Enhancing Nurses Competence in Providing Spiritual Care through Innovative Education and Compassionate Care Erasmus Project

General information for the Enhancing Nurses Competence in Providing Spiritual Care through Innovative Education and Compassionate Care Erasmus Project

Enhancing Nurses Competence in Providing Spiritual Care through Innovative Education and Compassionate Care Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am
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Project Title

Enhancing Nurses Competence in Providing Spiritual Care through Innovative Education and Compassionate Care

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for higher education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2016

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: New innovative curricula/educational methods/development of training courses; Reaching the policy level/dialogue with decision makers; Quality and Relevance of Higher Education in Partner Countries

Project Summary

The EPICC project has laid the foundations to reduce the gap and disconnect between professional regulatory bodies’ statements and aspirations for high quality spiritual care, and actual practice. Spirituality is multidimensional and unique to every person. Broader than religious beliefs, it is about meaning in life, connection to self, others, and/or higher power or nature. It provides ways to transcend everyday living and suffering.

The project outputs are guiding improvements in the way spiritual aspects of nursing/midwifery care are taught internationally by promoting excellence in spiritual care education and offering a standardised approach to the teaching of these concepts.

During the project, 200+ have contributed to the development of a Spiritual Care Education Standard comprising 4 core competences for integration within programmes of education. Implementation of the Standard will offer a structured approach to the teaching of these subjects preparing nurses/midwives to address patients’ spiritual needs. The EPICC objectives were to:

1. Develop a sustainable network of educators in nursing/midwifery in Europe to share experiences on person-centred and compassionate healthcare working according to European standards.
2. Disseminate knowledge amongst stakeholders (policy makers, regulatory bodies and educational bodies) across Europe to enable the EPICC Gold Standard Matrix to be incorporated into ongoing nursing/midwifery education.

The project involved 3 key groups: 6 EPICC Strategic Partners, 31 EPICC Participants (nursing/midwifery educators from across Europe and 18 EPICC Participants+ (key stakeholders, students, members of the public, professional bodies, patient groups) collectively known as the ‘EPICC Triangle’. In total, participation was from 21 countries from across Europe.

Four Transnational Project Meetings involved EPICC Strategic Partners, and a combination of EPICC Participants and Participants+. The total attendance across the 4 meetings was 51 (30 funded and 21 non-funded).

Two Learning/Teaching/Training Activities (LTTAs) were held, the first at Viaa Christian University and a total of 52 attended across the 5 days (October 2017). The second was led by the University of Malta (September 2018). Across the 5 days a total of 110 attended.

The first Multiplier Event (E1) was held at Staffordshire University (April 2017) with 61 attending across the two days. The final Multiplier Event was held in Cardiff at the University of South Wales (July 2019) with over 120 attending. At this event, all the EPICC intellectual outputs were presented and shared and the EPICC Network launched. This ensured the sustainability of the project and provided a basis for the ongoing integration of the Spiritual Care Education Standard into curricula, enabling the impact to be captured. The main beneficiaries of EPICC, not directly involved in the project, were patients receiving nursing/midwifery care in institutions associated and affiliated to the EPICC Strategic Partners and EPICC Participants.

The methodology employed co-production, involving a series of facilitated Action Learning cycles and consensus surveys to create the 4 competences and all the key outputs, including: a Spiritual Care Education Standard, Gold Standard Matrix (and narrative) for Spiritual Care Education, and the Adoption Toolkit. All the outputs are based on current evidence and derived from the participants’ own experiences. The high level of engagement means all the outputs have been rigorously reviewed and subject to intense testing, ensuring they are fit for purpose. The Spiritual Care Education Standard will guide improvements in the way spiritual aspects of nursing/midwifery care are integrated and taught within curricula.

The resources will also support the continuing professional development of the future and current workforce thereby adding to the skills of the local and European labour market. All the outputs will inform dialogue with participating countries’ professional regulatory bodies to update policy and practice guidance.

EPICC has informed the delivery of nursing/midwifery education internationally and will continue to enhance the quality and skill set of student nurses/midwives in participating institutions as the outputs become embedded in programmes. This will ensure that students have the professional values, attitudes and behaviours to provide high-quality, compassionate and safe nursing/midwifery care. In the long-term, EPICC will ensure a consistent approach to teaching and learning about spiritual aspects of care. The entire EPICC journey has been documented and recorded on the EPICC website providing an historical record of the work undertaken and the significant achievements.

Finally, the most important legacy of the project is the establishing of the EPICC Network. This will continue to direct, shape and influence nursing/midwifery education, research and practice globally in the future.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 242080 Eur

Project Coordinator

STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY & Country: UK

Project Partners

  • Christian University of Applied Sciences Zwolle
  • Haraldsplass Deaconess University College
  • UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH WALES PRIFYSGOLDE CYMRU
  • UNIVERSITA TA MALTA
  • Diakonova University College