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Course Description

Nursing Science

Studying Nursing Science in Germany

An article by Florian Schumann. Cooperation from: Gabriele Meister

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That is what it's about

Nursing Sciences not only looks at how to care for people in need of nursing in everyday life. It is also about how best to organise care and how to develop whole concepts, for example for providing good care for children with disabilities or for promoting the health of the population. Not only health issues are researched, but also ethical, legal, technical and economic aspects. Nurses do not only act on behalf of doctors, but also independently.

While nursing training courses concentrate mainly on practice, nursing degree courses focus on background and methods. "Chronic diseases are on the rise, life expectancy is increasing, and health-related knowledge is evolving rapidly, so we need people who can interpret new studies and bring that knowledge to nursing," says Julia Ruth Lademann, professor of nursing and health sciences at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and on the board of the Dean's Conference on Nursing Sciences.

Prevention is becoming an increasingly important topic not only in society, but also in studies. Students learn to advise people on the basis of scientific findings so that they can do something beneficial for their own health.

This is how the course runs

Some degree courses emphasise nursing practice, while others focus more on management, education, or psychology. "If you don't already have a nursing degree, an undergraduate nursing degree is best," Lademann says. The standard period of study varies, often between six and eight semesters.

What nursing can look like is covered in all nursing courses. Students must complete around 2,300 hours of practical training in total, 85 to 90 percent of which, depending on the university, is spent in a hospital, in outpatient care or in long-term care in an institution, and around 10 to 15 percent in so-called skills labs, where, for example, body care is practised - not only in the pandemic with the help of dolls. In some cases, students take turns practising how to lift someone out of bed or put on compression stockings.

Communication theories, social law and ethics are also part of the course content, as there are many difficult situations in everyday life. For example, how do you respond when a bed rail is designed to protect a patient from falling, but they don't want to be locked in?

Typical questions raised within the subject

  • How can you assess a person's care needs?
  • How do you place a urinary catheter?
  • How can you create trust with people in need of care in order to carry out measures?
  • Why should the care of dementia patients be oriented towards their biography?
  • How can you train or further educate nursing staff?
  • How do you improve the cooperation between doctors, physiotherapists and nursing staff?
  • How do you use robots in care?

The subject suits you,...

... you would like to work with people in need of care on a scientific basis and further develop care. "Nursing Sciences is a young field of study. Much has yet to be explored. We need people to get involved and help shape the profession," says Lademann. You must learn to develop a professional attitude towards people in need of care and, for example, be able to deal with death.

To find out if you are suited for the job, it is best to initially do an internship in nursing. Often this is also a prerequisite for the degree course, sometimes it is required to show proof of an completed apprenticeship. The profession is diverse; contact with people is paramount. But skilled personnel are needed in many places, whether in management, research, knowledge transfer or the development of lifting robots. Approximately three quarters of the students are women.

Is there a numerus clausus?

About a quarter of all undergraduate courses have an entrance restriction, but it is usually low.