RN4CAST in Slovenia

This project addresses 2 complex issues: the lack of research knowledge among RNs and poor research alliance between hospitals and HEIs. The profile of research in nursing will be raised by increasing both research capacity and capability. Through individual Workpackages (WPs) & outputs, 5 objectives will be addressed: 1. to build infrastructure with research leadership that will support a research active environment (WP1 - analysing nursing work environment and enablers/barriers in facilitating nurses to do research, WP2 - establishing nursing research groups/units; identifying research mentors within the hospitals and linked researchers at HEI, suggesting the online material content); 2. to improve access to research training and support opportunities (WP 3, 4, 5 - online learning programme); 3. to identify research priorities in practice and link in with HEI to address them jointly (WP2); 4. to encourage intra-disciplinary, multi-disciplinary & inter-agency research collaborations (WP2; research group establishment); 5. To raise the profile of research conducted by nurses to internal and external organisations (WP 2, 6: encouraging nurses to submit abstracts to conferences and improve research writing skills).

Within the ProCare project RN4CAST research in Slovenia is being conducted

RN4CAST is one of the largest nursing workforce surveys ever conducted in over 30 countries in Europe and beyond, helping to improve the accuracy of forecasting models and create new approaches to more effective management of nursing resources in Europe and the world (Aiken et al., 2017). The results of the survey have made a tremendous contribution to improving the health of European citizens, with an emphasis on the number and education of nurses, working conditions in nursing, work performance and patient safety (Papastavrou & Andreou, 2016). In fact, current models of human resource planning in nursing care are unreliable and inefficient because they only take into account the scope of work but neglect the effects on the quality of patient care. The RN4CAST examines how the organizational characteristics of inpatient healthcare affect nursing recruitment, retention of nurses in workplaces, and patient outcomes. The findings to date also indicate, for example, that an increase in the workload of nurses in one patient increases the likelihood of a patient dying within 30 days of admission by 7%, and that every 10% increase in the number of nursing graduates is associated with a 7% decrease in this probability ( Aiken, et al., 2014). Aiken et al. (2012) states that with each additional patient per nurse, they are more likely to report poor quality of care and to assess patient safety as poor or in decline. In 2009-2010, research was first started in 12 European countries, since then several countries have repeated the survey and new national studies have been carried out (Sermeus & Aiken, n.d.). Unfortunately, Slovenia was not included. We feel the latter as a negative consequence, as we face a large outflow of nursing staff who are overworked and underpaid in work settings. As we did not carry out an assessment of the nursing staff, we did not take any measures to prevent fluctuation.

The purpose of the research, which we began to prepare in early 2019 and started in early 2020, is to investigate the links between the work environment of nursing practice and the specific outcomes of patients in the medical and surgical wards at Slovenian general hospitals. The research is being conducted to create a clear picture of the relationship between nursing staffing planning and patient safety.

The management of Slovenian General Hospitals and University Clinical Centers received an invitation to participate. Eight general hospitals and both clinical centers decided to participate. A quantitative exploratory cross-sectional research method was used. Data for this survey are collected from 4 sources: data from nurses and data about patients' views on care recently received at the hospital are collected using validated structured questionnaires, the minimum set of hospital data will be obtained from the official records of the National Institute of Public Health and information about the health care facility from the management of those facilities.

We would like to thank all those who are and will still take valuable time to participate in this research.


One of the project aims was to establishe research groups within the partner hospitals and engage Journal Clubs.
What is a journal club?
A journal club is a regular meeting where healthcare providers within a similar discipline come together and critically appraise a piece of research that has been published in a scientific journal. In critically appraising the research, participants develop skills to help make sense of the research process and findings and can decide whether it is advisable to apply the findings to their clinical work (Johnson, 2016). A journal club increases research knowledge and represents an educational tool that bridges research and practice (DuGan, 2019), facilitating the application of the research in the clinical environment (Westlake et al., 2015).
Journal club types and formats have changed over time. The following types have been described in the literature (McGlacken-Byrne et al., 2020; Peacock et al., 2020; Xiong et al., 2018).
a. Traditional journal club which usually occurs face to face and involves a junior staff member presenting a peer-reviewed article. This is then followed by a discussion which is usually led by more senior members of the group.
b. Evidence-based journal club, whereby papers for discussion are chosen based on clinical questions arising from clinical practice. The discussion in this instance centers on critical appraisal of the research and discussion about whether the findings could change clinical practice.
c. Flipped journal club, which involves attendees receiving the article and preparatory reading materials in advance of the journal club meeting and then discussing the material in the journal club, often in small groups, providing the opportunity for in-depth discussion and engagement from all in attendance.
d. Virtual online or on-demand, asynchronous format, whereby online discussion boards, econferences, blogs and social media platforms such as Twitter are used to spark discussion. These have become particularly pertinent during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Journal clubs were set operating in all partner hospitals. Due to pandemic reasons the ProCare team delveloped and organized a PAN EUROPEAN JOURNAL CLUB where nurses were invited to participed in Journal club mentored and led by experts from Ireland. Lead by Jennifer Khan, Clinical Placement Co-ordinator, University Hospital Limerick and Dr. Pauline Meskell, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Limerick, Ireland.  
Basics of a Journal Club and the experience of the Nursing Journal Club at University Hospital Limerick, Ireland were introduced. And a  Journal Club theme: Experiences of Nurses During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Methods Study was discused. 



Partners of the ProCare project have developed an online educational program: 'Online course on: Applied nursing research', intended for graduate nurses/graduate health professionals who want to easily and quickly learn the basic steps for research in nursing. The free educational program is designed in such a way that enables learning about the basics of research in nursing in the Moodle online environment. 

The program consists of five themes: Thinking, Exploring, Planning and testing, Empirical research and Evaluating. Each topic is presented through an interactive book that concludes with a short quiz.



The online Learning programme is
- Inevitable part of HEI
- Efficient form of education
- Expands employment possibilities 
- Recent change in perception of e-learning
- Nursing students use e-learning with enthusiasm
- Challenge of creating online materials

And provides
- an online educational platform for Evidence-Based Nursing
- Definition of evaluation criteria (costs, scalability, interoperability, usability, functionality and safety)
- Overview of Learning management systems
- Identification of strengths and weaknesses
- Selection of the e-learning environment
- Use high-quality materials
- Up-to-date and useful content
- User-centered design
- Attractive didactical activities

Link for e-learning platform is HERE

After finishing with the online learning programme each student receives a certificate and, in some countries, also reference points from national nursing association. 

You are welcome to join and follow the steps of online cource.

For gaining  the user name and password please contact some of the contact persons below:

Katja Pesjak - kpesjak@fzab.si (Slovenia)
Manuel Lillo Crespo - manuel.lillo@grupohla.com (Spain)
Lucia Cadorin - lucia.cadorin@uniud.it (Italy)
Christine Fitzgerald - Christine.Fitzgerald@ul.ie (Ireland)

You are welcome to join,

ProCare TEAM