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Health offering new track on the Master's degree programme in Nursing

In September 2019, a new track will begin in Advanced Practice Nursing on the Master's degree programme in Nursing. The track will prepare the nurses to create coherence in the treatment of patients suffering from multimorbity, among other things.

The Department of Public Health has established a new track in Advanced Practice Nursing which will train nurses to navigate in complex organisations and to deal with patients who have complex health problems.

Almost 1.2 million Danes suffer from at least two chronic diseases, and that number is increasing. For patients with what is known as multimorbity, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation are often transsectoral and spread across several medical specialities.

At the same time, length of stay in hospitals is becoming shorter and shorter, so an ever-increasing proportion of the work involving patients and others now generally lies with the municipalities. This has created challenges for a highly specialised healthcare sector, for the municipalities and not least for the patients themselves, because the healthcare system's organisational structures do not always fit their diseases. The transitions between e.g. general practitioner, hospital and municipal healthcare services are also vulnerable, so that patients risk falling between the cracks in the system. The municipalities, regions and the government therefore have a lot of focus on creating a relevant and coherent healthcare service.

"We’ve followed the challenges for some time, and there is a great need for professional development of the municipal nursing. We have therefore designed and prepared the study programme in collaboration with eight municipalities and the Danish Nurses' Organization," says Charlotte Ringsted, vice-dean for education at Health.

Similar educational programmes are already in place in several countries including Norway, Netherlands, Canada and the United States, under the title of Advanced Practice Nursing (APN nurses).

A new type of nurse

The new track will differ from the existing Master's degree programme in Nursing in several ways.

"The programme is directed towards working in the local healthcare service and will also be more clinically focused and narrower in scope than the current Master's degree programme in Nursing. This means that students will e.g. have more teaching about disease symptoms, so they can better assess patients and others with complex health problems. There will also be more focus on the organisation of the healthcare system, so they can coordinate and help to develop new pathways," says Kirsten Beedholm, who is director of studies for the Master's degree programme at the Department of Public Health.

After graduation, the nurses will help to prevent unnecessary readmissions, as these are a major issue in the healthcare sector. This work must take place in close cooperation with hospitals and general practitioners, among others, and the nurses' tasks will fall under the auspices of the applicable rules in the Danish Authorisation Act.

The programme can be taken while working

The academic regulations for the new Master's degree track have just fallen into place, meaning that it is now open for applications from interested nurses. A total of thirty students will be enrolled in Aarhus with another thirty enrolled in Emdrup. Commencement of studies will take place in September 2019. The Master's degree programme in Nursing will thus increase in size and will enrol 150 students each year. At the same time, the current Master's degree programme is being converted to a track called the Nursing science track.

Both tracks are two-year full-time Master’s degrees. But as a new initiative, they can now also be taken as four-year Master's degree programmes for working professionals, where the students work as nurses at the same time as studying.

The deadline for applications for both tracks of the Master's degree programme in Nursing is 1 March 2019.

Read more about both tracks and the Master's degree programme for working professionals.


Director of Studies for the Health Sciences Kirsten Beedholm
Aarhus University, Department of Public Health
Mobile: (+45) 2047 5824
Email: kbe@ph.au.dk

Vice-dean for Education Charlotte Ringsted
Aarhus University, Health
Mobile: (+45) 9350 8222
Email: charlotte.ringsted@au.dk