Type of Degree
Study programme's generic objectives
Train nurses who show:
They have knowledge and the ability to understand so as to intervene in different nursing areas;
To know how to apply knowledge and the ability to understand which has been obtained, so as to clearly
demonstrate a professional approach;
Problem-solving ability within human responses to health problems and processes of transition of individuals,
groups and communities, and constructing and justifying their own arguments;
Ability to, along with individuals, groups and communities, collect, select and interpret relevant information, which
enables them to substantiate solutions and clinical judgements they issue, including analysing relevant social,
scientific and ethical aspects;
Skills which enable them to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions, both for publics made up of
specialists as well as non-specialists;
Lifelong learning skills with a high level of autonomy.
The objectives resulting from the adaptation of the Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing give continuity to the objectives of the ongoing courses, namely:
- To plan, provide and assess general nursing care to the healthy or ill person, throughout his/her life cycle, the family, groups and community at the three levels of prevention;
- Participate as an active member of the multidisciplinary health team in the planning/ assessment of activities that contribute to the well-being of the individual, family and community, in order to prevent, minimize or solve their health problems;
- To develop the practice of research in nursing, in particular, and in health, in general;
- To actively intervene in the training of nurses and other professionals;
- To participate in the management of health services.
0ver the last 30 years, Nursing has significantly evolved in terms of scientific knowledge and training, technology and philosophy of health care as a result of sociocultural, political, economic, demographic and epidemiological changes in modern societies.
The current challenges faced by nurses, both in Portugal and in other western countries, are mostly related to the complexity of health and disease situations that require an interdisciplinary approach beyond the health sector, a true teamwork and the use of creativity to overcome internal and external obstacles to the organization where they develop their activity. Among the present and future challenges to the nursing profession and to the health professions in general, the following ones stand out:
- From a health perspective, the challenge of the paradigm of CARING as a need of human beings, which is common to all health professions and requires a true multidisciplinary teamwork;
- New health problems related to lifestyles, aging, chronic diseases, HIV/AIDS, drug addiction, poverty and social exclusion, among others;
- The change of care settings characterized by the transfer of hospital care to community services and the reorganization of primary health care. This focus on community practice challenges nurses to have an increasingly more autonomous, versatile and flexible performance within multidisciplinary teams where the patient/ citizen participates in health decision-making;
-The increased complexity of professional situations to be managed and the evolution of the work organization requires multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches and involves a “collective competence” that results from the quality of the interplay between individual skills;
-The challenge related to the rights and duties of citizens, diversity, differentiation and multiculturalism;
-The challenge of the quality of training and care is an ethical and moral problem, as well as a problem of credibility and professional dignity;
- The need for an education for citizenship, moral development, participation in community life, and construction of a transnational identity;
-The “information society” and the need for new strategies for a new position of the school and the profession in the society we live in, where “lifelong learning” is the dominant theme.
The World Health Organization (WHO), a major international reference in the Nursing field, identifies the mission, assumptions and aspects of autonomous intervention:
“Nurses help patients, families and groups to determine and achieve their physical, mental and social potential, and to do so within the context of the environment in which they live and work. Nurses require competence to develop and perform functions that promote and maintain health as well as prevent illness. They also assess, plan, give and evaluate their professional care during illness and rehabilitation, which encompasses the physical, mental and social aspects of life as they affect health, illness, disability and dying.
Nurses promote the active involvement of individuals, families and friends, social groups and communities as appropriate in all aspects of health care, thus encouraging self-reliance and self-determination. They also partner with other professions involved in health care provision.”
According to the definition of Nursing by the International Council of Nurses, Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care that includes the promotion of health, prevention of illness, the care of ill, disabled and dying people.
The Code of Ethics for Nurses states in its preamble that the need for nursing is universal and that nurses have four fundamental responsibilities: promote health, prevent illness, restore health and alleviate suffering. According to the Regulation of the Professional Exercise of Nurses (Decree-Law no. 161/96, of 4th of September), the basic interventions are the "health promotion, disease prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and social reinsertion" (Art. 8) and the exercise of the nursing activity, as well as the clinical practice, considering the areas of management, research, teaching, training and consulting (Art . 9).
The competencies of the general care nurse are defined by the Ordem dos Enfermeiros (OE, 2003), in compliance with the competencies in the ICN Framework of Competencies for the Generalist Nurses.
-To analyse, interpret and summarize texts and documents;
- To analyse situations by identifying the relationships between the different elements that interfere in the problem;
- To plan and organize the provision of care in different settings taking into account the patient’s needs and the existing constraints;
- To select and organize updated information for the provision of care;
-To organize health education situations;
- To communicate, both verbally and in writing, in order to be understood by others;
-To manage and interpret information from different sources;
- To make decisions when in the face of complex situations in different contexts;
- To solve complex problems related to nursing care;
- To mobilize and use appropriate technological and computing resources;
-To master a second language;
-To take on responsibility for the ethical and legal commitments;
-To critically analyse their practice.
- To recognizes his/her limits and ask for help when needed;
- To work in an intra or interdisciplinary team, promoting a collaborative environment;
- To establish a therapeutic relationship with patients and families;
- To acknowledge cultural diversity and intervene taking into account the different cultures;
- To mobilize the knowledge about other cultures and their customs in his/her relationship with others;
- To substantiate his/her opinions based on different perspectives about the health problems which he/she has to face;
- To communicate mobilizing the patients’ health resource, in full respect of their beliefs;
- To implement the ethical and legal principles of the profession, assuming responsibility for his/her professional practices.
- To apply professional knowledge necessary for solving problems;
- To manage his/her learning in an academic and professional environment;
- To find new solutions for the problems and take initiative in solving them, against any adversities;
-To invest in the quality of care based on the meaning of quality for the others;
- To assess, together with the remaining team, the quality of the care provided;
- To participate in the implementation of projects in the health area;
- To manage and supervise health care;
- To manages unpredictability in less complex situations.
FRAMEWORK OF COMPETENCES OF GENERAL CARE NURSES ACCORDING TO THE ORDEM DOS ENFERMEIROS
A-Professional, ethical and legal practice
A1 - Responsibility
1. To accept responsibility for his/her actions and professional judgements;
2. To recognize the limits of his/her role and competence;
3. To seek the advice of nursing experts when nursing cares require a level of expertise that goes beyond his/her competence;
4. To seek the advice of other health professionals and organizations when the needs of individuals or groups go beyond his/her area of practice.
A2 - Practice according to ethics
5. To develop his/her practice in line with the Code of Ethics;
6. To be effectively involved in ethical decision-making;
7. To protect the Human Rights as described in the Code of Ethics;
8. To respect the client’s right of access to information;
9. To ensure the confidentiality and safety of information;
10. To respect the patient’s right to privacy;
11. To respect the patients’ right to choice and self-determination concerning their nursing and health care;
12. To address, in an appropriate way, the care practices that may compromise the patient’s safety, privacy or dignity;
13. To identify the risk practices and adopt appropriate measures;
14. To acknowledge their values and beliefs and how they can influence care provision;
15. To respect the values, traditions, spiritual beliefs and practices of individuals and groups;
16. To provide culturally sensitive care.
A3 - Legal Practice
17. To practice in accordance with the legislation in force;
18. To practice in accordance with the national and local policies and regulations, provided they do not conflict with the Code of Ethics for Nurses;
19. To recognize and act in situations of abuse/ violation of the law and/ or of the Code of Ethics, which are related to nursing practice.
B - Care Provision and Management
B1- Key principles for care provision and management
20. To apply the appropriate knowledge and techniques in nursing practice;
21. To implement valid and relevant research results and other evidence into clinical practice;
22. To start and take part in discussions on innovation in nursing and health care;
23. To apply critical thinking and problem-solving techniques;
24. To assess and make informed decisions, regardless of care provision settings;
25. To justify the nursing care provided;
26. To organize his/her work, making an effective time management;
27. To understand the legal processes associated with health care;
28. To be a resource for individuals, families and communities that face challenges related to health, disability and death;
29. To convey the information clearly and briefly;
30. To interpret, in an appropriate way, the objective and subjective data, as well as their meanings, with a view to providing safe care;
31. To understand the plans for emergency situations.
B1.1- Care provision
B1.1.1- Health promotion
32. To understand the health and social policies;
33. To work in collaboration with other professionals and communities;
34. To see the individual, the family and community from a holistic perspective, taking into account the multiple determinants of health;
35. To participate in health promotion and disease prevention initiatives, contributing to assessing them;
36. To apply knowledge about the existing resources on health promotion and health education;
37. To act in order to empower individuals, families and communities to adopt healthy lifestyles;
38. To provide relevant health information to help individuals, families and communities achieve optimal levels of health and rehabilitation;
39. To understand the traditional practices of the health beliefs systems of individuals, families or communities;
40. To provide support/education for the acquisition and/or maintenance of skills for independent living;
41. To recognize the potential of health education for nursing interventions;
42. To apply knowledge about teaching and learning strategies in the interactions with individuals, families and communities;
43. To assess the learning and the understanding of health practices.
B 1.1.2 – Data collection
44. To systematically assess relevant data for designing nursing care;
45. To accurately analyse, interpret and document the data.
B 1.1.3- Planning
46. To set up, whenever possible, a care plan in collaboration with the patients and/or caregivers;
47. To seek the advice of relevant members of the health and social care team;
48. To ensure that the patient and/or caregivers receive and understand the necessary information to substantiate their consent for care provision;
49. To establish care priorities, whenever possible, in collaboration with the patients and/or caregivers;
50. To identify expected outcomes and the time span to achieve and/or revise them in collaboration with the patients and/or caregivers;
51. To revise and redesign the care plan on a regular basis, whenever possible, with the collaboration of the patients and/or caregivers;
52. To document the care plan.
B 1.1.4 - Implementation
53. To implement the planned nursing care to reach the expected outcomes;
54. To practice nursing in a way that respects the boundaries of a professional relationship with the patient;
55. To document the implementation of interventions;
56. To provide an effective response in unexpected situations or rapidly changing situations;
57. To provide an effective response in emergency and disaster situations.
B 1.1.5 - Assessment
58. To assess and document the evolution towards the expected outcomes;
59. To collaborate with the patients and/or caregivers to revise the progresses made towards the expected outcomes;
60. To use the data from the assessment to modify the care plan.
B 1.1.6- Communication and interpersonal relationships
61. To start, develop and suspend therapeutic relationships with the patient and/or caregivers, through the use of appropriate communication and interpersonal skills;
62. To consistently, accurately and clearly communicate relevant information about the patient’s health status, orally, in writing and electronically;
63. To ensure that the information provided to the patient and/or caregiver is clearly and adequately conveyed;
64. To provide an adequate response to the questions, requests and problems of patients and/or caregivers that fall within his/her area of competence;
65. To communicate with the patient and/or family members so as to empower them;
66. To use the available information technology effectively and appropriately;
67. To be aware of the local developments/apps in the field of health technology.
B 1.2- Care management
B 1.2.1 – Safe environment
68. To design and maintain a safe care environment using strategies of quality assurance and risk management;
69. To use adequate assessment instruments to identify potential and actual risks;
70. To ensure the safe administration of therapeutic substances;
71. To implement infection control procedures;
72. To record and communicate to the competent authorities any safety concerns.
B 1.2.2 - Interprofessional health care
73. To apply the knowledge about effective interprofessional work practices;
74. To establish and maintain constructive professional relationships with the nurses and other team members;
75. To contribute to a multidisciplinary and effective teamwork, maintaining collaborative relationships;
76. To value the roles and skills of all members of the health and social team;
77. To participate, together with the health team members, in the decisions concerning the patient;
78. To revise and assess the care provided with the healthcare team members;
79. To take into account the perspective of patients and/or caregivers in the decisions made by the interprofessional team.
B 1.2.3 - Delegation and supervision
80. To delegate activities to people according to their skills and scope of practice;
81. To use a range of support strategies, while overseeing aspects of care delegated to others;
82. To remain responsible when delegating aspects of care to others.
C - Professional Development
C 1 - Professional valorisation
83. To promote and maintain the professional image of nursing;
84. To argue for the right to participate in the development of health policies and program planning;
85. To contribute to the development of nursing practice;
86. To value research as a contribution to the development of nursing and as a means of improving care standards;
87. To act as an effective role model;
88. To assume leadership responsibilities, whenever relevant for the practice of nursing care and health care.
C2 - Quality improvement
89. To use valid indicators to assess the quality of nursing practice;
90. To participates in quality improvement programs and quality assurance procedures.
C3 - Continuous Training
91. To regularly analyse his/her practices;
92. To assume responsibility for lifelong learning and skills maintenance;
93. To meet his/her needs for continuous training;
94. To contribute to the training and professional development of students and colleagues;
95. To act as an effective mentor;
96. To use every opportunity to learn with others, thus contributing to the provision of quality care.
TEACHING METHODS FOR SKILLS AQUISITION
The implementation of the Bologna process in higher education institutions should provide a response to two major challenges:
- To focus the learning process on the students, who should play a more active role in the whole pedagogical process, becoming more autonomous and responsible for their learning process, always supported by the teacher;
- In accordance with the Portuguese Decree-Law no. 74/2006 of 24 March on degrees and diplomas in higher education, polytechnic degrees should allow for the exercise of a professional activity through the application of the knowledge acquired to the specific activities of the respective professional profile.
In view of the need for a learning model focused on the development of competences, we highlight the need for teachers to work as a team in each semester to ensure that these competences are developed. This will naturally involve collaboration between the several teachers in the planning and management of activities.
With this new philosophy, we expect students and teachers to act responsibly. Therefore:
- Students are expected to have a high level of involvement and participation in the activities of each course unit. Effective participation in different moments of interaction is essential. In parallel, and assuming that students have a more proactive attitude, additional work should be developed that goes beyond the contact hours in which students should be assisted by the teachers.
- In addition to an increased dedication and engagement, teachers need to be continuously improving their pedagogical skills in order to introduce active learning methodologies. The pedagogical relationship should take into account the identification of difficulties in the learning process and the suggestion of corrective measures in due time, which calls for a closer contact with the students and strengthening of formative assessment.