Cultural competence in social and healthcare work environments
European Structural and Investment Funds - ESF
538 205 EUR
University of Oulu
Unit and faculty
Research Unit of Health Sciences and Technology
Faculty of Medicine
- ProfessorKristina Mikkonen
In the project we develop a model, digital network, and a virtual reality learning environment to help the immigrant nurses and nursing students to better integrate in the Finnish working life.
Cultural competence is an important part of the social and healthcare competence. Developing cultural competence helps with the encounters with the patients from different cultural backgrounds.
Developing the CultureExpert model – actions
The CultureExpert-project work packages complement each other and facilitate the integration of nurses and nursing students from different cultures into work environments.
In the first work package, a model supporting integration and the necessary assessment tools needed to evaluate the competence development of the target group participating in the project will be developed. This work package is an integral part of the project and provides a reliable and strong foundation for the other packages in the project. The University of Oulu is responsible for this package.
The target of the first work package is to create tools for assessing the clinical competence of nursing students with an immigrant background, for assessing the guidance and cultural competence of their student mentors in the social and healthcare sector, and for re-assessing the competence of their teachers.
In addition, the role of the work communities and the management in integrating nurses and students with an immigrant background is assessed, as well as the skills of the management in leading a multicultural work community and supporting the development of language skills.
The CultureExpert model describes the good practices to support the smooth transition and commitment of nurses and nursing students with an immigrant background to the healthcare workforce in our areas.
CultureExpert accessible for all
The CultureExpert model will be published online. The educational training packages included in the second and the third working packages will be shared online thus enabling immigrant nurses and students to use the material freely to develop their competence and integration in the Finnish working life independently.
The second work package includes building the digital learning environment. Clinical skills and the Finnish language will be integrated in the simulation, and the simulation will be tested. The responsible partner is Lapland University of Applied Sciences.
The third work package aims at developing and piloting the educational training to develop the cultural and linguistic competence of the clinical mentors and management staff in social and healthcare organisations. The responsible partner is Oulu University of Applied Sciences.
The fourth work package includes the coordination and management of the project and responsible for this is the University of Oulu.
CultureExpert – Cultural competence and linguistic skills for social and healthcare sector
CultureExpert-project develops an integrational model and a digital network between educational organisations, nurses, and nursing students from immigrant backgrounds, social and healthcare educators, managers and mentors employed in the social and healthcare sector.
The project will support immigrant nursing students’ transition into clinical learning environments through virtual reality simulation activities. The project creates educational training packages in a digital learning environment to develop the cultural and linguistic competence of the clinical mentors and management staff in social and healthcare organisations.
The core of the project is to strengthen the collaboration between social and healthcare work environments and organisations that prepare immigrant nurses for working life in Finland and organisations that train immigrant nursing students.
Innovative learning environment supporting immigrant nursing students
The CultureExpert project trains and supports immigrant nursing students to integrate in working life by helping them develop their competence and linguistic skills in an innovative way. In the virtual reality simulation, the student can train for real working life situation beforehand.
The virtual reality simulation as a learning environment offers various benefits:
- Virtual reality simulations are useful when practiced situations are difficult to arrange.
- The technology makes it possible to learn to use devices safely and efficiently.
- It is possible to repeat the practices easily to help learning them thoroughly.
- The gamified environment provides instant and specific feedback.
- The students have the possibility to practice independently.
An important part of this project is to create an educational training packages to develop the cultural and linguistic competence of the clinical mentors and management staff in social and healthcare organisations. The integrational model will consider current and future competence needs in the social and healthcare sector and be used to respond to the growing labour shortage within the sector.
The model will also support the recruitment, transition and retention of immigrant nurses and nursing students into the social and healthcare field.
The project’s main target groups are nurses and nursing students from immigrant backgrounds, educators from vocational and higher educational organisations and clinical mentors and management staff in social and healthcare.
Cultural competence and linguistic skills for students, mentors, and management staff
The project aims at increasing the competence of clinical mentors and management staff from the social and healthcare sector in mentoring and supporting immigrant nursing students’ learning and professional development. In addition, the educational training packages will develop managers’ multicultural management skills.
The education aims at developing the competence of mentors and management in social and healthcare sector work communities to better accept cultural differences and diversity and support the integration of nurses and students with an immigrant background.
The commitment of the educated nursing professionals with an immigrant background to Finnish working life depends a lot on the workplaces’ attitudes towards immigrants. Language skills and adaptation to local conditions and practices also play an important role.
The project develops a new digital network to support immigrant nurses’ and nursing students’ integration into working life. Through this network, nurses and nursing students will be able to find information on training and employment opportunities as well as professional competence requirements in Finnish social and healthcare.
The CultureExpert project in practice
The focus of the project is to strengthen the co-operation between social and healthcare work environments and organisations that prepare immigrant nurses for working life in Finland and organisations that train immigrant nursing students.
The CultureExpert project collaborators are Oulu University Hospital, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences (Diak), and Centria University of Applied Sciences. All collaborators have strong experience in working with nurses and nursing students from immigrant backgrounds.
The organisations involved in the implementation of the project include University of Oulu (project coordinator), Oulu University of Applied Sciences (OUAS) and Lapland University of Applied Sciences (Lapland UAS). The project duration is 3/2021–2/2023. The project is funded by European Social Fund and the monitoring authority is North Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport, and the Environment.
Lapland University of Applied Sciences
Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Interested in CultureExpert project? We will gladly discuss about the work!
Please, contact us:
University of Oulu (project coordinator)
Kristina Mikkonen, project leader
Heli Kuivila, project manager
Miro Koskenranta, project expert
Lapland University of Applied Sciences
FrostBit – Lapland University of Applied Sciences
Oulu University of Applied Sciences