Project

Nursing and caregiving qualifications

Launched on behalf of OdASanté, this project involves the use of several different methodologies to provide a consolidated understanding of future requirements in the area of comprehensive nursing. The research entails consultation of various data sources and different groups of professionals. An illustrative approach will show how new competence requirements can be taken into account in the review and revision of training programmes.

Altenpfleger hilft älterem Mann aus Rollstuhl ins Bett
Kzenon / Adobestock

The review and revision of training programmes in the nursing and caregiving field is an extraordinarily complex endeavour, firstly because there is a wide range of different qualifications and secondly because the healthcare field is a dynamic one where many different professionals interact with one another in a dense network of interfaces. This makes review and revision of training programmes an extraordinarily complex endeavour. Not only do the individual training ordinances need to be kept up-to-date and further developed, they must also be coordinated in terms of the division of labour in interprofessional teams. This requires a set of tools and a coordinated approach enabling individual nursing and caregiving qualifications to be adapted and aligned with each other at regular intervals in response to new and changing requirements on the labour market.

The project ‘Nursing and Caregiving Qualifications’ is intended to serve this purpose. OdASanté has commissioned SFUVET to develop tools and methods for the coordinated review and revision of current and future training programmes and qualifications in nursing and caregiving.

The objectives are:

  1. Identify trends: highlight changed or new requirements for comprehensive nursing and caregiving based on key (evidence-based) influencing factors (working hypothesis for the project).
  2. Develop a system for professional competences that is not tied to the very differently structured training ordinances for nursing and caregiving.
  3. Compare desired-actual situation of each professional activity: verify that the professional competences covered by selected nursing and caregiving qualifications are aligned with the changed and new requirements identified in the nursing and caregiving fields.
  4. Compare desired-actual situation of each professional activity: verify that individual qualifications/ordinances are coherent in terms of transition points, permeability and structure.
  5. Manage knowledge: generate and use kno

    The review and revision of training programmes in the nursing and caregiving field is an extraordinarily complex endeavour, firstly because there is a wide range of different qualifications and secondly because the healthcare field is a dynamic one where many different professionals interact with one another in a dense network of interfaces.

    dge and developed models, terminology, tools and methods (i.e. ensure that they are implemented, developed further and transferred).

The following qualifications will be taken into account in the pursuit of these objectives: Certified Nursing Assistant, Federal VET Certificate (Assistent/in Gesundheit und Soziales Pflege EBA, two-year VET programme, upper-secondary level qualification); ‘Licenced Practical Nurse, Federal VET Diploma’ (Fachfrau/mann Gesundheit EFZ, three-year VET programme, upper-secondary level qualification); Registered Nurse, Federal Diploma of Higher Education, Option: Long-Term Care’ (Fachfrau/mann Langzeitpflege FA, tertiary-level professional qualification); Registered Nurse, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education PEI (Pflegefachfrau/mann HF, tertiary-level professional qualification); Registered Nurse, UAS Bachelor’s degree (BSc in Pflege FH ); Palliative Care Specialist, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education (Fachexpertin/Fachexperte Palliative Care HFP, tertiary-level professional qualification); Geriatric and Psychogeriatric Care Specialist, Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education (Fachexpertin/Fachexperte in geriatrischer und psychogeriatrischer Pflege HFP, tertiary-level professional qualification). Master’s degrees such as the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) qualification will also be included in the analyses.

When we refer to competences, we mean professional competences from a vocational pedagogical perspective: i.e. the ability to perform tasks relating to a given professional activity. This project does not address legal questions on how professional competences are applied in practice (e.g. based on a person’s job profile).

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Method

The following four questions will guide research activities: 

  1. What future demands will be placed on nursing and caregiving professions, particularly as a result of changes in caregiving structures, control and funding systems as well as social, societal and technological developments in the health care field?
  2. How closely do the professional competences covered in nursing and caregiving training programmes match current and future requirements? What indications show a need for review and revision of existing training programmes and qualifications?
  3. How closely are the professional competences covered in nursing and caregiving training programmes aligned with one another, thereby ensuring that current and future nursing and caregiving requirements are met? What indications show a need for review and revision to ensure interfaces and permeability between existing training programmes and qualifications?
  4. What methods and instruments can be used to develop a comprehensive and consolidated picture of future nursing and caregiving qualifications and to implement these in a coordinated manner when reviewing and revising training programmes and qualifications? How are the particularities of specific linguistic regions taken into account and how can this approach be applied to other health care professions or occupational fields?

Research will be conducted on the basis of selected nursing and caregiving qualifications at all levels within the Swiss education system.

Research will be carried out in four phases.

Milestone 1 (August 2020 - September 2021)

The main objective of Milestone 1 will be to elaborate the basic concept and content. The first step will be to develop hypotheses on relevant developments/trends affecting future nursing and caregiving requirements and training programmes. These hypotheses will be based on scientific evidence, contextual requirements, the personal preferences of patients/clients and the knowledge and experience of professionals (cf. Behrens & Langer, 2010). The second step will be to prepare a cross-occupational classification of nursing and caregiving activities to describe current and future competence requirements. This will enable comparison of current and future competences covered in the various training programmes in nursing and caregiving, regardless of the structure of the corresponding training ordinances. 

In August 2020, SFUVET launched sub-project 1, which aims to develop hypotheses on relevant nursing and caregiving trends and create tools for cross-occupational analysis. The systematic review of national and international literature for researchers and practitioners will enable new nursing and caregiving requirements to be identified in several cycles. At the same time, this literature review will allow tools to be developed for cross-occupational analysis of the various competences. The research will build on the trend monitoring activities of the Swiss Observatory for Vocational Education and Training and will be conducted in cooperation with the Institute for Nursing Science, University of Basel. The results will then be validated, weighted and further developed in two rounds of expert surveys and focus groups representing all qualification levels and linguistic regions as well as interdisciplinary health care professionals. This will provide tools and a frame of reference that can be used for subsequent project milestones in which the working hypotheses for new competence requirements will be transferred to the various training programmes in nursing and caregiving and then discussed. This procedure will also create a common basis for understanding the different levels and dimensions of competence descriptions for nursing and caregiving activities. This will make it easier to better coordinate the review and revision of training programmes and qualifications in the future.

Milestone 2 (November 2021 - March 2022)

The main objective of Milestone 2 will be to analyse the current and future competence requirements of nursing and caregiving qualifications. Workshops involving experts and professionals will be held (Rauner & Kleiner, 2004) both in Milestone 2 and Milestone 3. In Milestone 2, the focus will be on assessing coherence within individual training programmes. However, initial work will also be done on interfaces between existing qualifications and other qualifications. These results will be validated through consensus.

Milestone 3 (April 2022 - June 2022)

The main objective of Milestone 3 will be to conduct a second analysis of the validated current and future nursing and caregiving requirements, with emphasis on interfaces between professionals who hold different qualifications but work together in interprofessional teams. Researchers will also look at requirements to be met to ensure permeability within the education system. As in Milestone 2, workshops involving experts and professionals will be held. In order to work towards a consensus, a participatory consensus procedure will again be used in the group.

Milestone 4 (August 2022 - December 2022)

The main objective of Milestone 4 will be to transfer and manage knowledge, with specific emphasis being placed on reporting and documentation. The entire procedure, results, methods, tools and models will all be documented and made accessible in a lasting manner. The final report will provide indications on whether individual professional activities will require review and revision. The report will also include recommendations on how project tools and research findings may be used in OdASanté’s own review and revision process. We will also formulate recommendations on how this same approach may be applied to other professions and occupational fields. The overall process will be subject to critical assessment. Presentations will be prepared and given to the client’s working groups and committees upon request.

Use of research findings (summer 2023)

SFUVET’s lead researcher responsible for this project will work closely with OdASanté's project manager so that current committees or universities of applied sciences may adapt their existing training ordinances on the basis of research findings. The ‘Nursing qualifications’ platform will serve as the project's monitoring group.