Helena Leino-Kilpi profile picture
Department of Nursing Science
Professor, PhD, MEd, RN, Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing FAAN, Fellow of European Academy of Nursing Science FEANS, Member of Academia Europea MAE, Fellow of Royal College of Nursing (UK)and Nurse director (part-time), Turku University Hospital

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 20 years (2002-2022) I have been 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, and I have supervised around 70 graduated PhDs in nursing science. In University of Turku, we have a PhD-program in nursing science (Doctoral Program in Nursing Science DPNurs), I am the faculty member of the DPNurs,  and I collaborate in the Finnish 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 was 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, and also internationally.  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. Internationally, I am teaching eg in the European Academy of Nursing Science summer school for PhD-students in Europe, my field is research integrity.

I have supervised around 70 graduated PhDs and currently I have several  PhD-students under my supervision, mostly in collaboration with scientists from other disciplines.

I am a member of Advisory Board of the European Federation of Nurse Educators FINE.


My research fields are concentrated in following topics, I have published more than 600 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.

• 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. Currently, we are analysing large data about patients' right to know about their health and care.

• 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. For example, The Good Nursing Care Scale with different clinical modifications, the Nurse Competence Scale (in collaboration with Riitta Meretoja), Competence in Intensive Nursing Care (in collaboration with Riitta-Liisa Lakanmaa), Anesthesia Nursing Competence (in collaboration with Yunsuk Jeon).

• 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. In this field, for example, I have collaborated with Mikko Saarikoski with the international Clinical Learning Environment-Scale CLES, with different forms of it. 

• Latest,  based on funding from the Academy of Finland, I have been a PI in an international research project in the competence of nurses (PROCOMPnurse), and we have published about the competence and factors connected at the early phase of nurses' career.  I also recently collaborated in the Erasmus+ program Nurse Leadership, for developing PhD and post doc education (PI Thora Halfsteindottir, University of Iceland/Utrecht) - aiming to continue in that field.

This year, I also (in collaboration with co-PI Mari Kangasniemi) received funding from the Ministry of Education in Finland, for a study making suggestions and scenarios for future education in social and health care sector.


I am also doing evaluations for different research funding organisations both nationally and internationally, as well evaluations of the research in universities and health care organisations.


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Use and impact of the ANA Code: a scoping review (2024)

Nursing Ethics
Numminen Olivia, Kallio Hanna, Leino-Kilpi Helena, Stokes Liz, Turner Martha, Kangasniemi Mari
(Vertaisarvioitu katsausartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä (A2))