A qualitative document analysis of national guidelines in Nordic nursing education using the European Federation of Nurses Associations Competency Framework

Lotta Eronen, Camilla Strandell-Laine, Sigrid Wangensteen, Anna Anåker, Hrund Scheving Thorsteinsson, Margrét Hrönn Svavarsdóttir, Jette Henriksen, Lisbeth Fagerström

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Initial harmonization has been found within nursing education in the European Union member states, but with a need for the establishment of further, well-defined standards. The aim of this study was to describe and analyze the main content of nursing education expressed in national guidelines in the Nordic countries, seen as comparisons between the countries and to the European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN) Competency Framework. A qualitative deductive research method and content analysis were applied to analyze 20 documents, using the EFN Competency Framework as a theoretical framework and analysis matrix. The study was performed in line with the Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research (SRQR) checklist. Variations in structure between the included countries was seen and evident uniformity was lacking. There were differences, e.g. the number of European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits needed for a degree that needs to be further explored in relation to the quality of education and the competence of newly qualified nurses. There is a question of whether the EU Framework corresponds to the need for nursing competencies for today and the future. Homogenization of guidelines and structures might facilitate further development and deeper collaboration between the Nordic countries, thereby leading to enhanced patient safety and care quality.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Nursing Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023

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