News

Kick-off for the European Critical Care Nursing Fellowship Programme (EUCARE)

DATE December 12th, 2023

EUCARE is an EUHA-driven fellowship programme that will foster the exchange of essential knowledge among critical care nurses within EUHA hospitals. The programme will create a network of critical care nurses at the European level that will increase the preparedness to face future disasters while helping reduce shortages by increasing the attractiveness of the nursing profession. EUCARE is an ERASMUS+ funded programme that brings together several EUHA members and is officially launched today at Karolinska University Hospital.

Critical care nurses play a vital role in disaster response and need to be prepared for responding to increasing global threats in our continent, such as pandemics, war, and natural disasters. In addition, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted current nursing workforce shortages that stretch healthcare systems, threaten the healthcare response and expose the need for more preparedness in Europe. The current shortage of nursing professionals in Europe is a major concern that requires innovative solutions.

EUHA is concerned that these shortages, together with growing healthcare demands, rising costs and an ageing population pose challenges to healthcare accessibility, and limit system resilience during future health emergencies. For this reason, EUHA adopted as a strategic goal to develop common European solutions towards a sustainable healthcare workforce and resilient healthcare systems.

The EUHA Nursing Network contributes to this strategic objective by creating EUCARE, a 3-year fellowship programme whose primary objective is to facilitate the exchange and transfer of clinical knowledge among critical care nurses in EUHA hospitals. The project, which will be coordinated by Charité РUniversitätsmedizin Berlin, has received ERASMUS+ funding to design and implement a common education programme for nurses that will provide specialised crisis response knowledge and create a network of interculturally trained nurses ready to work across borders. Thus, participants of the programme will undergo comprehensive practical training to acquire the necessary competencies that support the provision of critical care in different intercultural emergencies.

EUHA Nursing Network colleagues have gathered today (13th of December) at Karolinska University Hospital for the official launch of the EUCARE project.

European Critical Care Nursing Fellowship Programme of the European University Hospital Alliance

A unique professional development opportunity for nurses

As a result of the fellowship programme, participants will have solid professional and operational skills and improved interdisciplinary, interprofessional, and cross-cultural collaboration. The nursing fellowship programme will contribute to a specialisation programme for critical care nurses across Europe, facilitating better alignment with EU countries’ different needs and enhancing the critical care nursing career attractiveness with a unique professional development opportunity.

Cross-cultural expertise

The programme will create a network for nurses to continue professional interaction and be prepared to work across borders. This network can be beneficial during pandemics, disasters, or wars. This network could be a valuable resource for critical specialists with cross-cultural expertise in the long run.

Funding

The funding obtained from ERASMUS+ will be used for the development, testing, evaluation, and dissemination of the programme. The goal is to establish the fellowship permanently at the European level. EUCARE aims to create a curriculum focusing on acquiring skills supporting critical care delivery during crises and to gain recognition from European accreditation bodies by providing training opportunities in cross-cultural critical care settings. EUCARE plans to create a network of critical care nurses to work together on developing evidence-based standards of care that focus on crisis care, even after the end of the programme.

Next steps

Following the programme’s kick-off, the project and its partners embark on a three-year journey. Initially, the preliminary roadmap for the first year includes context analysis, stakeholder engagement, and curriculum development. The second year will focus on the logistical organisation of the fellowship, while the third year is planned for implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of results.