Sustainability -what will stay behind?


SmartNurse project's three year cycle is coming to an end. What will stay alive of this joint effort? Sustainability has been a topic much discussed and revised during the whole project life cycle. For instance, concrete action plans by each HEI and jointly were formed and followed based on external evaluation.

SmartNurse partners have formed a methodology to increase active learning and digital competences within nursing education. The upgraded courses and affiliations will affect the learning outcomes of many nursing students. Also, the gained competences, connections and new innovative mindset will stay and grow even after the project work is finished.

The partner teams report that the authorities in their HEI’s are very positive about the project results and are committed to enable the sustainability within their nursing education. Partners see as one of the key elements of sustainability the maintenance of specific training processes with the different entities of the university with the purpose of incorporating active teaching methodologies. Teacher capacity building regarding the active learning methods and digital pedagogical competences has already been established as part of the bi-annual staff training. They also aim further: In UES already the maternal and child careers, anesthesiology, nutrition, radiology teachers were incorporated to the digital tools workshops, and now negotiations are held with the director of the 10 careers of health sciences to incorporate the digital tools workshop to the continuing education of all teachers. At the moment, all the partner country HEIs use the SmartNurse Methodology enhanced courses in their curricula and are planning to expand the use to wide range of courses. The curriculum integration in the nursing programs gives strong basis for the continuation of the use of the methodology.

In order to guarantee the sustainability of the results, partners have developed collaboration agreements between consortium HEI’s. Two agreement has been established and signed, and nine are under process. The project team members from LA HEI’s have also formed a steering group and plan to continue to meet twice a year to reflect on teaching practices and establish common agreements. They remain active agents within their work community and between the partner HEIs to maintain permanent training processes of each HEI, both internally and externally. The members of the steering group will continue to meet twice a year to reflect on teaching practices and establish common agreements. They also have a plan for permanent Nursing Seminars in collaboration with SmartNurse partners as well as further research collaboration.

The authorities have provided financial support and commitment to give continuity to the project by implementing in the annual plans of the faculty the budget for the purchase of biomedical and technological equipment. The Covid-pandemic increased the awareness of the importance of the technological infrastructure and investments to it also among the HEI authorities. There are concrete examples of investments: in UES, the authorities of the School of Medicine arranged for the nursing program to have a Huawei Ideahub interactive screen in each classroom and procedure room. Project members are committed to maintain communication and management with the authorities for the technological maintenance that will allow the continuous implementation of active teaching strategies in the programs of the subjects. Partner teams plan to provide preventive revisions every six months of the equipment with the support of IT personnel and monitor and evidence the adequate use.