Programme structure

The consecutive Master degree programme is a 3-semester course for full-time students and a 6-semester course (approx.) for part-time students. It is divided into different modules and corresponds to 90 ECTS credits.

The areas of specialization in nursing offered by the partner universities of the Bern University of Applied Sciences are taught in modules on clinical assessment, intervention /outcome, and self-management. Students enrol at the university of their choice, depending on their specialization preferences.

Areas of specialization Master of Science in Nursing Bern

Due to a strong focus on collaboration with bodies dealing with applied research in nursing science and development, the Bern University of Applied Sciences offers two pioneering areas of specialization. The first is concerned with health promotion, prevention, and the psychosocial impact on health behaviour. The second focuses on effectiveness and efficiency of nursing.

Prevention / health promotion and psychosocial health
Nursing practice has become increasingly complex due to demographic changes as well as developments in healthcare toward short-period hospitalisation and expansion of outpatient clinics as a result of increased multimorbidity. This has led to an increase in responsibility on the part of patients and their relatives which, in turn, calls not only for efficient acute nursing care but also for anticipatory health-promoting and preventive healthcare measures by the nursing staff to forestall complication rates and re-entries. In order to provide efficient health care, multiple factors with a considerable influence on the treatment progress, e.g. psychosocial health, have to be taken into account. To be able to tailor to individual patient needs and provide efficient and effective care beyond the boundaries of a single institution, nurses have to be able to make quick, systematic and comprehensive assessments and evaluations of nursing situations. This requires consideration of somatic needs in all areas of care as well as advanced knowledge of psychological factors and social parameters. This is especially important since the number of psychological imbalances has risen dramatically in Switzerland and somatic diseases have frequently been shown to have a negative impact on the psychosocial health of patients and their environment. These negative psychosocial impacts manifest in the patient’s health behaviour, the treatment progress, and the duration of treatment, and therefore have an influence on the overall results of the treatment. In order to face these challenges proactively, master students in nursing will acquire in-depth competences beyond the basic knowledge of acute care taught in the Bachelor programme.

Effectiveness and efficiency of nursing
The demand for effective nursing practice and the growing economic pressure on our health care system gives rise to considerable challenges in the nursing profession. Acute care hospitals, and outpatient clinics in particular, rely on both effective and cost-efficient nursing interventions. Factors that have an impact on the effectiveness and efficiency as well as the result of a treatment include socio-demographic aspects such as age, educational level, personal health, family, social context, previous experiences with the healthcare system, and idiosyncratic behavioural patterns. Furthermore, we have to take into account that recent demographic and social change has prompted a shift in the demands towards nursing practice. Factors such as aging, cultural diversity, or future skill and grade mix lead to increasingly heterogeneous nursing teams.

Areas of specialization of partner universities

St.Gallen: Treatment of patients with chronic health problems (with special focus on senor citizens and the coaching of patients and relatives)

Zürich: Treatment of patients with acute critical health problems and patients with acute and chronic health problems in home care