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Reaction paper #2

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A reaction paper on the article "Nursing education in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden– from

A reaction paper on the article "Nursing education in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden– from
Bachelor’s Degree to PhD"

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    Reaction paper #2 Reaction paper #2 Document Transcript

    • RUNNING HEAD Journal Sharing #1 Reaction Paper #1 Maria Carmela L. Domocmat Saint Louis University
    • Journal Sharing #1 2 This article entitled “Nursing Education in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden --from Bachelors Degree to PhD” provides a comparative survey of various structures ofeducation programme from baccalaureate to the post-baccalaureate from 1990 to 2008 in fourEuropean countries. The study is delimited to Scandinavian countries that are included in theBologna Declaration. It was found out that substantial differences in the educational structures,contents and lengths in the different nursing programmes do exist despite the BolognaDeclaration and Tuning Educational Structures in Europe. Bologna Declaration indicated thatdegree programmes should be organized and standardized in both undergraduate and graduatelevels. It “has put in motion a series of reforms needed to make European Higher Educationmore compatible and comparable, more competitive and more attractive for Europeans and forstudents and scholars from other continents (European commission education and training, 2011,Feb 24). The project “Tuning Educational Structures in Europe” provides a point of referenceand convergence among universities for their degree programmes. It is the response of theuniversities to the challenge of the Bologna Declaration which reflects the idea of “tuning” theiracademic structures (Tuning Project, 2011). The project builds on previous endeavors to enhanceinter-university cooperation, and aims to identify generic and specific competencies for nursinggraduates at all levels. Nevertheless, despite the European Union agreement of the harmonizationof the degree programs it is evident that various Scandinavian countries education programmesare not entirely harmonized. The most prominent similarity in all Scandinavian countries is that nursing education isorganized in three cycles in accordance with the Bologna Process. The three cycles include the(1) baccalaureate or undergraduate programme, (2) master’s programme, and (3) doctoral
    • Journal Sharing #1 3programme. Nonetheless there are differences in the names and terms of degrees and allocationof ECTS credits. There are concerns regarding the names and terms of degrees. For instance, Master’sdegrees are called candidate degrees in Denmark but in Finland, the term candidate refers to anacademic degree in the first cycle. Thus, it is impossible to compare the content and level ofdifferent degrees in the Scandinavian countries based only on the name and title classifications. The ECTS credits or the European credit transfer and accumulation system is a student-centered system based on the student workload required to achieve the objectives of aprogramme. There are several purposes for this credit system. First, it makes study programmeseasy to read and compare for all students, local and foreign. Moreover, it facilitates mobility andacademic recognition. Finally, it helps universities to organize and revise their studyprogrammes. “ECTS is based on the principle that 60 credits measure the workload of a fulltimestudent during one academic year. The student workload of a full-time study programme inEurope amounts in most cases to around 1 500 to 1 800 hours per year and in those cases onecredit stands for around 25 to 30 working hours” (European Commission, 2004). The articlefeatures that there is disparity on the allocation of ECTS credits among the Scandinaviancountries. For instance, in the baccalaureate program Finland and Denmark both require 210ECTS credits (i.e., 4200 to 6300 working hours) while Norway and Sweden has only 180. Whilein the master’s program Finland has 120 credits while Denmark has only 60-90. And Denmark isthe only one among the four Scandinavian countries that has prerequisite of two to five yearswork experience. Moreover, in the doctorate degree programme two countries require 180 creditswhile Sweden has only 140 ECTS credits.
    • Journal Sharing #1 4 Although this article was written in the context of the European countries it has varioussimilarities to our country. First, we often hear the phrase “only in the Philippines” wheneverthere are “unique” or probably appalling circumstances happening in our country. But this articlehas opened my eyes that we are not that different from other countries. Developed countries,such as those in Europe are also struggling not only in their ongoing education reforms but alsofor nurses’ professional recognition more so with the academic anchoring of nursing practice,education, and research which have been continuing throughout the past century. Europeancommission education and training (2011, Feb 24) states that “reform was needed then andreform is still needed today if Europe is to match the performance of the best performing systemsin the world, notably the United States and Asia.” I do also believe that the renovation on nursingprofession and practice being done in our country is essential if we want to be competitive in theworldwide need for nurses. Further, I believe there are several things that we learn in the Scandinavian educationsystem. For instance, in Sweden we have certain similarities of situation with their educationalprogramme. In Sweden student nurses are educated for knowledge-based work, which meansusing evidence-based nursing, experience-based nursing, and focusing on client-participation.But in Denmark, students are expected to work as reflective practitioners. They are expected toprovide total care for patients and develop methods for assessing, reflecting, planning,conducting, evaluating, and developing nursing and assisting medical treatment. This, I think, isone important aspect that we should include and emphasize in our educational reform. Inaddition, I noticed that they have allotted 12 to 20 ECTS credits for dissertation of research (i.e.,360 to 600 hours). Probably if we want future students to be research-oriented, we should allotmore time for this aspect in the curriculum. Lastly, the minor subjects in these countries are only
    • Journal Sharing #1 5provided minute percentage in their curriculum. In the case of social science, two countries (i.e.,Finland and Denmark) only allot 6 and 10 credits respectively, while another (i.e., Sweden) doesnot have any units for minor subjects at all. I do agree that having minor subjects, such aseconomics and Philippine Constitution are significant in some sense. But the 87 units (i.e., 43%)of general education subjects out of the total 202 units in nursing curriculum being implementedin the country is too much. To lessen, some of these subjects should be combined, such asincorporating Rizal to the Philippine History or the Philosophy of Man with theSociology/Anthropology subject. Probably eradicating some other minor subjects could also befeasible. Lastly, I observed we have the same goal which is the employability of nurses. Theauthors, Råholm and colleagues, assert that “a challenge for the ministries of education …is tocompare and coordinate nursing educational programmes in order to enable nursing students,educators, researchers and nurses to study and work… globally”. It is important to note that thegoal of employability, in particular, is closely connected with the degree of the educationalstructure we have. Policymakers in nursing education need to consider this more carefully in theplanning and implementation of Bachelor’s level nurse education and in the pathways to furthereducation. Although we do have our own uniqueness as a country, nevertheless, it is essential toexamine common features of the nursing programmes with developed countries in order toachieve international standards. For example, the plan in Saudi Arabia to have an additionaltraining for Filipino nurses in order to be more competent in caring for Arabian patients wastruly a good “plan” but was not implemented because of the change in government officials(Lacanaria, 2012, July 29). Hence, legislators, policymakers, and nursing leaders should workhand in hand in order to provide a better quality of education that is internationally competitive
    • Journal Sharing #1 6and produce competent and dedicated nurses. Set aside personal agenda and work for betterprograms. ReferenceEuropean Commission. (2004). European credit transfer and accumulation system (ECTS): Key features. Retrieved from European Commission database http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/publ/pdf/ects/en.pdfEuropean Commission Education and Training. (2011, Feb 24). The Bologna process - towards the European higher education area. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/education/higher- education/doc1290_en.htmLacanaria G. (2012, July 29). Trend and issues in nursing lecture. Saint Louis University, Baguio City.Råholm, M., Hedegaard, B., Löfmark, A., & Sletteb, Å. (2010). Nursing education in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden -- from Bachelors Degree to PhD. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(9), 2126-2137. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05331.Tuning Project. (2011). Tuning education structures in Europe: Reference points for the design and delivery of degree programmes in nursing. Retrieved from http://www.unideusto.org/tuningeu/images/stories/key_documents/tuningnursingfinal.pdf