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Study plan - Bachelor’s degree in nursing

Autumn 2022

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) trains nurses to work using knowledge-based practical experience and a patient-centred perspective. Through this course, we teach graduates to provide professionally sound and caring services for patients, service users and relatives in all situations and life stages. We emphasise the processes that allow students to be able to practice professional leadership and critical thinking, reflection and decision making, lifelong learning, interprofessional collaboration, communication, and innovation.


The purpose of this course is to equip students with the skills required for the nursing profession; the ability to utilise and develop knowledge, skills and attitudes in an effective and practical way in working with patients, service users, relatives and colleagues.

This curriculum is in line with the National Curriculum Regulations for Health and Social Education, and the National Curriculum Regulations for Nursing Education.


This course gives students competence in six main areas:


1. Health, illness and nursing

2. The nursing profession, ethics, communication and interaction

3. Scientific theory and research methods

4. Professional leadership, quality and patient safety

5. Service development and innovation

6. Technology and digital proficiency https://www.hvl.no/util/logout.aspx


All areas of competence are universal, and are reflected in the learning outcomes of the curriculum’s theoretical and practical modules.


Suitability Assessment
There are fixed requirements for suitability in this profession. Ongoing suitability assessment takes place throughout the course, and is part of a comprehensive assessment of each student's professional and personal suitability for a career in nursing, cf. § 4 of the Regulations on Suitability Assessment in Higher Education. For more information, see the Suitability Assessment page on HVL’s website.

Authorisation and qualification
Upon course completion, graduates will be qualified health professionals, cf. § 48 of the Health Personnel Act.

Learning outcomes

Upon course completion, graduates will have attained the following learning outcomes, divided into knowledge, skills and general competence:

The graduate...

• will have a broad knowledge of basic human needs, the various functions and areas of responsibility of a nurse, and of patient-focused nursing with a lifelong perspective

• will have a broad knowledge of the medical and scientific topics related to the functions and areas of responsibility of a nurse

• will have knowledge of social science topics and the significance of cultural and linguistic backgrounds when it comes to understanding illness, and of equivalent services related to the functions and areas of responsibility of a nurse

• will have knowledge of professional leadership and organisation of health services, health and social policies, as well as quality and patient safety in the health service

• will have knowledge of methods for service user participation, as well as knowledge of the tools used for driving innovation, implementation and continuous improvement work

The graduate...

• will be able to use subject knowledge of health and illness when meeting with different patient groups and in interdisciplinary, interprofessional and cross-sectoral collaboration to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and coherent course of treatment across organisations and through all life stages

• will be able to use knowledge of health promotion and preventative work

• will be able to use cultural knowledge and understanding in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of nursing

• will be able to use interpersonal, communication and supervisory knowledge, as well as knowledge of learning, coping and change processes, and guidance and teaching of patients, relatives and other health professionals

• will be able to use subject knowledge and relevant results of research and development work, and make choices in line with knowledge based practice

• will be able to reflect on professional, ethical and legal issues, and adjust their practice in the course of their provision of services

• will be able to reflect on existing routines and methods, and initiate dialogues about the implementation of new knowledge and new methods of working

The graduate...

• will have an understanding of the development and use of technology and digital solutions on both individual and system levels

• will be able to manage and prioritise nursing tasks

• will be able to plan and implement nursing for acute, chronic and critical illnesses, and patients with multiple and complex needs

• will be able to plan and implement the safe handling of medication

• will be able to plan and implement communication and interaction with patients and relatives based on respect, cooperation and integrity

• will be able to plan and implement targeted measures to reduce unwanted incidents and variations in health services and measures which ensure the safe transfer of patients between different units and levels in the health service


The course is spread over six semesters of full-time study, or eight semesters of part-time study/distance learning. The course is divided into 14 modules. Detailed descriptions of each module can be found in the various module plans.


Each course year includes theoretical and practical study. The universal themes found throughout this course are patient-centred nursing, ethics, patient safety, communication, interaction and professional management.


Year 1 of the course covers basic nursing, scientific topics and the management of one's own work. Year 2 covers nursing for acutely, chronically and critically ill patients in need of medical, surgical and mental health services, as well as public health work. Year 3 covers nursing for patients with multiple and complex needs and conditions, and nursing functions related to professional management, service development and innovation.


Practical work amounts to 90 credits (2300 hours/60 weeks). The different practical modules have various learning activities; these are set out in the module plans. 90% attendance is required for practical modules cf. Regulations relating to Studies and Examinations at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)


HVL’s clinical placements are located in the immediate regions of each campus. HVL provides clinical placements and it is recommended to apply for placement provision in accordance with current regulations.


Students must obtain their own housing and pay their own travel costs during this clinical placement period. Parts of this expense can be covered.


Furthermore, international clinical placements are available in countries covered by ERASMUS’ mobility agreement, as well as in some African countries, Australia and South America.


While in a clinical placement, students must be supervised by nurses with knowledge of guidance and supervision and at least one year’s nursing experience. Other personnel may have supervisory responsibility for students where it is natural. It is the clinical placement supervisor who is responsible for instructing students in the area of specialisation of that particular clinical placement. For the most part, students will adhere to the supervisor’s shifts.


All clinical placement periods are assessed as pass/fail based on the learning outcomes of the module. The clinical placement director is responsible for the final assessment.


An assessment interview is conducted at the mid-point and at the end of each clinical placement.


§ 10-7 In case of doubt that the student will pass the practical training, Regulations relating to studies and examinations at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)


(1) If there is doubt that the student will achieve the learning outcomes and pass the practical training, and this doubt emerges before the student has reached the halfway mark for the practical training period, the student shall be informed in writing.


(2) The notification shall specify which parts of the learning outcomes the student has failed to achieve so far during the practical training period. It shall also specify how the student can achieve and demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes in order to pass the practical training.


(3) The student shall be given an opportunity to discuss with the place of practice providing the practical training and the university college, during which the student can ask and get answers to questions relating to the notification and the consequences if the student does not pass the practical training. This discussion shall take place at a time that allows the student to demonstrate satisfactory practical training, and at the latest three weeks before the end of the practical training period. For practical training periods of five weeks or less, the discussion shall take place halfway through the period. Minutes shall be taken of the discussion, and the student will be allowed to add his or her comments to the minutes.


The student may, without prior notice, have their performance in their clinical placement assessed as a fail, cf. Regulations relating to studies and examinations at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)


This course emphasises offering teaching based on the best in research, professional development work and experiential knowledge.  Methods of teaching and learning will vary between different modules, and this is detailed in the individual module plans. HVL uses Canvas as its virtual learning environment. Regulations relating to studies and examinations at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)

Coursework requirements
All compulsory learning activities that are established as conditions for having the right to sit an exam or complete supervised clinical placements are considered to be coursework requirements. The various coursework requirements are detailed in the module plans. 

The expected study time for a full-time student is 40 hours a week. Requirements for compulsory participation in teaching, seminar groups and placements are set out in the syllabus. Unless otherwise stated, 80% attendance is required for compulsory participation in teaching and seminar groups. 90% attendance is required for placements. Low attendance will be handled according to Regulations relating to studies and examinations at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)


Each module concludes with an assessment, and the various forms of assessment are detailed in the individual module plans. Assessments are either graded as pass/fail, or on a grading scale from A to F; A to E being passing grades and F being a fail.

Regulations relating to studies and examinations at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)

Required progression

There are set progression criteria for this course, which can be found in the module plans.

Previously acquired knowledge, and the use of that knowledge, will be built upon in subsequent modules.

A student who does not meet the progression criteria will be moved down a year, and their individual education plan will be adjusted. When moved to a new year, the curriculum for that year will be valid.


All nursing course modules have a clear international profile. This includes, among other things, the use of relevant English-language literature, discussion of international nursing issues in various modules and teaching delivered by international guest lecturers. It can also be relevant to invite international students who have done clinical placements at HVL to take part in subject area discussions.

Mobility windows
HVL students have many opportunities to gain international experience during their studies. International clinical placements are offered for 2-3 months in collaboration with our partner institutions in both the second and third years of study.

Incoming international students are offered adapted courses/modules of varying lengths.