European Space Agency

SkyNurse - Advanced Training in Nursing


SkyNurse intends to develop an operating centre for the delivery of distance education and residential courses directed at nursing personnel in non-EU countries in order to employ the trained personnel in EU hospitals and health care centers.


SkyNurse also aims to improve nursing practice throughout the EU:

  • To develop standard distance learning models suitable for national and international use which are reproducible in different fields of application and in different countries,
  • To prepare learning materials that will offer uniform education, cultivate a harmonious professional background and promote standardized nursing procedures.


Lastly, SkyNurse intends to favor economical resource saving in Health Services. The courses are, in fact, intended for nurses who have a basic knowledge of nursing. They need only update their knowledge of clinical practice and standard operating procedures relevant to the application of new technologies in health care.


The aging population in Europe has led to an increase in requests for qualified health care and services. The subsequent rise in the demand for qualified nurses has not been satisfied in recent years. It is therefore crucial to recruit qualified human resources to EU countries. However, it is essential that training time and costs be reduced and a homogenous level of knowledge be available in order to ensure health care safety standards and to develop standard operating procedures in nursing.


The expected main benefit is the increased availability of specially trained nursing personnel, who possess a harmonious knowledge of clinical practice and standard operating procedures, for employment in EU health care institutions. In particular:


  • Recruitment of qualified personnel in order to face the increasing requests for medical assistance (180 qualified nurses).
  • Savings in residential course costs in Italy (decrease of course period from 3 months to 1 month, decrease in the number of student drop-outs from 30% to 5%)


The SkyNurse project will be of interest to hospitals and health care centres who need to increase their numbers of qualified nursing personnel, and to non-EU hospitals and health centres who want to improve the professional qualifications of their nursing personnel by adapting them to the most advanced European standards.


Finally the project will produce a teaching model and a technological platform that can be applied in other fields and in other countries.


The system architecture used for the remote training course phase is illustrated in the figure on the right. The operational center transmits the content via satellite to the users in the remote classroom. They then have the possibility to interact with the teacher or tutor via Internet, using chat lines or e-mail.  

click for larger image


The SKYNURSE Service Centre is located within the Telemedicine Operations Centre (TOC). The TOC manages the whole system (monitor and control, activity scheduling) and transmits content to the satellite.


Two classrooms are located in Romania. One at the Politehnica University of Bucharest and the other at the University of Pitesti. Each classroom is equipped with one server and 15-20 end user computers and hardware for satellite reception.


The SKYNURSE Content Provider (CP) provides live and on-line course activities, and offers synchronous and asynchronous tutoring. The CP is linked to the SKYNURSE Service Centre by means of a primary terrestrial line (e.g. ISDN).


The SKYNURSE system allows 4 modes of content fruition:


Live learning - real-time transmission of an event via satellite; student-teacher-tutor interaction will be achieved through terrestrial return channel,


On-line learning - web based training (WBT), e-mail, chat and forum,


Individual learning via browsing - individual consultation of web pages through suggested links,


Off-line learning - consultation of previously transmitted reference material resident on site server.


The activities planned are organized in three subsequent phases.

Phase 1: The development of the eLearning educational model and the learning management system as well as the collection and production of learning materials.


Phase 2: The teaching phase. A 3-month intensive professional distance training course will be delivered via satellite to nurses in Romania. After midterm exam, the selected nurses will come to Italy and attend a 4-week residential practical course.

Phase 3: The Italian qualifying examination will take place and the qualified nurses will be employed in health care institutions in the Veneto Region of Italy.

Current status

The project is concluded. Two pilot operations completed the pilot phase and the whole chain of recruitment and all the juridical procedures regarding the management of the documents have been defined and readjusted.

The value of the courses, the content and the infrastructure have been highlighted and the project partners are developing the SkyNurse Business Strategy to begin the operative commercial phase of the project.

Status date

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 14:11