Scottish nursing and culture exchange for Finnish academics


Monday 22 October 2018

Scottish nursing and culture exchange for Finnish academics
A pair of nursing lecturers from Finland have benefitted from a visit to Aberdeen this week, where they worked closely with academics from RGU's School of Nursing and Midwifery.

Arja Oikarinen and Sari Pyykkonen, from Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KAMK), have spent three days with their North-east counterparts Carol Jackson and Debbie Wilson, observing Scottish nursing education and discussing further partnership opportunities between the two institutions.

The visit also involved spending time at North-east clinical practice areas and participating in a number of cultural activities to enhance their knowledge of Aberdeen, allowing them to promote the area to more students in Finland.

The team met with a former KAMK student, Heini Kilpelinen, who completed an exchange with RGU in April 2017 and has just begun working full-time at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Heini is the second nursing student who has relocated to Aberdeen to work at NHS Grampian, following an Erasmus exchange.

Arja Oikarinen said: “Our primary goal has been to learn about nursing education in Scotland and to observe and shadow the teaching of clinical skills to students.

“It has been very beneficial to meet with the team at RGU and to discuss how the School of Nursing and Midwifery and KAMK School of Health can better work together on health promotion, research and student development.”

RGU and KAMK have maintained an exchange partnership for over 20 years, which has seen students and staff across a variety of subjects spend semesters abroad.

This partnership allows students from both institutions to improve their employability skills, independence and flexibility, whilst developing a new cultural awareness.

Carol Jackson, Lecturer and International Exchanges Co-ordinator at RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “It has been a pleasure to welcome our Finnish colleagues to the university and to demonstrate the excellent facilities and innovative teaching that our students benefit from.

“There is so much we can learn from comparing primary health care in Scotland and Finland, and while it will immediately improve the training we provide to students, in the end it is their future patients that will benefit from this collaboration.”