1 University of Turku (FINLAND)
2 University of Padua (ITALY)
3 Kingston University & St George's University of London (UNITED KINGDOM)
4 Dublin City University (IRELAND)
5 Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico de Lisboa (PORTUGAL)
6 Kaipeda County Hospital (LITHUANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Page: 5759 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Background: The professional competence of nursing personnel in mental health care has been declared to be a major challenge in Europe: more than 27% of adult Europeans are estimated to experience at least one form of mental ill health during any one year. At the same time, stigmatisation, discrimination, disrespect for the human rights, and the dignity of mentally ill and disabled people still persists, challenging core European values. The professional competence of nurses is the central factor affecting the quality of nursing care in general, including psychiatric nursing. The problem is that the education of psychiatric nurses varies widely in European countries and elsewhere. The length of nursing education, the body awarding the educational qualification and the educational level varies as well. Moreover, the guidelines and recommendations concerning education are also heterogeneous. The shortcomings of coherent and accurate vocational and higher education are detrimental to the quality of health care services and research causing problems for labour market.

Rationale and goal: In order to reform education offered for European nurses working in the field of mental health care, it is important to be aware of educational needs and existing educational provision in various European countries. The goal of this presentation is to describe an innovative process where an international curriculum was designed and developed based on skill needs analysis among nurses working in psychiatric hospitals.

Methods: The analysis based on the data collected in six countries (Finland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, England) related to the management of distressed and disturbed patients in psychiatric hospitals and inpatients units. The skill need analysis included the following phases: 1) focus group interviews with nurses (pilot N=69 and total N =130); 2) survey of nurses’ attitudes to mental patients (pilot N = 121 and a proper survey N = 1243, n = 861); 3) prevalence of seclusion room in selected hospital organisations wards; 4) survey of existing and desired continuing vocational training provision in selected participant country organisations. Based on this analysis, a curriculum for eLearning course was developed for continuing vocational education.

Discussion: During the project lifetime, the strong international network was developed. National and international collaboration and visits between organisations helped to achieve the project goals and mutual understanding between partners. The project is a good example how international curriculum for eLearning at the European area can be developed. Challanges of the international project and collaboration will be also discussed.
Curriculum development, international collaboration.