Helena Leino-Kilpi profile picture
Professor, Nursing Science
Professor, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN, FEANS, MAE, Nurse director, Turku University Hospital


+358 29 450 2455
+358 50 342 4384
Joukahaisenkatu 3-5

Areas of expertise

Nursing and health care ethics
clinical nursing
nursing and health care education


I am a registered nurse, with specialization in surgical-intensive nursing, in my basic education. I am master in educational sciences (MEd), and PhD in health sciences (nursing science).  Since 1998, I have been a full professor in nursing science and since 2002, I am the Head of the Department of Nursing Science in the Faculty of Medicine. I also have many other scientific duties, both in my university, nationally and internationally.

Since 2002, I have had a subsidiary position of Nurse Director at the Turku University Hospital (Hospital District of Southwest Finland).  This position allows me a close connection with nurses in practice and I belong to many groups developing research activities in University Hospital.

PhD-education is an important part of my work:  I am the Head of the Doctoral Programme in Nursing Science (DPNurs) in our University, and I participate in the national doctoral network in nursing science, including collaboration between all five universities in Finland responsible for PhD-education in nursing science.  Since many years, I have participated in the PhD-teaching of European Academy of Nursing Science EANS. We also have PhD summer schools in Baltic Sea Region Network in Personalized Health Care and more globally (ICoNS), which I am contributing.

I am a visiting professor (2016-2018) in the University of Dublin, Trinity College and have many international expertise duties. I am honorary doctor in the University of Klaipeda, Lithuania.


I am teaching both on masters and PhD-level in my university.  On masters level, I am responsible for the teaching of philosophy of nursing and health care. On the PhD-level, I am teaching philosophy of science, different ethical courses, as well as courses in nursing education and research methods.

I have supervised about 60 graduated PhDs and currently I have several  PhD-students under my supervision, mostly in collaboration with scientists from other disciplines.


My research fields are concentrated in following topics, I have published more than 400 scientific publications, have international and multidisciplinary collaboration and have been involved in many EU-funded consortiums:

• Value basis and ethics in health care and nursing. In this field, I have a special interest in clinical empirical ethics, including ethics of administration and health care organisations.  I have collaboration with professor Riitta Suhonen in the area of individualized care and currently I am a member of COST RANCARE network, coordinated by Dr Evridiki Papastavrou, Cyprus University of Technology.

• Empowering patient education. In this field, I have special interest in clinical fields, like orthopedic nursing and care of cancer patients. I have developed and used in collaboration with the research team instruments and programmes for patient education, also in international collaboration. In this, I have collaboration with professor Sanna Salanterä.

• Competence of nurses and nursing students. In this field, I have a special interest in the evaluation and measurement of competence, and I have been involved in the development of competence instruments in collaboration with other researchers. I have collaboration with docent Riitta Meretoja in the development and use of Nurse Competence Scale.

• Outcomes of nursing and health care education. In this field, I have special interest in evaluation of learning outcomes of nursing and health care education, as well as work of teachers. I have collaboration with docent Mikko Saarikoski in the development and of Clinical Learning Environment Scale (CLES).

• Currently, based on funding from the Academy of Finland, I am a PI in a new international research project in the competence of nurses (PROCOMPnurse). I am also collaborating in the Erasmus+ program Nurse Leadership, for developing PhD and post doc education (PI Professor Thora Halfsteindottir, University of Iceland). 


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The level of competence of graduating nursing students in 10 European countries—Comparison between countries (2020)

Nursing Open
Satu Kajander‐Unkuri, Sanna Koskinen, Anna Brugnolli, MªAngeles Cerezuela Torre, Imane Elonen, Viktorija Kiele, Daniela Lehwaldt, Eliisa Löyttyniemi, Jana Nemcová, Célia Simão de Oliveira, Alvisa Palese, Marília Rua, Leena Salminen, Lenka Šateková, Juliane Stubner, Herdís Sveinsdóttir, Laura Visiers‐Jiménez, Helena Leino‐Kilpi
(A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä)