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NurSusTOOLKIT: A Teaching and Learning Resource for Sustainability in Nursing
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Europe 2020 flagship initiative for a resource efficient Europe stresses the need for an urgent and significant transition towards using our natural resources more efficiently. Natural resources are inextricably linked with health and wellbeing; promoting good health reduces healthcare costs and promotes healthy ageing and independence. Due to its relative large carbon dioxide emissions, use of toxic materials and production of excessive waste, healthcare is compromising public health and damaging the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Education in sustainable development (ESD) is stressed by initiatives under the U.N. However nurses and nurse educators are poorly prepared to understand the connections between resources, climate change, sustainability and health. The aim of this project is to enhance the relevance of the learning offer in nursing education and sustainability by developing and testing innovative teaching and learning approaches, disseminating good practice and promoting take-up of learning approaches through strategic use of information technologies. It will facilitate vocationally relevant Sustainability Literacy and Competency to enable nurses to work in a labour market that needs to adjust to and prepare for a changing climate. This project will be conducted by a partnership of four HEIs, currently working together through bilateral Erasmus agreements. Plymouth’s commitment to ESD is supported by the Centre for Sustainable Futures. Plymouth has reviewed and researched potential health impacts of climate change and how healthcare providers are addressing climate change and sustainability. Scenarios for practitioners dealing with supply interruptions have been piloted and embedded in the nursing curriculum. Sustainability education has been explored through innovative mechanisms using social media. For Esslingen University, sustainability is a central political issue, with expertise in implementing sustainability in leadership. Esslingen brings experience of behaviour change, and running European projects and dissemination strategies. Jaén University promotes social transformation through active and participatory learning and is committed to the development of a sustainable society model and embedding training for pro-environmental awareness and intentionality. Jaén brings expertise in ecology and global change, developmental health and immigration, public health policies, health guideline development, and environmental risk factors in disease outcomes. Maastricht University (UM) is well-known for the system of Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Sustainable development is being integrated as a curricula topic e.g. Masters in Sustainability Science and Policy and the new course-module Climate Change and Public health in the BA European Public Health. UM brings experience in designing sustainability curricula and adopting innovative didactical PBL approaches. UM has relevant (research) expertise on climate change (and its health impacts), as well as other sustainable development issues. Three of the four partners are engaged in teaching over 2000 nursing students and supporting continuing professional development. All partners have links with other nursing schools, providing opportunities for testing project outputs with stakeholders. The output of the project is an Open Access Sustainability Literacy and Competency (SLC) framework, evidence-based resources and teaching and learning course content. The main activities of the project are: 1. A detailed review of evidence-based resources to provide sustainability, climate change and health resources 2. A scoping exercise of partner and stakeholder curricula to identify examples of good practice and opportunities for integrating sustainability into the nursing curricula, and Delphi consensus development study of partner and other stakeholder organisations to identify and agree sustainability course content and key competencies. 3. Development of a competency framework and learning materials, adapting learning materials for demographic relevance. Link learning materials to European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) 4. Evaluation of the teaching and learning materials with approximately 200 – 300 students 5. Developing the NurSusTOOLKIT for the teaching and learning materials; test with partners and stakeholders, revise interface and add further materials. 6. Dissemination: engage wider stakeholders; prepare and disseminate e-newsletter; write papers for publication and presentation; organise and run international teaching and learning event. The project will produce an online resource NurSusTOOLKIT, e-modules (linked to ECTS) focused on sustainability for nursing and healthcare linked to key competencies and including an evidence-based resource and innovative teaching and learning approaches. The project will also make recommendations for embedding sustainability in nursing curricula across Europe.
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3 Partners Participants