ENhANCE, a 36-month EU Erasmus Plus-funded project, is entering its second year. The overriding aim of the project is to improve the skills and career development opportunities for professional, graduate nurses by developing a reference European Curriculum for Family and Community Nurses (FCN) compliant with common European VET instruments and tools such as EQF and ECVET. A major milestone in the first year was the definition of a Professional Profile for the Family Community Nurse – a task led by UNIGE (University of Genoa) and that now serves as the backbone for the ongoing curriculum development. A first version of the FCN curriculum will be released and piloted in February 2019.
A standardized professional profile for FCN established in year 1
ENhANCE used a consensus-based approach to agree on 27 core competencies which formed the basis for defining the FCN Professional Profile. It involved several eDelphi rounds with a total of 23 experts participating from 10 European countries including Professor Elizabeth Hanson, Eurocarers’ President. The panel of experts comprised nursing academics, regulatory board members, nursing service directors and experts in family and community nursing.
First version of the European FCN curriculum to be released in February 2019
The ENhANCE FCN curriculum, a first version which will be ready by February 2019, will be piloted in Finland, Italy and Greece. The curriculum will be unique in that it will adopt a modular approach so that VET (Vocational Education and Training) providers will have the flexibility to adapt the curriculum to meet local needs whilst ensuring compliance with national rules and regulations.
The management of long-term health conditions in the context of demographic ageing is driving new approaches to the delivery of health care, which is increasingly integrated with social care provision within the community. The idea with ENhANCE is to target the existing mismatch in skills and meet current societal and labour market needs.
Demographic changes will increase the demand for particular health professional disciplines, especially in those aspects of health care relating to older people and throughout the life span, given the emphasis on preventative care. A well-trained family and community nurse will have a key role in ensuring continuity between the health system and the community social support system, acting as the link between various institutions and interests, as well as being part of a multidisciplinary team.