Reform of nursing training: Fliedner University of Applied Sciences examines degree of implementation

With the new Nursing Professions Act at the start of 2020, the foundations were laid for future-proof and high-quality training in nursing.

Since this point, and in line with the European standard, nurses in Germany have received a more general training. On behalf of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, researchers at the Fliedner University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf are now analysing the level of implementation so far.

The Nursing Professions Act (PflBG) entered into force at the start of 2020, representing a fundamental reform of training for nurses in Germany. Up until then, they had to decide before starting their training whether they wanted to qualify in the area of nursing care for the elderly, general nursing or paediatric care. Determining this at an early stage meant that making a change later was not possible. The reform means that all aspiring nurses receive general training together for two years. In the third year, they continue with this pathway and qualify as a general nurse or specialise and complete the qualification in nursing care for the elderly or paediatric care. This complex reform is being implemented at nursing colleges and practical training centres on the basis of comprehensive framework curricula created by an expert commission. The framework curricula act as a guide for nursing colleges as well as practical training providers in supporting the redesign of curricula and training plans.

An academic team from the Fliedner University of Applied Sciences is now examining the practical implementation of the reform on behalf of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB). The researchers, led by well-known nurse educator Prof. Bärbel Wesselborg, used 15 nursing colleges and practice organisations selected as examples and analysed their experiences using the framework curriculum provided and the ways in which these had been implemented in the form of specific syllabuses for trainees. "The aim is to identify any need for updates at an early stage and to forward this on to the expert commission for the further development of the framework curricula," explains Prof. Bärbel Wesselborg. Findings from the complex study are expected to be available on 28/02/2023.

The Fliedner University of Applied Sciences was commissioned to carry out the study in January 2022 and, following the initialisation phase, is now starting with the data collection. The academic institution is ideally equipped for this as it offers extensive expertise in social services, healthcare and education. The Fliedner University of Applied Sciences is part of the Kaiserswerther Diakonie – a large organisation engaged in social welfare, health and education – where huge importance has always been attached to professional nursing. The first German nurses training course was developed in Kaiserswerth as early as 1836.

Source: (online newspaper for the Rhine-Ruhr area in Germany), revised by iMOVE, January 2023