The project “Promoting the Innovation Capacity of Higher Education in Nursing during Health Services’ Transition” ProInCa was co-funded by the ERASMUS+ KA2 Capacity Building in the Field of Higher Education programme between 14 October 2017 and 31 January 2021. The wider objective of the project was to develop the sustainable innovation capacity of Kazakhstan’s Medical Universities for the modernization of nursing.
The ProInCa project consortium consisted of four European and five Kazakhstani higher educational institutions, namely JAMK and LAB Universities of Applied Sciences, Finland; Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen (Hanze), Netherlands; Angela Boškin Faculty of Health Care (ABFHC), Slovenia; Astana Medical University (AMU), Karaganda Medical University (KMU), Nazarbayev University (NuSOM), Semey Medical University (SMU), and West Kazakhstan Medical University named after Marat Ospanov (WKMU), Kazakhstan. The project also had 13 official associated partners, including Astana, Turkestan multidisciplinary, and West Kazakhstan higher medical colleges, Temirtau and Ekibastuz medical colleges, four hospitals, and the national association of nurses “Paryz””. The project was coordinated by JAMK and supported by the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Kazakhstan. A description of the consortium and all the project team members are listed on the project website at http://proinca-nursing.kz/proinca-team/.
To achieve the main objective of the project, the following four specific aims were recognized in the project plan:
- Development of mechanisms for collaboration and knowledge sharing between academic national and international nursing community and society;
- Learning from best practices on implementing evidence-based nursing in nursing research, education and practice to promote the efficiency and quality of health;
- Strengthening higher education institutes’ role in building evidence-based nursing research activities in health services to promote quality and safety of health care system;
- Promoting the capacity and system of nursing leadership and management in health care transition to improve the quality of health care system.
ProInCa structure and focus areas
The main results of the ProInCa project
In the framework of the healthcare reform in Kazakhstan, the ProInCa project played an active role in the implementation of international best practices in the field of nursing and nursing education.
Within the ProInCa project:
- The Center of Nursing Excellence (CNE) was created with five regional centers. The CNE has an online platform at www.nursekz.com which brings together all stakeholders in nursing: medical universities and colleges, hospitals and clinics, national and regional associations of nurses, teachers, researchers, practicing nurses, managers, etc. This platform comprises all the needed information for nursing specialists: clinical protocols and guidelines, methodological recommendations, training materials, statistics, information about research projects, a database of national experts, contacts, useful links, etc. It also contains a blog for nursing leaders and a forum for exchanging opinions and ideas.
Several reports were prepared to support the development of CNE, for example:
- Educational programs for bachelor’s degree in such courses as “Basics of Evidence-Based Nursing Practice” and “Evidence-Based Nursing Practice” as well as for master’s degree in the course “Implementation of Evidence-Based Nursing Practice” were created. Teaching materials in Kazakh, Russian, and English are freely available on the CNE website at https://course.nursekz.com/.
Several reports were prepared to support the development of Evidence-based nursing:
- Report on Gap Analysis
- Report on the development of national educational materials
- Kassym L. reported the 3-day workshop in “Evidence-based nursing – introducing best practices” in the ProInCa Blog
- Recommendations on enhancing evidence-based nursing for the Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan
- The book containing articles in three languages (Kazakh, Russian, and English) EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE -MOVING FORWARD TO IMPLEMENTATION IN NURSING Bahun et al (eds) 2021 summarizes the development and status of evidence-based nursing in Kazakhstan.
- Methodological recommendations for medical universities on nursing research infrastructure and prioritized focus areas for nursing research have been developed with the purpose of creating new research programs in nursing.
- Four joint international research projects on nursing were designed.
- Educational modules for masters’ degree courses “Research projects and development projects in nursing” and “Methodology of qualitative and quantitative research in nursing” were developed. Instructions on how to apply these in the nursing research courses in the applied and academic bachelor’s degrees education were provided. Teaching materials in Kazakh, Russian and English are freely available on the CNE website at https://course.nursekz.com/
- The report of recommended national working programs for nursing research disciplines describes the development process.
- In the report “Present health care leaders’ leadership and management competencies, and structural system changes needed in nursing reform in Kazakhstan” Päivi Huotari analyzed the situation in 2018.
- Teaching and learning materials for the capacity building of nursing leaders were developed under four themes: Setting direction, Managing services and driving results, Professionalism and ethics, and Leading people and teams. Materials in Russian and English are freely available on the CNE website at https://course.nursekz.com/
- In addition, a training programme for a 54-hour Master Class “ Modernization of Nursing Leadership” was created to support the use of the training materials.
- The Association of Nursing Leaders of Medical Organizations of the Republic of Kazakhstan is ready to be registered. In the CNE Blog this has been widely supported.
- A pool of national academic experts in the areas of evidence-based nursing, nursing research, and nursing leadership and management was prepared and more than 500 nurses and nurse students from all regions of the country participated in trainings of ProInCa or used the materials in their studies and thus improved their professional capacity.
- 153 participants attended the ProInCa Mid-conference in Nur-Sultan in May 2019. The presentations covered all the areas of the project.
- 288 participants attended the Final Conference “Innovations in Nursing Education, Research, Leadership and Clinical Practice” that was held online during December 10-11, 2020. All oral and poster presentations and the resolution can be found on the ProInCa website.
- New Erasmus+ CBHE project “Accelerating Master and PhD level nursing education development in the higher education system in Kazakhstan – AccelEd” was initiated to continue the work of developing nursing education in Kazakhstan.
Impact of the project
At individual level:
- improved practical and theoretical skills and professional prospects;
- increased collaboration between the higher education institutions and nursing practice by engaging nurses in project activities and sharing best practices in multidisciplinary teams.
On the world of work:
- established personal professional contacts between representatives of educational and healthcare organizations as well as professional associations from different regions of Kazakhstan;
- gained skills in conducting research projects in nursing as well as knowledge of the leadership and management system by nurses;
- establishment of direct communications between the Association of Nurses of Kazakhstan “Paryz” and the International Council of Nurses (ICN).
On the level of nursing education implementation:
- new methods (Moodle, PBL, CBL, Blended learning) in teaching nursing at the applied bachelor, academic bachelor, and master levels;
- developed modules (leadership, qualitative research, development projects in nursing, evidence-based nursing practice) in the new educational programs.
On the university level:
- restructuring of medical universities’ faculties, infrastructure, and staff;
- significant improvement of the research infrastructure.
At the structural level:
- helped raise the awareness and prestige of nursing as an independent profession;
- proposals from the ProInCa project team were included in the Action Plan of the Ministry of Healthcare of Kazakhstan for the implementation of the main directions of development of nursing in Kazakhstan for 2020-2025;
- ProInCa project also supported the recognition of nursing as a science and the establishment of the state educational standard in 2020 that contains the full Lifelong Learning continuum for nurses up to level 8 (doctoral education) in the European Qualification Framework;
- the national priority areas for research in nursing have been acknowledged.
=> The Established Center of Nursing Excellence (CNE) as the main achievement of the project enables the sustainability of all its results.
Johanna Heikkilä, PhD, Senior Advisor, Coordinator and Scientific Manager of ProInCa
JAMK University of Applied Sciences
Nancy Lee Stitt, Director of Nursing Education
Nazarbayev University School of Medicine