Basic information of the project

Developing palliative nursing and medical education through multi-disciplinary cooperation and working life collaboration

Palliative care is an active, multidisciplinary approach, which aim is to relief suffering and improve the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness. The need for palliative care is increasing due to the ageing of world’s population and growing incidence of cancer and other non-communicable diseases. The availability of palliative care in Finland varies in different areas of the country, which partly is caused by insufficient education leading to low competency. All healthcare professionals should be trained to provide basics of palliative care and special training should be offered for those treating the severe cases. Nowadays universities of applied sciences and universities do not provide enough education in palliative care to nursing and medical Students.

The Aims of EduPal Project

The aims of this project are:

1. To study the current state of the education in palliative nursing and medicine in Finland and compare it to the international recommendations;

2. To create a three-level competency description for palliative nursing and medicine (basic A, and specialist B,C levels) in multidisciplinary cooperation with experts from the working life;

3. To create a national recommendation to include palliative care in undergraduate studies to provide basic competency in palliative care to nursing and medical students;

4. To create a national recommendation for special education in palliative nursing and medicine to provide specialist competency in palliative care;

5. In addition, the project will develop cooperation between Master’s degrees at universities of applied sciences and science universities, R&D activities related to palliative care. The project will also contribute to a national, multidisciplinary network of palliative care experts that will promote education and research in palliative care.

The Work Packages

The measures taken in this project include four work packages:

  • The first work package focuses on studying the curricula and the state of palliative care at universities of applied sciences and science universities and entails workshops and questionnaires to the working life and students. Based on the gathered information the three-level competency descriptions are created.
  • Based on the competency descriptions, a national and internationally comparable recommendation of undergraduate education for palliative nursing and medical education is created in the second work package.
  • The third work package develops recommendations for special education on palliative nursing and medicine (B and C levels).
  • The fourth work package aims to develop new, innovative teaching methods that facilitate multidisciplinary learning, establish R&D activities and create a multidisciplinary expert network which will maintain and develop education, development and research in palliative care and medical science.

The Results

The results of this project provide internationally comparable recommendations for undergraduate and special education in of palliative nursing and medicine, which are based on competency descriptions in different levels of palliative care. The project will also deepen teachers’ competence, affirm students’ competence, enhance their working life skills and contribute to flexible study paths. Finnish education in palliative nursing and medicine reaches a high level complying with international standards.

The project implementation time is  from 1st of February 2018 to 31 december 2021 and is funded (1,5 milj €) by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.

Contact us:

Minna Hökkä, minna.hokka(a), +358447157078, Palliative Nursing
Juho Lehto, Juho.Lehto(a), +358504090974, Palliative Medicine

Introduction videos:

EduPal – what is palliative care? (YouTube)

EduPal – what is EduPal project? (YouTube)

EduPal – project ensures palliative care competence (YouTube)