Doctoral Programme Nursing Science

The Maastricht - Graz - Bern Doctoral Programme Nursing Science is a joint doctoral programme which began in 2000. This doctoral programme provides nurses with a structure to prepare a dissertation. It enables nurses with a master degree to become a Scholar in Nursing Science.

Research is performed in the research fields of the departments which are offering the programme. Therefore, all projects focus on health problems from a nursing perspective and contribute to nursing knowledge via the use of clinical research methodologies.

The thesis is usually a compilation of articles published in and / or submitted to international scientific journals. A doctoral thesis is equivalent to approximately five (Maastricht) or four (Graz) articles.

Students will finish their programme either at the University of Maastricht or at the Medical University of Graz. In Maastricht, the title is «Doctor aan de Universiteit Maastricht (PhD)». In Graz the title is «doctor rerum curae», which is read as «Doctor of Nursing Science».

The programme consists of four meetings per year, which alternate between Graz, Bern and Maastricht. During these meetings, the students participate in lectures focusing on methodological issues in qualitative and quantitative research. The students discuss theoretical, methodological and practical problems that they are encountering in the course of their doctoral projects. They work collaboratively in workshops on topics which are relevant to their PhD. They also further their knowledge regarding scientific writing and the revision process in group sessions. The doctoral students present their research findings at national and international conferences. The language in the programme is English.

Students from Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany as well as other European countries, are currently participating in this doctoral programme. Due to its international structure, this doctoral programme in Nursing Science has, since its inception, facilitated international networking.

Are you interested in joining the programme? Please contact a professor at one of the cooperating universities:

  • Prof. Dr. Sabine Hahn
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ruud Halfens
  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christa Lohrmann

Profiles of current PhD students and their projects at Bern University of Applied Sciences

Niklaus Bernet, MScN, RN

Niklaus Bernet has several years of practical experience in the field of acute and long-term care. He currently works as a research associate at the Bern University of Applied Sciences, and is co-project leader in international and national research projects in the field of quality of care. Furthermore, he is a PhD student at the Maastricht University, in the Netherlands.

In his PhD thesis, he investigates the topic of the risk adjustment of nursing quality indicators. His research focuses upon the method of risk adjustment as well as on the presentation and transfer of the risk-adjusted results. The aim of his research is to enable fair national and international comparisons among institutions, as well as to create a trustworthy basis for learning through benchmarking. This will improve discussion, comparison and learning from the results at both the institutional and at the scientific level.

If you have any questions regarding his PhD programme, please contact Niklaus Bernet by mail.

Christoph Golz, MScN, RN

Christoph is research associate at the Bern University of Applied Sciences and PhD student in Nursing Science at the Maastricht University, the Netherlands

The topic of his PhD project is technostress among healthcare professionals, and its implications for healthcare professionals’ digital competences. The aim of his project is to determine the influence of healthcare information technology on the daily work of healthcare professionals, along with any accompanying stress reactions. Furthermore, his project aims to identify the respective needs of health professionals in order to promote successful interaction with technology.

If you have any questions regarding the PhD programme please contact Christoph by mail.

Caroline Gurtner, MScN, RN

Caroline Gurtner currently works as a research associate at Bern University of Applied Sciences and she holds a tenure track position with focus on outpatient psychiatric care. Since 2018, Caroline is a PhD student at Maastricht University (NE). She is an experienced project manager and researcher in applied health sciences, with a special interest in case study design, mental health care, clinical decision making and service user (patient) involvement.

The topic of her PhD thesis is “shared decision making and interprofessional collaboration” in mental health care. Within her PhD-Projects, Caroline explores how and by whom therapeutic decisions are made in clinical and outpatient mental health care settings and which decision-making style is being practiced by the health professionals and patients involved. In addition, she explores how the concept of shared decision making is defined and how it interferes with related key concepts or themes.

If you have any questions regarding the PhD-programme please contact Caroline by mail.

Karin Anne Peter, MScN, RN

Karin Anne Peter is a clinical nurse specialist at a university hospital, a Research Associate in the area of health care at the Bern University of Applied Sciences and a Phd student at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.

The topic of her Phd thesis is psychosocial work-related stress for health care professionals in general hospitals in Switzerland. The aim of this Phd project is to determine psychosocial work-related stressors for health care professionals (nurses, doctors, medical-technical professions) in general hospitals in all parts of Switzerland (German, French, Italian), to assess strategies to prevent and reduce these factors and to improve the psychosocial health for Swiss health professionals.

If you have any questions regarding the PhD programme please contact Karin by mail.

Friederike J.S. Thilo, MScN, RN

Friederike is PhD student in Nursing Science at the Maastricht University, the Netherlands, and Head of Innovation Field Technology and Health at Bern University of Applied Sciences. She is an experienced registered nurse and worked nine years at Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois (CHUV), in Lausanne.

The topic of her doctoral thesis is the use and the non-use of health related technologies, using the example of fall detection technologies, in community-dwelling older people. Friederike explores factors related to the use and non-use of fall detection technologies from the perspective of older people, relatives, nurses and general practitioners. Moreover, she investigates the needs, preferences, usability and feasibility aspects of a fall detection sensor linked to a smartphone application. Persons aged 75 years and older are involved in the development and testing of this fall detection technology.

If you have any questions regarding the PhD programme please contact Friederike by mail.

Silvia Thomann, MScN, RN

Silvia is a research associate at Bern University of Applied Sciences and a PhD student at the School CAPHRI Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

The topic of her PhD thesis is restraint usage in the acute care hospital setting. She aims to investigate the prevalence of restraint usage along with its associated factors, as well as the decision-making, documentation, and evaluation processes regarding this topic. Through knowledge generation and knowledge-transfer, the conscious rather than the routine use of restraints in acute care hospitals, should be promoted.

If you have any questions regarding the PhD programme please contact Silvia by mail.

European Doctoral Conference in Nursing Science EDCNS

The European Doctoral Conference in Nursing Science (EDCNS) is an international nursing conference for PhD students. The conference is organised alternately by PhD students from Maastricht University and the Medical University of Graz, in cooperation with the Bern University of Applied Sciences. The conference provides the opportunity for PhD students to:

  • meet and build contacts with colleagues all over Europe
  • give a presentation about a part of their thesis
  • share experiences and information in the area of nursing research
  • learn what is currently happening in nursing science in Europe
  • meet the profs!

Contact

Logo Universität Maastricht

Services of Health Services Research
Postbus 616
NL-6200 Maastricht MD

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ruud Halfens
T +31 43 3881572

Logo Universität Graz

Institute of Nursing Science
Billrothgasse 6
AT-8010 Graz

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christa Lohrmann
T +43 316 385-72064