Public Health Nurse, Full-time Studies, Fall, 2022


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Year of study 1 2 3 4
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Acquiring Basic Nursing Skills
The Basics of Nursing Care
Nursing Interventions 5
Nutrition 1
Ergonomics 1
First Aid Training 1
Anatomy and Physiology 1 3
The Basics of Pharmacotherapy 2
Pharmacology 1
Information and Communications Technology 1
Professional Development 1 2
Practical Training 1 6
Multiprofessionalism in Social and Health Care
Promotion of Health, Wellbeing and Functional Capacity 1 2
The Client as an Active Agent in Social and Health Care 1 3
Reporting and Written Communication 2
Prevention and Treatment of Non-Communicable Diseases
Medical Nursing 5
Internal Medicine and Neurology 1
Prevention, Control and Treatment of Infections 1
Sample Collection and ECG 1
Anatomy and Physiology 2 2
The Basics of Fluid and Pharmacotherapy 1
Production and Use of Patient or Client Data in Multi-Professional Social and Health Care 2
Practical Training 2 8
Multiprofessional Work in Social and Health Care
Promotion of Health, Wellbeing and Functional Capacity 2 2
The Client as an Active Participant in Social and Health Care 2 2
Promotion of Health, Wellbeing and Functional Capacity, Practical Training 2
English at Work for Nursing 3
Applying Nursing Knowledge
Strengthening Resources and Supporting Functional Capacity Through Nursing
Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Crisis Nursing 4  
Psychiatry 1  
Gerontological Nursing 4  
Geriatrics 1  
Professional Development 2 1  
Practical Training 3A 7  
Practical Training 3B 6  
Surgical Nursing
Perioperative Nursing 6  
Surgery and Anaesthetics 1  
The Basics of Oncological and Palliative Nursing 2  
Applied Fluid and Pharmacotherapy 1  
Thesis Planning 5  
Practical Training 4A 8  
Practical Training 4B 3  
Multiprofessional Work in Social and Health Care
Research, Development and Innovation Activities 1 2  
Research, Development and Innovation Activities 2 4  
Swedish Language for Nursing Working Life 3  
Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Finances 5    
Developing Nursing Practices
Public Health Nurses as Providers of Support for Families
Nursing Care of Children and Adolescents 2    
Paediatrics 1    
Disability Nursing 1    
Antenatal Visits of Childbearing Families 3.5    
Sexual and Reproductive Health 1.5    
Early Interaction and Breastfeeding Counselling 4    
Thesis Implementation 5    
Practical Training 5 8    
Evolving Competence in Public Health Nursing
Promoting the Health of the Working-Age Population and Work Communities 3    
National Vaccination Competence Basic Module 2    
National Vaccination Competence Advanced Module 1    
Improving Patient Safety 2    
Advanced Fluid and Pharmacotherapy 1    
Medical Physiology and Pathophysiology 1    
Professional Development 3 1    
Thesis Finalising 5    
Practical Training 6 12    
A Professional in Public Health Nursing
Public Health Nurses in Various Settings
Public Health Nurses in Child Health Clinics, School and Student Health Services 8      
Active and Healthy Older Adults 2      
Practical Training in Public Health Nursing 1 15      
Public Health Nurses as Health Promotion Experts
Global Health Challenges and Environmental Health 2      
Public Health Nurses as Societal Influencers 5      
Developing Public Health Nursing 5      
Practical Training in Public Health Nursing 2 10      
Complementary Studies
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Profiling Complementary Studies
(Select 10 ECTS)
Other Complementary Studies
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ECTS credits per period / semester / academic year 6059594730302930312825220151515150014.514.515150015.515.514140012.512.511110

Due to the timing of optional and elective courses, credit accumulation per semester / academic year may vary.

Bachelor of Health Care, Public Health Nursing, daytime and multimodal education

The programme in Public Health Nursing at Karelia University of Applied Sciences focuses on health promotion and supporting and strengthening the resources of children, adolescents and families at different stages of the life cycle. Furthermore, the education emphasises the prevention and treatment of diseases. Public health nursing education is closely linked to the strategic objectives of Karelia University of Applied Sciences and also supports the implementation and development of wellbeing services in sparsely populated areas. At graduation, you will have a wide range of skills and extensive knowledge enabling you to work as a public health nurse in public, private and third sector jobs or start your own business. In your studies, you use variable learning methods and have a possibility to complete part of your studies abroad.


Degree title: Bachelor of Health Care
Extent: 240 cr. / 4 years

Description of Competences

A public health nurse (Bachelor of Health Care) is an expert in public health nursing, health promotion and public health work. Strong basic clinical knowledge and skills, good interpersonal, communication and collaboration skills are emphasised in the work of a public health nurse. The degree in public health nursing is based on the national competence requirements for general nurse education, the professional competence requirements for public health nurse education and the generic competence requirements for the degrees granted by universities of applied sciences. The national competence requirements for general nurse education are:

- Professionalism and Ethics
- Client-Centred Care
- Communication and Multi-Professionalism
- Health Promotion
- Leadership and Professional Co-operation Skills of the Employee
- Information Technology and Documentation
- Guidance and Education Competence and Supporting self-Care
- Clinical Nursing
- Evidence-Based Practice, Utilisation of Research Knowledge and Decision-Making
- Entrepreneurship and Development
- Quality Management
- Service System of Health Care and Social Welfare Services
- Patient and Client Safety

The competence requirements for public health nurse education are:

- Health Promoting Public Health Nursing
- Public Health Nursing of Individuals, Families and Communities
- Promotion of Healthy and Safe Environments
- Management and Development of Public Health Nursing

The work of public health nurses is affected by various changes in the service needs of the population, such as the current and future increase in the ageing of the population, immigration and multiculturalism. In addition, the transfer of duties from doctors to nurses and the evolving specialist and development tasks require continuous professional development. The work of a public health nurse requires independent decision-making skills and the courage to intervene early in the client’s situation at different stages of the life cycle.

Working in a multidisciplinary team and using health and wellbeing technology are key aspects in the work of a public health nurse. You will be able to apply your skills in new and changing contexts. The constant changes in society and working life require you to be able to continuously learn and develop your own work. This is also addressed by the common competences of the universities of applied sciences, which are, learning to learn, operating in a work place, ethics, sustainable development, internationality and multi-culturalism and proactive development.

Competence Development and the Content of Studies

In addition to evidence-based knowledge, your education will focus on interpersonal, organisational and problem-solving skills, as well as ethical and professional conduct. At the beginning of your studies, you will become familiar with basic nursing skills, different nursing interventions and the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases. In your second year of study, you will learn how to strengthen clients’ resources and support their ability to function, as well as how to care for surgical and short stay procedure patients. In your third year of study, you will complete your nursing studies and begin to deepen your knowledge in the professional studies of public health nursing. You will develop your skills in the nursing care of children, adolescents and families, and how to critically review and develop the quality of nursing care and patient safety. In your final year, you will deepen your knowledge and demonstrate your ability to work as a professional who is able to carry out the work of a nurse public health nurse independently and as a member of a work community.

A holistic vision is built through joint multi-professional studies in the field of health care and social services, where you study together with students of nursing, physiotherapy, social services and applied gerontology. Through multi-professional studies, you will acquire the skills to work in a multi-professional way and to collaborate for the benefit of your clients.

The degree contains common core studies (180 cr.) and professional studies in public health nursing (60 cr.). The common core studies are compulsory to all students and their content is described in more detail in the course descriptions. The extent of practical training that promotes professional skills in public health nursing is 100 cr. including a thesis of 15 credits.

The complementary studies can help you expand or deepen your knowledge and skills. You can utilise the course supply of Karelia UAS or that of other universities. Your professional core competences can be further developed by complementary studies offered by Karelia UAS nursing and public health nursing programmes, for example, Acute Nursing Care, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Nursing, Palliative Care and Promoting Sexual Health.

Work-Related Learning

At Karelia UAS, you act as a student in a modern learning environment that has close connections with the professionals in the field. We work closely with the provincial healthcare and social service providers, who offer you a variety of practical placements. In multi-professional cooperation with our partners, we develop products, services, policies and technological solutions that support sustainable well-being. During your education, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the promotion of health and well-being and active ageing.

Pedagogical Choices

Public health nursing studies are carried out in a multi-professional and multidisciplinary way. Studies are conducted both in teams and individually in forms of contact teaching and distance learning. Studies include theoretical studies, practical training and project work. Modern technology and a variety of learning environments are used. Each semester, real-life nursing situations are practised in clinical lessons and simulation exercises.

The education utilises team learning, which is goal-oriented working with team members with the emphasis on listening and participatory interaction. During your studies, you can apply for Karelia Business Academy (Y-akatemia) to study entrepreneurship in multidisciplinary teams. It offers you the opportunity to combine entrepreneurship with your studies. You will complete your degree there in accordance with the Business Academy curriculum and complete the professional studies in your field.

Flexible Course Implementation

At the beginning of your studies, you will familiarise yourself with the public health nursing curriculum and compare its content with your previous knowledge. You have a possibility to apply for the recognition of prior studies or for the validation of the competence acquired elsewhere as part of your degree. Accreditation is based on the separate RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) procedures.

Various implementations enable flexible studying that is partly independent of time and place. Multimodal education allows you to study and work simultaneously. Daytime education involves more contact teaching.

You can also speed up your studies by designing individual study paths and through studification. You can accomplish complementary studies at any stage of your studies by choosing study units from the course supply offered by Karelia and other universities of applied sciences. Furthermore, the supply of summer studies is constantly increasing.


You have a possibility to enhance your international competence through international course supply, project work, online courses and through student exchanges. Karelia UAS cooperates with several educational institutions, for example, in Zambia, Malawi, Indonesia, Canada and Europe. You can participate in study exchange or practical training in partner institutions around the world. Karelia also receives a larger number of exchange students from other countries, which offers good opportunities for internationalisation at home. Furthermore, language learning is made as practical as possible by integrating it into professional studies, which will strengthen your international competence.


Assessment is an ongoing process throughout your studies. Assessment takes place, for example, in practical trainings, learning assignments, exams and in competence demonstrations. Students’ self-assessment, peer feedback and work-based feedback are also utilised. Studying is supported by reflection sessions where you analyse and evaluate your learning against the set learning objectives. Assessment and feedback help you to follow your development and to set new objectives for your learning. Karelia has defined general assessment principles, yet, the specific assessment criteria are explicated in course descriptions.

Career Opportunities

The degree in public health nursing will give you the qualification to work as a nurse or public health nurse. When you graduate, you will be entered as a licensed healthcare professional in the database of the Finnish National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health. As a public health nurse, you can work in a wide range of jobs and settings, such as antenatal clinics, child health clinics, contraceptive clinics, school and student health services, occupational health services, outpatient clinics, older people services, various communities and organisations as well as in expert, education and project positions. Furthermore, you can work as a nurse in hospitals, health centres, outpatient clinics, inpatient wards, nursing homes and in telenursing.

Job and professional titles for public health nurses could include, among others, nurse/ public health nurse, expert in development, planning and education, project expert or manager, healthcare planner, pharmaceutical representative, nurse researcher, care manager and e-professional. The Finnish public health nursing degree will enable you to work as a professional in different parts of the world.

Transformation of work and personal career progress require continuous learning after the degree is completed. As a qualified public health nurse, you can take specialisation studies as part of your continuing professional education. Furthermore, you can continue your studies at master level in a university or a university of applied sciences and this can open recruitment opportunities for expert, development and management jobs. Teacher-tutors and study counsellors support your career planning throughout your studies.