Internationalisation of education is one of the targets of Hanze University Groningen. The School of Nursing has also developed an active policy for importing and exporting knowledge. Europe, with its open borders, places particular demands on the people we train. Which is why experience of cultural diversity and insight into international aspects of nursing practice are essential components of our programme curriculum. This is expressed, among other ways, in the IP weeks and our participation in the Florence Network.
Every year the Academy of Nursing organizes an ‘International Intensive Programme’ (IP). Dutch students and tutors from our school work together with colleagues and students from Finland, Sweden, Norway, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, Scotland and the United States of America.
Rationale and background
During the last 10 years, the School of Nursing of Hanze University Groningen has successfully organized Intensive Programmes (IP) on themes related to “quality of care”: development and implementation into clinical practice and education. Emphasis has been on a multidisciplinary approach: multidisciplinary communication, multidisciplinary classification models in healthcare, multidisciplinary care plans.
Traditionally, disciplines in Healthcare are working separately. This applies especially to Central, eastern and Southern European countries. Therefore, finding ways and methods to improve multidisciplinary cooperation, with respect to different cultural backgrounds, between healthcare workers is a big challenge.
One of the conclusions of the last IP was that the concept of so called clinical pathways play an ever more important role in healthcare. The aim of a clinical pathway is to offer patient centred and efficient care. The clinical pathway shows which route a patient passes, and which actions have to be undertaken at which moment and by which discipline/professional.
Effectiveness and efficiency in healthcare is an important issue in all EU countries. The concept of clinical pathways and multidisciplinary cooperation contribute to this. More and more research (see the web-link below) shows that working with clinical pathways has positive effects on quality, effectiveness and efficiency of patient care.
The methodology of the clinical pathway leads to an improved multidisciplinary standard treatment and care plan for a specific group of patients. For example patients with broken hip, patients with breast cancer or patients suffering from instant confusion. The plan covers the total patient process and is not confined to a clinical setting only – it can also describe a non-clinical patient process.
Improvements for the patients themselves are: better information, more clarity in who is doing what and when. Also, the standardised procedure leads to a decrease in complications. At this moment, however, working with clinical pathways is hardly included in the curricula of schools/departments of Nursing/Healthcare in Europe (and beyond). Therefore, this theme is chosen for the next series of IP’s to be organized.
In view of the above, it is quite clear that an interdisciplinary approach is vital in making the concept work. Therefore, the participants of the IP will come from different fields of study: Nursing, Paramedical Studies and Social Work.
More information about clinical pathways and research in this field can be found on the following websites:
The Florence Network
The Florence Network also helps us make a substantial international contribution. The Florence Network is a network of 30 universities and universities of professional education in Europe which was initiated and expanded by the School of Nursing (www.Florence-network.info). One of the goals of this network is to exchange nursing students and tutors. All of which shows that our school sees nursing from a broad international perspective.
Florence Network was established in 1995 at Hanze University Groningen. It is a specific Nursing and Midwifery Network where 34 universities or schools for higher education from several European countries are co-operating in.
The main goals are to:
- make Nursing and Midwifery more visible in Europe,
- exchange students and teachers,
- compare curricula and improve quality of our Nursing and Midwifery education,
- co-operate in research in the Nursing and Midwifery workfield,
- develop European projects and intensive programs,
- participate in realization of the Bologna agreements in Europe,
- get accreditation for Nursing and Midwifery education in Europe.