University of Oulu

Kristina Mikkonen, Tapio Ojala, Tuulikki Sjögren, Arja Piirainen, Camilla Koskinen, Monika Koskinen, Meeri Koivula, Marjorita Sormunen, Terhi Saaranen, Leena Salminen, Minna Koskimäki, Heidi Ruotsalainen, Marja-Leena Lähteenmäki, Outi Wallin, Hanne Mäki-Hakola, Maria Kääriäinen, Competence areas of health science teachers – A systematic review of quantitative studies, Nurse Education Today, Volume 70, 2018, Pages 77-86, ISSN 0260-6917,

Competence areas of health science teachers : a systematic review of quantitative studies

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Author: Mikkonen, Kristina1; Ojala, Tapio2; Sjögren, Tuulikki2;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
3Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland
4Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
5Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing Science, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
6Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
7Degree Programme in Physiotherapy, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Tampere, Finland
8Degree Programme in Social Services, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Tampere, Finland
9Teacher Training Programme, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Tampere, Finland
10Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
11The Finnish Centre for Evidence-Based Health Care: A Joanna Briggs Institute Centre of Excellence, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-08-18


Background: In the face of rapid digitalisation and ever-higher educational requirements for healthcare professionals, it is important that health science teachers possess the relevant core competences. The education of health science teachers varies internationally and there is no consensus about the minimum qualifications and experience they require.

Objective: The aim of this systematic review was to describe the health science teachers’ competences and the factors related to it.

Design: Systematic review of original quantitative studies.

Data sources: Four databases were selected from which to retrieve original studies: Cinahl (Ebsco), PubMed, Medic, Eri (ProQuest).

Review Methods: The systematic review used PICOS inclusion criteria. Original peer-reviewed quantitative studies published between 1/2007 and 1/2018 were identified. Screening was conducted by two researchers separately reading the 1885 titles, 600 abstracts, and 63 full-texts that were identified, and then agreed between them. Critical appraisal was performed using the JBI MAStARI evaluation tool. The data was extracted and then analysed narratively.

Results: The core competences of health science teachers include areas of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Health science teachers evaluate their own competence as high. Only in relation to entrepreneurship and leadership knowledge was evaluated to be average. The most common factors influencing competence were teachers’ title/position, healthcare experience, research activities, age, academic degree and for which type of organisation they work.

Conclusion: It is important to identify the core competencies required by health science teachers in order to train highly competent healthcare professionals. Based on the findings of this systematic review we suggest that teachers should be encouraged to gain university education and actively participate in research, and that younger teachers should have opportunities to practice the relevant teaching skills to build competence.

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Series: Nurse education today
ISSN: 0260-6917
ISSN-E: 1532-2793
ISSN-L: 0260-6917
Volume: 70
Pages: 77 - 86
DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2018.08.017
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
516 Educational sciences
Funding: This study has been funded by Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland.
Copyright information: © 2018. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license