New Nurse Educator) is a three-year Erasmus+ funded research and development project. This project aims to take the first steps in harmonizing the nurse educator education within Europe and it is implemented in collaboration between six countries and seven universities: University of Turku and University of Eastern Finland from Finland, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin/Humboldt University from Germany, University of Malta from Malta, The University of Edinburgh from Scotland, Konstantine the Philosopher University in Nitra from Slovakia and Universitat Internacional de Catalunya from Spain.  The project involves developing health care educator training with the help of extensive national interview and questionnaire studies and systematic literature reviews using an evidence-based approach. The project also involves producing a 30-credit supplementary training module for health care educators.

We believe that this project can be perceived as a tool for promoting the competence of health care educators and developing more uniform education. The journey itself is as important as its destination. The change requires new ways of thinking and operating, systematic experimentation and continuously learning together – this joint endeavour enables all of us to learn together with our national and international colleagues.

Summer greetings from Terhi, Anneli and Juha

University of Eastern Finland (UEF)

Faculty of Health Sciences

Department of Nursing Science

Picture: University of Eastern Finland

Professor (acting) Terhi Saaranen                                                       

UEF Connect     

Project researcher Anneli Vauhkonen

UEF Connect

University Teacher Juha Pajari
UEF Connect


Arian M, Soleimani M. & Oghazian, M. 2018. Job satisfaction and the factors affecting satisfaction in nurse educators: A systematic review. Journal of Professional Nursing, 34(5), 389–399.

Golnick T. & Ilves V. 2020. Opetusalan työolobarometri 2020. accessed 24.5.2021.

Hyvärinen K, Saaranen T. & Tossavainen K. 2017. Ammatillinen osaaminen työhyvinvoinnin osana – kyselytutkimus terveysalan opettajille. (A teacher’s professional competence as part of occupational wellbeing – A questionnaire survey for Finnish health care teachers.) Hoitotiede (Journal of Nursing Science) 29 (4), 252–263.

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. 2021. Wellbeing at work. 25.5.2021.

Saaranen T, Kankkunen P. & Juntunen A. 2020. Terveysalan opettajien työhyvinvointi ja sen edistäminen– työntekijän ja hänen työnsä näkökulma. (The status and promotion of the occupational well-being of health care teachers – the perspective of workers and their work.) Hoitotiede (Journal of Nursing Science) 32(3), 154–165.

Singh C, Cross W, Munro I. & Jackson D. 2020. Occupational stress facing nurse academics—A mixed‐methods systematic review. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 29(5-6), 720–735.