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UAS Zurich to export Continuing Education in Nursing to China

The number of elderly people in China is increasing rapidly and as a result the number of people who suffer from dementia too. China, like Switzerland, lacks appropriately trained nursing staff. By exporting a continuing education programme in gerontological nursing to the University of Qingdao, the University of Applied Sciences Zurich is helping people help themselves.

The demographic development in China is, even more than in Switzerland, associated with a continuous increase in the number of older people and people suffering from dementia. That is why more and more care places and nurses are needed. China is particularly lacking qualified nursing personnel who can care for elderly people with multimorbidities.

Hence the idea is that Chinese registered nurses should acquire the necessary skills and knowledge through a specific training in gerontological care on-site. To meet this need, the University of Qingdao has established a training cooperation with the Institute of Nursing at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (UAS). What began as a preliminary study back in March 2014, at the initiative of the Furunze Development Center for Old-age Programs Quingdao together with the University and the city of Qingdao, now takes new form in January 2016. The aim is to jointly establish a continuing education programme in Gerontological Nursing in China.

A new way of development cooperation
This cooperation will break new ground for both parties: the UAS Zurich exports, for the first time in its history, a continuing education programme to China. The existing course in Switzerland, leading to the Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) in Gerontological Nursing, has been adapted to the Chinese conditions, for it is crucial that the Chinese registered nurses gain the competences needed to raise the health status of older and elderly people in China, and to assess and determine the individual risk and rehabilitation potential in order to deduce the need for care. In so doing, the nurses can maintain and promote the quality of life of the elderly in China in the best way possible. In addition, participants acquire the skills to guide and train other nurses so that their enhanced skills and knowledge will be shared and multiplied. In this cooperation, the Institute of Nursing at the UAS Zurich will for its part gain knowledge about nursing and health care in China.

For the Medical School at the University of Qingdao, it is a new approach to offer an on-site continuing education programme for nurses. In the last part of the course, the Chinese registered nurses will complete a clinical placement in Switzerland. Overall, the diploma course in Gerontological Nursing will take 18 weeks, spread out over 18 months, to complete. The course will be held in German with simultaneous interpretation into Mandarin.

This approach pays off for both parties
The continuous education programme represents a large investment for our Chinese partner, but one that will be repeatedly rewarded. The Medical School at the University of Qingdao will profit from a proven and complete continuing education programme, from training for future lecturers of the University, and by having the courses conducted on-site by teaching staff from the UAS Zurich. In the future, the Medical School of the University of Qingdao will offer the continuing education programme as an integral part of their course programme. Consequently, registered nurses with a bachelor or master degree as well as lecturers of the University will start the first diploma course held in China on 18 January 2016. The course is aimed at registered nurses working in geriatric departments of the University Hospital and regional nursing and retirement homes.

For further information

Contact person
Mrs Heidi Longerich, Head of the Institute of Nursing at the UAS Zurich, Telephone 058 934 63 01,

Mrs Bernadette Alig, Principal Investigator, Deputy Head of Continuing Education of the Institute of Nursing at the UAS Zurich, Telephone 058 934 64 88,

Press contact
Mr José Santos, Head of Communications, UAS Zurich, School of Health Professions
Telephone 058 934 63 84,