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Degree Programme in Public Health Nursing

Spring 2018

Select years, semesters and periods (when only one year is selected) by clicking buttons below. (S = Spring, A = Autumn)
Year of study 1 2
Search for study unit: ECTS 1 2 1S 2A 1 2 1 2
BASIC STUDIES 0                
PROFESSIONAL STUDIES 27                
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
Research-, Development and Innovation Activities in Public Health Nursing 5
Previous Bachelor's Degree 180                
Bachelor of Emergency Nursing 180
Bachelor of Nursing 180
Bachelor of Midwifery 180
PRACTICAL TRAINING 33                
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  
BACHELOR'S THESIS 0                
ECTS credits per period / semester / academic year 575 25 575 25 287.5 287.5 12.5 12.5

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

Programme description

A qualified public health nurse promotes health, anticipates development and change and engages in innovation. Public health nurses base their work on the ability to understand and identify trends and forecasts regarding the development of society and the population and to understand the health impacts of different decisions. Public health nurses strengthen the resources of individuals, families and communities and participate in the development of a healthy environment. They work at health centres, homes, schools and workplaces, as well as in associations, societies and various health care organisations. Graduates from the programme are entitled to practice the profession of a nurse and public health nurse as licensed health care professionals.

The curriculum of the Degree Programme in Public Health Nursing is based on:
- The targets and future prospects of Finnish health policies that emphasise health promotion
and the importance of responding to the population’s health issues
- Legislation on the practice of the profession and on universities of applied sciences
- International agreements and recommendations, especially the EU directive 2013/55/EU
- The competence descriptions drawn up by the work group for health care education in
universities of applied sciences (Terveysalan ammattikorkeakoulutus 2005) appointed by the
Ministry of Education (
- The European Qualifications Framework (EQF), level 6
- The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (, level 6
- The publication Koulutuksella osaamista asiakaskeskeisiin ja moniammatillisiin palveluihin
(“Education providing competence in customer-focused and multiprofessional services”,
STM 2012) by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
- The innovation competencies defined by Turku University of Applied Sciences for individual,
interpersonal and networking skills
- The innovation pedagogy, life-long learning and regional impact described in the strategy of
Turku University of Applied Sciences

Only a licensed professional, who has completed a degree in public health nursing, may work as a public health nurse. The education is governed by the EU directive 2013/55/EU. 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).
Having completed the degree, public health nurses may work in health centres, hospitals and other health care institutions, medical centres, health care organisations and as entrepreneurs.

The professional growth process proceeds according to the annual theme in the curriculum. In the course of their studies, students carry out self-assessments with respect to the degree programme’s competence goals. Professional growth is supported throughout the studies.

The following competence areas are included in the Degree Programme in Public Health Nursing
• Health promotion skills.
• Public health nursing of individuals, families, groups and communities.
• Promotion of environmental health.
• Social public health nursing skills.

Annual theme: Expert in public health nursing
• The student will gain a more profound insight into public health nursing and its development.
• The public health nursing student gains a professional identity as a public health nurse.

The studies comprise:
• Professional studies, 27 cr
• Practical training, 33 cr

The objective of professional studies is for students to internalise the principles of ethically high-quality procedures and health promotion. Students will learn to respond to the health problems of different age groups and become acquainted with the key issues and applications of the profession, as well as their scientific foundation, so that they are capable of working independently in expert duties and development work or as an entrepreneur in the field. Professional studies build on nursing knowledge, which students can link to the core knowledge from other disciplines essential to their profession.

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 strengthen and develop their basic competence and enable them to continue their studies. Practical training is carried out under the supervision of qualified staff members. Turku University of Applied Sciences is responsible for integrating theoretical and clinical teaching throughout the studies.

Part-time education is planned and implemented in a way that the students are able to complete their studies while working at the same time. Stydying in the degree programme is based on the premises of innovation pedagogics defined in the strategy of Turku University of Applied Sciences. Innovation pedagogics combines learning, producing new information and applying the knowledge acquired. In multiform education innovation pedagogics means, for example, innovative teaching methods, different social learning environments, alternative methods for completing studies, flexible curricula, internationalism and entrepreneurial activities. In practice, innovation pedagogics refers to an approach to learning and tuition that emphasises orientation on working life and focus on research and development.
The principles of adult pedagogy are applied in the planning and implementation of the part-time studies. The students are seen as active learners who are motivated to self-development, ongoing continuous education and maintaining and developing their professional skills. The needs of the students completing their studies while working at the same time are taken into consideration by implementing the studies with the help of multiform methods. The studymethods vary from lecturing, internet-based network and simulation, independent studies and practical training. Contact teaching is approximately 4-6 days per month. Independent student work, interactive online studies and study guidance during the studies is significant. The Optima learning environment is an important channel of information and interaction, and it is taken into use at the start of the studies.

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 English, studying abroad, tutoring exchange students and participating in various seminars and projects. Separately agreed upon, studies abroad can be included in the degree completed in Finland without extending the duration of studies.

A Bachelor's 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.

Competence objectives

Pedagogic approaches


The studies have been organised into modules or courses. To successfully complete a module or course, students must demonstrate the required competence. The assessment of learning focuses on the development of and prerequisites for professional competence. The assessment guides and develops learning and addresses both the learning process and the learning results. Continuous assessment helps students set and assess their goals as well as identify their own strengths and areas of development through self- and peer evaluation. Assessment is carried out in situations as similar as possible to the real-life cases in which students need the competence. For practical training to be approved, it must correspond with the scope defined in the curriculum, as well as progress towards and achieve the objectives.
Under certain conditions, students can have prior studies completed at other Finnish or international higher education institutions or other educational institutions recognised in their degree, provided that they are equivalent to the competence goals defined for the degree programme. Students may also apply for recognition of equivalent competence acquired in another way (e.g. work experience). The student’s competence will be assessed based on certificates or other proof. Students have the obligation to provide proof of their studies and competence.

Development into a public health nursing expert is a process in which students are supported by different forms of tutoring. Students will receive guidance from the very beginning of their studies, and a tutor teacher will be assigned to each student group. Tutoring may be personal or geared for the whole group, and it may be linked to theoretical studies and/or practical training. Guidance is also provided by the modules’ teachers and the study counsellor.

The overarching goal of study guidance and support for learning is for students to progress in their studies in accordance with the group’s curriculum. Students draw up an individual study plan (ISP) to guide their study progress in terms of schedules, content and methods. The ISP helps students develop their competence in relation to the competence goals defined in the curriculum. If a student experiences problems with the ISP, a tutor teacher or study counsellor will step in as early as possible to provide support.

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 modules, semesters and, towards the end of their studies, the entire degree programme. Student feedback is taken into account when developing education.