RN4CAST research report

We are publishing the report of the research findings from the survey on the workforce in nursing (RN4CAST) in selected Slovenian hospitals, authored by  prof. dr. Brigita Skela Savič, scientific councilor.

The following participated in the research team for the research:

red. prof. dr. Brigita Skela Savič, znanstvena svetnica (research manager, FZAB),
doc. dr. Tit Albrecht (NIJZ),
prof. dr. Walter Sermeus (University of Leuven, Head of Research in the EU),
Mateja Bahun, prof. zdr. vzg., mag. zdr. neg., viš. pred. (FZAB),
dr. Allison Squires (New York University),
Simon Dello (University of Leuven),
izr. prof. dr. Bojana Lobe, visokošolska učiteljica (UL FDV).



Publication on project results

We are pleased to inform that ProCare team manuscript titled: 'The differences between learned and practiced competences among nurses : An international pilot study', has been accepted for publication to Nursing Education in Practice.  


 ProCare was presented at 4 day conference

Sigma 6th Biennial European Regional Conference 

In Ireland, on June 24th, 2022

ABOUT the conference: Nurses and midwives are at the forefront of global efforts to improve and enhance healthcare delivery with the goal of addressing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nurses and midwives work across diverse healthcare settings and community settings and are uniquely positioned to lead on, and contribute to, the achievement of the SDGs and transform global healthcare. This conference brought together leaders on this topic to showcase cutting edge research and clinical practice initiatives that demonstrate nursing and midwifery thought leadership in the development of sustainable health systems and services, with global reach and local impact. This conference facilitated opportunities for individuals to come together and transform self, teams and communities.

MORE: http://www.sigma6biennial.eu/

Procare project was presented by Dr Liz Kingston, University of Limerick, Ireland with the article: Developing nursing research capacity and capability to promote lifelong learning; Insights from the ProCare project 






 ProCare was presented at the 

 15th International Scientific Conference: Digitalisation and Education in Health Sciences,
which was at Hotel Astoria Bled on June 9th, 2022  
The 15th International Scientific Conference 2022 emphasized the importance of digitalisation and new approaches to health sciences education. The conference brought together the practice of health sciences, facilitates collaboration between different health disciplines and introduced a modern approach to the holistic treatment of the individual. It linked theory and practice as well as research findings and users. To promote the necessary improvements and digitalisation of approach, it positioned expert findings within a broader context.
The conference was dedicated to presenting the current research and development work in the field of digitalisation of health sciences and the implementation of new educational methods in nursing care, health promotion, physiotherapy, and other health sciences.  
The aim was to integrate the practice of health sciences through digitisation and introduce new teaching approaches that reflect digitalisation trends. An important aspect of digitalisation and education in health sciences was their impact on shaping a new approach to treating individuals.
ProCare was presented with article: 'First RN4CAST results for Slovenia'
Link to the proceedings of lecture with peer rewiew:


 On April 13, 2022,  Angela Boškin Faculty of Health care held

12th conference My Career: QUO VADIS

with title

 Working conditions among nursing care providers and their relationship with the outcomes of medical treatment for patients in general hospitals in Slovenia

The purpose of the conference was to present and place the first results of the RN4CAST research in the Slovenian context, and to determine what challenges the Slovenian healthcare professions are facing and what the next connection is with the quality of healthcare.

The  Angela Boškin Faculty of Health care presented the first results of the Cross-Sectional Survey of Working Conditions in Nursing (RN4CAST) in Slovenia at the 12th My Career - QUO VADIS conference together with researchers. RN4CAST is one of the largest nursing workforce surveys, as it has already been carried out in most European countries, and in total in more than 40 countries worldwide.


The following observation was made (from the press release):

 More than half of the nurses in Slovenian hospitals are considering changing jobs

More than half of the nurses who work in internal medicine and surgery departments in eight Slovenian general hospitals and the two university clinical centers are considering changing jobs in the next year, according to the first results of the Cross-sectional Survey of Working Conditions in Nursing (RN4CAST), which was carried out by the ,  Angela Boškin Faculty of Health care and partners. The research also revealed a low rating of satisfaction with the working environment and a high workload of nursing employees.


Presented press release had a great impact. Many news in different media were published.




ProCare team reached the final point of the project ProCare with the final project conference:


Hospitals and Faculties Together for Prosperous and Scientific Based Healthcare - ProCare

Final International Conference

Final ProCare conference was  organized by University of Udine, Italy on April 8th, 2022 in
Antonini Palace, GUSMANI Room, Udine. Conference was also available online for remote atendances.
At the conference the results of three years of cooperation between Italian, Spanish, Irish and Slovenian health faculties and general hospitals within the ProCare project have been  presented. The aim of the project is to improve the connection and cooperation between educational institutions and clinical environments and thus contribute to the establishment of scientifically based nursing.
The overall goal of the project is to strengthen research connectivity between hospitals and higher education institutions and to increase the visibility of research in nursing, thus improving the outcomes of nursing care. It also promotes research connectivity between hospitals and higher education institutions internationally through freely available online learning materials.
Time Content Speakers

Welcome and institutional greetings. Brief description of the project, its objectives and the activities carried out.

Italy and Slovenia: Alvisa Palese and Katja Pesjak
Lecture Time

9:00 – 9:15
Welcome Greetings Guest and Authorities

Alvisa Palese
(University of Udine, Italy)
Sanela Pivač
(Angela Boškin Faculty of Health Care, Slovenia)
Lecture Time

9:15 – 9:30
Presentation of the ProCare project Katja Pesjak

(Angela Boškin Faculty of Health Care, Slovenia)

Italy and Slovenia: Alvisa Palese and Mateja Bahun
Nursing developments in four European Countries: professional considerations and cooperation experiences between Universities and Hospitals
Each partner will describe the context of nursing in their Country and some peculiar experiences where research competences have been developed, and the cooperation between Hospitals and Universities has been enhanced (the aim is to highlight the differences and similarities between the four Countries). Furthermore, this part is dedicated to the University WPs leaders who will present a summary of the project activities/results that they have led.
Lecture Time

Nursing work environment Katja Pesjak

(Angela Boškin Faculty of Health Care, Slovenia)
Lecture Time

Linking higher education, research and hospitals for nursing research development: Learning from nursing research collaborations Christine FitzGerald

(University of Limerick, Ireland)
Lecture Time

The development of the online learning programme on nursing research Manuel Lillo Crespo

(University of Alicante, Spain)
Lecture Time

Development of the platform and learning evaluation Alenka Baggia

(University of Maribor, Slovenia)
Lecture Time

Project Quality Assurance Lucia Cadorin

(University of Udine, Italy)
Lecture Time

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break  

Slovenia and Ireland: Katja Pesjak and Liz Kingston
ProCare project impact: results from Hospitals experiences

Each partner Country will describe the activities and goals achieved in the Hospitals as a result of joining the project and producing the training package. This part is dedicated to the Hospital partners and those who developed the online learning programme on nursing research (platform) and learning evaluation.
Lecture Time

Experience of Irish Hospital: A guidance for conducting journal club and research groups Jennifer Khan

(Limerick Hospital, Ireland)
Lecture Time

Experience of Italian Hospital: Journal clubs and research group Barbara Narduzzi

(Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Friuli Centrale, Italy)
Lecture Time

Experience of Spanish Hospital Jorge Riquelme

(Clinica Vistahermosa, Spain)
Lecture Time

Experience of Slovenian Hospital: A qualitative study on Journal Club Mojca Strgar Ravnik

(Splošna Bolnišnica) Jesenice, Slovenia)
Discussion Time

12:45 – 14:00 Lunch  

Italy and Slovenia: Barbara Narduzzi, Lucia Cadorin and Katja Pesjak
International nursing research contributions: Short Communication
Lecture Time

Abstracts presentation:

Johnny Acquaro (University of Turin, Italy)
Mateja Bahum (Angela Boskin faculty of Health Care, Slovenia)
Francesco Cecchini (Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Giuliano Isontina, Italy) Alice Coffey (University of Limerick, Ireland)
Raffaella Dobrina (IRCCS Burlo Garofolo Trieste, Italy) Fco. Javier Gomis Jimeno (University of Alicante, Spain)
Simonetta Grubissa (Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Friuli Centrale, Italy) Liz Kingston (University of Limerick, Ireland)
Juan Manuel Leyva Moral (University Autonomous of Barcelona, Spain) Marjeta Logar Čuček (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Simone Macchi (IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori Milan, Italy) Sara Marcori (University of Trieste, Italy)
Michela Nani (San Paolo Hospital, Milan, Italy)
Ester Pomarolli (Azienda Sanitaria dell'Alto Adige, Italy) Angela Tolotti (Oncology Institute of Southern, Switzerland)

ProCare team is grateful to all  participants who actively shared their knowledge, experience and opinions and to all listeners for their dedicated following of the conference. 


ProCare final conference - Video PART 1


ProCare final conference - Video PART 2


ProCare final conference - Video PART 3





ProCare general presentation


 4th Face to Face meeting held place in Udine, Italy on April 7th, 2022.
ProCare project partners have met in Udine to conclude final activities of a three year long project. A lot of discussion was about learning materials and learning platform and also about the ending of the project itself. Some final preparatory activitieas for the Final conference were carried out.
Project team was productive and concluded the meeting with the whish for further cooperation.

 Hello and welcome to the 'Online course on: Applied nursing research'

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.




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:

General mail - center@fzab.si (Slovenia)
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


ProCare project and e-learning paltform were described in an article E-učilnica za učenje na dokazih podprte zdravstvene nege, which was published at journal of proceedings 'Uporabna informatika'

More info:
BAGGIA, Alenka, LESKOVAR, Robert, ŠMITEK, Branislav, MLAKAR, Saša, PESJAK, Katja, BAHUN, Mateja, RAJKOVIČ, Uroš, et al. E-učilnica za učenje na dokazih podprte zdravstvene nege. Uporabna informatika. [Tiskana izd.]. 2022, letn. 30, št. 1, str. 37-50, ilustr. ISSN 1318-1882. https://uporabna-informatika.si/index.php/ui/article/view/148, DOI: 10.31449/upinf.vol30.num1.148. [COBISS.SI-ID 106708483]




 ProCare was presented at

2nd National Congress called ‘Infermieristica di prossimità per un
Sistema salute più giusto ed efficace’

organized by the National Regulatory Board of Nursing Professions and held in Udine on July 10, 2021.

Barbara Narduzzi gave a short presentation of the whole project, the results achieved until the July 2021. and the ongoing activities.
At the end of the 2nd Congress the ProCare project was awarded by the National Regulatory Board's president (Dr. Barbara Mangicavalli) as a valuable example of good practice among Italian nurses. 



 ProCare war presented at

14th International Scientific Conference: Integrating health care sciences through theory and practice in line with the scientific and professional development and the promotion of user’s well-being

which was held online due to the epidemic, on June 10th, 2021

The 14th International Scientific Conference was connecting. It was connecting health care sciences in practice and supports cooperation between different healthcare professions. It was connecting theory, practice and research findings with users. It placed professional findings into a broader context to promote the necessary improvements.

The conference aimed to present the current research and development work in the fields of nursing, health promotion, physiotherapy, and other healthcare professions. 

The goal was to integrate healthcare professions in practice and disseminate proposed improvements.  This shall establish a knowledge triangle between the academic and clinical environment for user’s well-being.

ProCare was presented with the article: 'A European study on perceived barriers and enablers of nursing research'

Link to the proceedings of lecture with peer rewiew: https://www.fzab.si/uploads/images/2021_14MZK_ZBORNIK.pdf

more info: https://www.fzab.si/news/6126/534/14th-international-scientific-conferene/


 First online European Nursing Journal Club.  

Online European Journal Club will be held on June22nd, 2021 from 14.30 till 16.00 CET on ZOOM.

Our European Nursing Journal Club is part of the ProCare project, co-funded by Erasmus+. The Journal Club will connect, integrate and bring added value to all of us.  

This online/ZOOM Journal Club is for all ProCare partner hospitals to set an example for how it could be done in the future. It will be lead by Jennifer Khan, Clinical Placement Co-ordinator, University Hospital Limerick and Dr. Pauline Meskell, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Limerick, Ireland.  


- Welcome and brief description of the ProCare Project 
- Basics of a Journal Club and the experience of the Nursing Journal Club at University Hospital Limerick, Ireland.  
- Journal Club: Experiences of Nurses During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Methods Study 



ProCare was presented at

7th Nursing & Midwifery Research & Innovation Conference,

which was held in UL Limerik on February 22nd, 2022

Abstract: 'Connecting Hospitals and Higher Education Institutions in ProCare: The Role of Advanced Nurse Practitioners', was oraly presented.





The collaboration of the faculty and the hospital in the ProCare project (Hospitals and faculties together for prosperous and scientifically based healthcare) is a new and beautiful experience. The faculty and the hospital have been working together for a long time, because the education of nursing students requires both theoretical and practical knowledge and refinement, and only good relations and connections between the academic sphere and the clinical environment can ensure this.

The ProCare project is based on the design and development of the triangle of knowledge between theory and practice. The core of the project is to create knowledge and experience based on the demands of everyday life, which are addressed in an academic environment and solutions proposed back to the clinical environment. In this way, all stakeholders - hospitals and faculties - develop: hospitals build a research culture through the project, nurses acquire knowledge about research and information about evidence-based practice, and university teachers acquire knowledge and information about the necessary new teaching methods, new content and current challenges in everyday work in clinical settings. 

Knowledge and experience are shared in an interesting and user-friendly way. Forming a research group and so-called the journal club, the determination of research mentors in the clinical environment and the list of topics that will also be addressed in master's and doctoral research works are ways that concretely contribute positively to the hospital and the faculty. Given the current needs in the field of nursing, collaborative staffing and addressing pressing issues are critical to developing practices that have the ultimate goal of patient well-being.




 Nursing is a scientific discipline and research has become an integral part of nurse education. Research process is essential for obtaining new knowledge to improve patient health care and for continuous development of nursing as a scientific discipline. To reach this goal, nurses need appropriate support - support in new knowledge accessibility and in pro-research system orientation.

At this point the ProCare project has come to important conclusions within WP1 and WP2. WP1 is addressing identifying various aspects of the nursing work environment. Conducted studies aimed to determine the opinions and obtain a self-evaluation of nursing respondents on the extent of working within or beyond the level of competence they gained as part of their nursing education. Despite professional competencies and activities for different categories of nursing care providers being clearly divided, clinical practice in Italy, Spain and Slovenia still shows that some profiles of healthcare providers are performing competencies not consistent with their formal education and training. The studies also aimed to determine barriers and facilitators of the nursing research. The findings were in many parts consistent with other existing data. Many studies are addressing barriers for implementation of nursing research in clinical environments. We know that the most commonly identified barriers are not knowing the research process, lack of: time and resources, access to obtain research material, knowledge to identify quality evidence and evidence interpretation, knowledge on statistics, competencies, English language competency, computer and electronic literacy etc. All listed deficits significantly affect the implementation of evidence based practice in the clinical environment. Also leadership is an important element of encouraging and providing support to nurses who would like to practice research. Management can have a negative impact on research development and implementation by not providing acceptable development strategy, bad organization, lack of designed evidence based practice implementation strategy, lack of educated managers, etc. WP2 is about linking higher education, research and hospitals to support nursing research development. So far gathered results of the studies are reflecting the need to strengthen the cooperation between hospitals and faculties. Mutual aims of HEIs and clinical environments result in quality nursing care. Cooperation reduces the gap between theory and practice. Clinical environments emphasis procedures and competencies for independent work and only these are not sufficient to develop research and evidence based nursing practice. Research and evidence based practice need to be emphasized and encouraged simultaneously – in clinical and higher education environments. This sort of partnership is beneficial for all involved, starting with students. Students have optimal conditions to successfully integrate into work environments, to maintain critical thinking and research orientation, and to use acquired knowledge autonomously. The empowerment of nurse` knowledge and competencies begins at HEIs. The educational process has the power to positively influence students` attitude towards research, their research competencies, and the perception of evidence based practice in nursing. 
As early as the early 19th century, Florence Nightingale was credited with improving patient care when she warned that poor sanitation could adversely affect the health of patients. She continued to record health statistics to determine the number of deaths in hospitals and mortality associated with illness and injury. In the 20th century, more precisely in 1972, Archie Cochrane introduced into nursing care the concept of applied randomized control trials and other experimental and non-experimental research at a lower level of research evidence. Cochrane based his work on the assumption that nursing care is limited by material resources and that only procedures that have been shown to be effective should be used. In his view, randomized controlled trials are the most reliable form of evidence, and his assertion created the foundation for the evidence-based practice doctrine. As part of the higher education study program, nursing students learn about practice and theory, both of which are closely intertwined with evidence-based practice. In recent decades, evidence-based practice became a key part of optimal patient care. Even though the application of evidence-based practice in nursing care brings excellent results that are clearly documented, it is still not used often enough. Collaboration of clinical environments and HEIs; knowledge and material resources; needs to implement research and attitudes towards research; reasons for decisions to become a nurse; management support and financial resources; formal and non-formal education; application of knowledge and understanding of research process are the key factors in promoting and at the same time hindering the development of nurses' research activity.



ProCare was presented at 

Inštitut Jožef štefan 23rd international multiconference 
which was held in October 2020 in Ljubljana.

ProCare team from Faculty of organizational science presented the article: 'E-učenje na dokazih podprte zdravstvene nege = E-learning for evidence based nursing' at the Education in Information Society section.

About the article:
BAGGIA, Alenka, LESKOVAR, Robert, ŠMITEK, Branislav, RAJKOVIČ, Uroš, MLAKAR, Saša, PESJAK, Katja, et al. E-učenje na dokazih podprte zdravstvene nege = E-learning for evidence based nursing. V: RAJKOVIČ, Uroš (ur.), BATAGELJ, Borut (ur.). Vzgoja in izobraževanje v informacijski družbi = Education in Information Society : 9. oktober 2020, 9 October 2020, Ljubljana, Slovenia : Informacijska družba - IS 2020 = Information Society - IS 2020 : zbornik 23. mednarodne multikonference = proceedings of the 23rd international multiconference : zvezek G = volume G. Ljubljana: Institut "Jožef Stefan", 2020. Str. 18-24, ilustr. ISBN 978-961-264-198-6, ISBN 978-961-264-199-3. http://library.ijs.si/Stacks/Proceedings/InformationSociety/2020/IS2020_Volume_G%20-%20VIVID.pdf. [COBISS.SI-ID 35311875]



ProCare was presented at the 
»Responsibilities of health policy-makers and managers for the retention and development of nurses and other healthcare professionals—2020: International year of the nurse and the midwife«
which was held on 24th September 2020, ZOOM
The 2020 Conference was placed in the context of the International Year of Nursing and Midwifery. It was intended to present current research and development activities of integrated prevention and health promotion in the field of health care. To this end, the European Association ASPHER (The Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region)  joined. 
The article presented was 'Bolnišnice in fakultete združeno za razvijajočo se ter znanstveno utemeljeno zdravstveno nego (ProCare)/Hospitals and Faculties Together for Prosperous and Scientific-based Healthcare (ProCare)'
Link to the proceedings of lecture with peer rewiew:

L’Università di Udine partecipa all’edizione 2020 degli Erasmus Days

Udine Procare team promoted Project ProCare at Erasmus days 2020 in Italy 

More info: https://qui.uniud.it/ateneo/l2019universita-di-udine-partecipa-all2019edizione-2020-degli-erasmus-days/



February 18th 2020, Limerick


The Irish team from Limerick University represented by Christine FitzGerald and Liz Kingston participated in the “HSE West/Midwest Nursing & Midwifery Research & Innovation Conference 2020” in Limerick. This presentation introduced the work that will be developed by the Irish team and Procare Project expected outcomes. 



in Friuli-Venezia Giulia on 10th December 2019:
The Italian team represented by Barbara Narduzzi participated in the “Safety and Quality Regional Day” in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. This presentation addressed the main aims and tasks that will be developed by each partner team along  Procare project.




Hospitals and faculties together for prosperous and scientific based healthcare (ProCare)
Yearly progress report, November 2019

Procare project promised to address 2 relevant 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 Work packages (WPs) & outputs, 5 set 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).
After 12 months of the project we have gained some important results and set the filed for further work. 

 From 23rd till 25th of October lead partners of all ERASMUS +, Action KA2 projects met in Brussels to present treir projects and ongoing activities. 


Katja and Maja presented ProCare.



 2nd Face to Face meeting held place in Limerick, Ireland on 18th & 19th September 2019.


Each project partner presented their Work Package outcomes and future steps to follow. Group discussion about how to tackle difficulties and project sustainability were hold.  

Great work was done in two days. 






ProCare Fov team presented the selection of e-learning platform for nurses at 38th international conference on developement of organizational science








ProCare team first met in November 2018. Great team spirit was established and basis for the good work were set.