Competence areas of health science teachers – A systematic review of quantitative studies

Kristina Mikkonen, Tapio Ojala, Tuulikki Sjögren, Arja Piirainen, Monika Koskinen, Camilla Koskinen, Meeri Koivula, Marjorita Sormunen, Terhi Saaranen, Leena Salminen, Minna Koskimäki, Heidi Ruotsalainen, Marja-Leena Lähteenmäki, Outi Wallin, Hanne Mäki-Hakola, Maria Kääriäinen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Article or Literature Reviewpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In the face of rapid digitalisation and ever-higher educational requirements for healthcare professionals, it is important that health science teachers possess the relevant core competences. The education of health science teachers varies internationally and there is no consensus about the minimum qualifications and experience they require.

Objective: The aim of this systematic review was to describe the health science teachers' competences and the factors related to it.

Design: Systematic review of original quantitative studies. Data sources: Four databases were selected from which to retrieve original studies: Cinahl (Ebsco), PubMed, Medic, Eri (ProQuest). Review Methods: The systematic review used PICOS inclusion criteria. Original peer-reviewed quantitative studies published between 1/2007 and 1/2018 were identified. Screening was conducted by two researchers separately reading the 1885 titles, 600 abstracts, and 63 full-texts that were identified, and then agreed between them. Critical appraisal was performed using the JBI MAStARI evaluation tool. The data was extracted and then analysed narratively.

Results: The core competences of health science teachers include areas of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Health science teachers evaluate their own competence as high. Only in relation to entrepreneurship and leadership knowledge was evaluated to be average. The most common factors influencing competence were teachers' title/ position, healthcare experience, research activities, age, academic degree and for which type of organisation they work.

Conclusion: Itis important to identify the core competencies required by health science teachers in order to train highly competent healthcare professionals. Based on the findings of this systematic review we suggest that teachers should be encouraged to gain university education and actively participate in research, and that younger teachers should have opportunities to practice the relevant teaching skills to build competence.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)77–86
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Health education
  • Health care
  • teacher education

Cite this