Study guide
Home > Bachelor’s degree, part-time studies > Degree programme in public health nursing > Degree programme in public health nursing

Degree Programme in Public Health Nursing

Autumn 2018

Select years, semesters and periods (when only one year is selected) by clicking buttons below. (S = Spring, A = Autumn)
Year of study 1
Search for study unit: ECTS 1 1A 1S 1 2 3 4 5
CORE COMPETENCE 22                
Professional Competence of Public Health Nurse 2
Promotion of Family Health I 5
Promotion of Family Health II 5
Community Healthcare Work 5
Special Issues in Public Health Nursing 5
Previous Bachelor's Degree
(Select 180 ECTS)
Bachelor of Emergency Nursing 180
Bachelor of Nursing 180
Bachelor of Midwifery 180
Practical Training
Advanced Training in Public Health Nursing in Simulated Situations 3
Specialist Competence in Public Health Nursing 1 8
Specialist Competence in Public Health Nursing 2 7
Development of Public Health Nursing 5
Advanced Specialist Competence in Public Health Nursing 10
Research-, Development and Innovation Activities in Public Health Nursing 5
ECTS credits per period / semester / academic year 600 241 359 223 223 131 131 131

Due to the timing of optional and elective courses, credit accumulation per semester / academic year may vary.

Programme description

A Bachelor of Public Health Nursing is a health promotion expert. The objective of the studies is to provide the competence that a public health nurse needs in his or her work. The task of a public health nurse who has completed these studies is to promote the health of individuals, families, work and other communities, the population and the environment. Another objective of the studies is to respond to the increasing complexity of health issues, to challenges brought along by technological development and to internationalization. In addition, the service structure’s shift towards outpatient care requires high-quality, comprehensive and multiprofessional competence and cooperation from future health care professionals. To work in the profession, you need a solid faculty for ethical, critical and professional thought and decision-making. Expertise encompasses the ability to develop and revise operations based on research results, follow evidence-based public health nursing, work as an entrepreneur, handle international duties, influence social issues and engage in life-long learning. Public health nurses work in various private and public social and health care services, in the third sector or as an entrepreneur. Public health nurses carry out independent health promotion expert work in cooperation with various professional groups.

The curriculum of the Degree Programme in Public Health Nursing is based on the following regulations:

- International agreements and recommendations, especially EU directives 2005/36/EC and 2013/55/EU
- Legislation on the practice of the profession
- The European Qualifications Framework (EQF), level 6
- The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (, level 6
- The publication Terveydenhoitajan ammatillisen osaamisen kuvaus (“The description of a public health nurse’s professional competence”, 2014)

The studies comprise:

• Professional studies, 22 ECTS
• Practical training, 33 ECTS

• Research, development and innovation activities in public health nursing, 5 ECTS

The objective of professional studies is for students to internalize the principles of ethically high-quality procedures and the promotion of health and well-being. Students will become acquainted with the key issues and applications of public health nursing, as well as their scientific foundation, so that they are capable of working independently in the profession and as an entrepreneur in the field. Professional studies build on health sciences knowledge, which students can link to the core knowledge from other disciplines essential to their profession. Part of the professional studies are linked to R&D, in which students demonstrate their capacity for independent work and their ability to use research-based information with a critical perspective.

Practical training is an integral part of public health nursing studies. Students carry out part of their training in classroom and simulation exercises at their own institution. This will develop their basic competence and enable them to continue their studies in various operating environments. The student may apply for work carried out in an employment relationship to be recognized as the practical training defined in the curriculum, provided that the work corresponds with the degree programme pursued by the student.

Only a licensed professional, who has completed a degree in nursing, may work as a public health nurse (Health Care Professionals Act 559/1994). After graduation, students may submit an application for the right to practice as a licensed health care professional to the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira). The professional title is “public health nurse”.

Students participate in the planning of teaching and its implementation in different working groups. They assess their learning and provide feedback on the planning and implementation of teaching regarding individual courses and towards the end of their studies. Student feedback is taken into account when developing education.

The Bachelor’s degree in public health nursing offers versatile career opportunities both in Finland and abroad. The degree opens the door to further education in the form of a Master’s degree or a second-cycle degree in a higher education institution in Finland or abroad. The student’s career development is supported throughout the studies.

Competence objectives

As students have an earlier Bachelor’s degree in nursing, emergency care or midwifery, the studies build on the competence of a nurse responsible for general care, as defined in the EU Directive 2013/55/EU. The core competences of the Degree Programme in Public Health Nursing comprise the following competence areas: health promotion skills, public health nursing of individuals, families, groups and communities, environmental health promotion skills and social public health nursing skills. A public health nurse knows how to promote the health of individuals, families, work and other communities, the population and the environment. He or she knows how to prevent illnesses and contribute to the customers’ resources, self-care and ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Work requires the ability and courage for early intervention at different stages of the customer’s life.

The innovation competences defined by Turku University of Applied Sciences are integrated with all competence areas of the public health nursing studies. The innovation competences comprise competences at individual, community and network levels and cover the following five competence dimensions: critical thinking, initiative, creativity, team work and networking. Critical thinking, independent decision-making and responsibility are key competences in public health nursing expertise.

Pedagogic approaches

The studies are based on the innovation pedagogy adopted by Turku University of Applied Sciences, which emphasizes multidisciplinarity, research and development, flexible curricula, entrepreneurship in the service industry, as well as internationality. The innovation pedagogy is based on experimental learning, the sharing of information and competence and the combination of various perspectives. The goal is to develop the professional competence and innovation competences of students. Students are considered to be active, independent and responsible learners. The teacher creates conditions for learning, supports, encourages and guides as well as provides feedback on the student’s learning performance.

Blended learning is planned and implemented so that the studies are as accessible as possible for people in working life. Studies are planned, carried out and assessed in joint teams consisting of professionals from working life, students and teachers, by applying information, taking concrete actions and experimenting. Working life oriented projects offer an opportunity to be involved in multidisciplinary and multiprofessional cooperation with companies from different sectors and other professionals.

Adult pedagogy principles are applied to planning and implementing blended learning. Students are considered to be active, independent and responsible learners capable of making choices related to their studies. Learning is supported with new, versatile digital online learning environments and modern learning facilities and equipment. The needs of those who are taking the programme mainly while working are taken into account by implementing the programme as blended learning. Learning methods consist of a wide range of activity-enhancing contact teaching, online, project and simulation methods as well as practical training. There are on average 4–6 days of contact teaching per month. Distance learning requires the student to be able to participate in work in small groups. This can take place online. Independent work as well as interactive online study and counselling account for a major part of studies. Students’ professional growth is supported with various forms of tutoring. Tutoring is personal or group-specific and linked to all studies.
The overarching goal of study counselling and support for learning is for students to progress in their studies in accordance with the curriculum. Students draw up an individual study plan (e-ISP) to guide their study progress in terms of schedules, content and methods. Under certain conditions, students can build their competence profile with studies completed at other Finnish or international higher education institutions or other educational institutions, provided that they are equivalent to the competence goals. Students may also apply for recognition of equivalent competence acquired in another way.

The goal of international activities is for students to broaden their world view, understand different cultures and learn to work in multicultural environments. International activities include taking courses taught in foreign languages, internationalization at home (e.g. tutoring exchange students), studying abroad and participating in various seminars and international research and development projects. Separately agreed upon, studies abroad can be included in the degree completed in Finland without extending the duration of studies. The degree programme includes learning materials in foreign languages.


The assessment guides and develops learning and addresses both the learning process and the learning results. The completion of the degree requires that the competence achieved corresponds with the competence goals specific to public health nursing studies as well as with assessment criteria derived from these competence goals. The assessment criteria for each course are described at a general level in the curriculum and in more detail in the course implementation plan. Various methods are used in the assessment. Course are graded on a scale from 0 to 5 or with a Pass/Fail. For practical training to be approved, it must achieve the objectives and correspond with the ECTS scope defined in the curriculum. In addition, students receive oral or written feedback that helps them to recognize their own strengths and development areas.

Continuous assessment supports students in setting and achieving targets. In addition to teachers’ assessments and self-assessment, performance can also be assessed by other students (peer assessment), working life instructors and other cooperation partners. Students will build a personal competence portfolio from the very beginning of their studies. They can use the portfolio to demonstrate their own fields of expertise, both during their studies and after completing the degree. The student’s adherence to the individual study plan will be monitored throughout their studies, and the plan will be updated along the way in development discussions with the tutor teacher and based on a self-assessment of innovation competences. Students are responsible for their study progress and for seeking guidance, if required.