Improving the working environment for patient safety: close to the final release of the NM4SAFETY online course

The NM4SAFETY Project, led by Prof. Palese of the Department of Medicine of the University of Udine, launched in October 2019 with four partner countries: Italy, Cyprus, Switzerland and Germany is nearing its conclusion.

The aim of the Project was to develop a training course for nursing managers to provide them with knowledge, know-how, good practices, and tools to improve the working environment and make care safer.

On June 13th and 14th, the third Transnational Project Meeting was held in Mainz – Germany – with representatives of the partner countries. There, the next steps for the large-scale dissemination of the developed online course were defined.

The online course, developed as a Massive Open Online Course – MOOC, includes 12 pre-recorded lessons and supporting teaching materials, such as slides and a Toolkit that integrates strategies, tools, in-depth materials and useful links for each topic covered in the course.

The contents vary from theoretical and conceptual frameworks to useful strategies to prevent and reduce errors and improve the working environment, with the ultimate aim of ensuring and increasing patient safety. The main topics addressed are missed or rationed nursing care, the working environment, human resource management, the supportive environment encouraging staff involvement and autonomy, leadership styles, communication in teams, as well as strategies to identify early and prevent adverse events.


The course has been tested in a three-month pilot phase that showed high satisfaction results from participants, with greater benefit towards reflections for the transfer of contents in the improvement of practice. Some comments in this regard were: Participant 1: “In the course the analysis of the relationship between environment, nurse and patient safety was deepened, going to stimulate my intervention in some areas that I had neglected or had not considered”;  Participant 2: “The course impressed me a lot and helped me reflect on my environment and encourages me to think critically […] and to look for further solutions suitable for my environment”.


The results of the evaluation of the pilot course have informed the next steps for improvement of the course quality and large-scale dissemination.  The course will be available on the Canvas platform with free and open access from October 2022.  The course will be delivered in four languages: English, Italian, German and Greek.


The official presentation of the course, together with the results of the project, will be held on September 30th in an international conference at the University of Udine in Italy. Further information will be available on the NM4SAFETY website and social media.