Masters in Medical-Surgical Nursing

The cycle of studies leading to the Master’s Degree in Surgical-Medical Nursing, created by Order no. 103/2016 of 5 January, includes:

-A specialization degree in Medical-Surgical Nursing composed of an organized set of course units corresponding to 75% (90 ECTS) of the total of credits of the study cycle;
-An original, scientific dissertation specifically elaborated for this purpose, corresponding to 25% (30 ECTS) of the total of credits of the study cycle.
The Master’s degree is conferred to students who have completed the Specialization Degree and the public defense of their scientific dissertation.

2.The scientific areas and credits needed for obtaining the diploma







Education Sciences




Management and Administration











3.Description and rationale
Since 2006, the ESEnfC offers the Postgraduate Specialization Degree in Medical-Surgical Nursing, which has allowed nurses to register in the Portuguese Ordem dos Enfermeiros (OE) as specialist nurses. This degree ensures the “acquisition of scientific, technical, humanistic, and cultural skills for the provision of specialized nursing care in this clinical area”. At the time, this degree was developed in a collaboration process between nursing teachers of the nursing schools in Coimbra, specialist nurses in Medical-Surgical Nursing and health institutions of the center region.
However, there have been many advances in 2006: in nursing and in its regulation and career, in the health institutions and associated management models, in higher education in general and in nursing education in particular and even in the nurses’ work and recruitment models. Some concepts, care delivery models, health policies, and health priorities have changed over time. The ESEnfC cannot be indifferent to these changes. As an institution of reference both nationally and internationally, the School must update its curricula. The current proposal is made by the Postgraduate Specialization Degree in Medical-Surgical Nursing of the ESEnfC, which is accredited by the OE (Order 157/2006) and updates its contents based on the suggestions made by students and teachers and the current advances in health, education and in the profession.
Its main focus is the education/training of specialized nurses capable of caring for individuals undergoing processes of health/critical illness with a view to preventing and treating diseases and improving their health, functional readaptation and social reinsertion in all life domain, as it is proposed by the OE (2009) and published by the Portuguese Official Journal (Diário da República) in 2011 through Regulation 124/2011 for the specialty in nursing in the critically-ill patient.

4.General objectives defined for the study cycle.
The Master’s Degree in Surgical-Medical Nursing aims to train nurses who possess the following skills in their area of study and in their professional practice:
-Possess knowledge and capacity for understanding at a level that builds upon and enriches that acquired at Undergraduate level;
-Show evidence that they have applied their developed knowledge in an original format, namely in research projects;
-Ability to apply their knowledge and capacity to comprehend and resolve problems in new and unfamiliar situations, in broader contexts, beyond those directly related to their area of study;
-Capacity to integrate knowledge, deal with complex questions, develop solutions or emit judgments in situations where there is limited or incomplete information, including reflections on the ethical and social implications and responsibilities that result from these solutions and judgments or that condition them;
-Ability to communicate conclusions, and the knowledge and reasoning underlying them to experts and non-experts in a clear and unambiguous manner;
-Competencies that allow for a life-long learning experience in an essentially self-motivated and autonomous manner.

5.Learning objectives/competencies
At the end of the degree, and in accordance with the OE (2009) concerning the general competencies of the specialist nurse and Regulation 124/2011 concerning the specific competencies of the nurse specialist in critical care situations, nurses should be able to:
-develop a professional and ethical practice in their field of intervention;
-promote care practices which respect the human rights and professional responsibilities;
-have a dynamic role in the development and support of institutional initiatives and strategies in the area of clinical governance;
-design, manage and collaborate in programs of continuous quality improvement;
-create and maintain a therapeutic and safe environment;
-manage care, optimizing the response of the nursing team and the collaborators and the collaboration within the multiprofessional team;
-adapt and lead the management of resources to situations and contexts, aiming at the highest quality in health care;
-develop self-knowledge and assertiveness;
-base its specialized clinical practice on solid, valid and current patterns of knowledge;
-care for the person experiencing complex processes of critical illness and/or organ failure;
-lead the response to situations of disaster or emergency with several victims, from design to implementation;
-maximize the intervention for the prevention and control of infection in the person in critical situation and/or organ failure, given the complexity of the situation and the need for useful and adequate responses.

6.Degree organization
The Master’s Degree in Medical-Surgical Nursing is organized and run by the scientific-pedagogical unit of Medical-Surgical Nursing of the School. However, in order to improve quality and relevance, the following lecturers will also participate:
-teachers from other scientific-pedagogical units of the ESEnfC;
- specialist nurses in medical-surgical nursing working in different contexts and with recognized experience in their area of specialty;
- specialist nurses in other areas, whose contribution proves to be relevant for the degree;
-other health professionals whose contribution improves the scientific development of the students.
The programme has 120 ECTS and lasts in two years. It combines theoretical classes, clinical practice, and research.

Course Units Scientific Area Type Total hours Hours T Hours TP Hours PL Hours CW/FW Hours S/I Hours TG Hours AW ECTS

T - Theoretical | TP - Theoretical-Practical | PL - Practice and Laboratory | CW/FW - Clinical Work / Fieldwork | S/I - Seminar / Internship | TG - Tutorial Guidance | AW - Autonomous Work

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