U. Kjerland, K. Johannessen, P. Kahn

Oslo University College (NORWAY)
Background and goals:
Nursing includes initiatives to promote health and to prevent sickness in healthy populations as well as groups at risk. For a nurse, promoting health and preventing disease will include preventing failing health and strengthening factors that promote health and quality of life for each person in society. To achieve this, nurses need knowledge about the connections between health and illness on an individual, national and global level.
Project organized clinical studies focuses on students achieving competency relevant for preventive health care and promoting health work. Emphasis is placed on using research based knowledge, the research process and project methodology as well as competency in working in groups.

Organization and contents of project based clinical studies:
A group of students write a project report of 10 000 words based on 8 weeks of project based clinical studies.
Each group is assigned to a clinical study site in a city district. Family clinics, obstetric and natal units, refugee centers and Gay and Lesbian Health Norway are typical assignment sites.
The students must design a project that reflects health promotion and preventive health care, initiatives, living conditions for urban children and adolescents.
The project refers to national initiatives, students study national focus areas related to childhood and adolescence and collect data related to areas focused in the nursing fields.
The Project is presented to the staff at the clinical study site, and as a poster to fellow students at the Faculty of Nursing. The students present a refereed research article relevant to the topic of their project.
The project group has advisement sessions with a faculty member once a week, where both the product and the process are in focus. The group also has an external advisor, functioning as a consultant for the group. His/her responsibilities include providing information about the clinical study site and city district, discussing relevant topics for the project and facilitating the groups clinical study period. The group is offered clinical study based on observation.

Collaborating in a learning community:
Students actively work together on how group participants collaborate, evaluate their own participation and resolve conflicts. This is documented in a process report which is written at the end of the clinical study period. The Faculty of Nursing bases its pedagogical philosophy on socio-cultural learning, where an emphasis is based on learning through interaction and participation between people. Learning arises from communication between teachers, professionals, fellow students and others. The ICT platform ”Fronter” is used as a pedagogical tool for writing the project report.

Evaluation of project based clinical studies:
We experience that students develop themselves as professionals and learn a great deal by presenting a project to a clinical study site staff and for fellow students. Project based clinical studies initiates development projects in the clinical study field. Development projects run by the Gay and Lesbian Health Norway demonstrate this. Project based clinical studies can be run in English, and we welcome students potential exchange students to apply.