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  • © 2021

Enhancing Nurses’ and Midwives’ Competence in Providing Spiritual Care

Through Innovative Education and Compassionate Care

  • Provides a dynamic and interactive text that has been co-produced by leading experts in the fields of nursing and midwifery practice, education and research

  • Offers a unique resource for nursing and midwifery educators and students, helping them develop a new awareness and enhance their expertise in the area of spiritual care

  • Reports the outcomes of an Erasmus+ K2 Strategic Partnership project that involved over 40 nursing and midwifery educators, key stakeholders and students from 18 European countries

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Table of contents (9 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xiii
  2. The EPICC Project: Inception, Origins and Outputs

    • Wilfred McSherry, Adam Boughey, Josephine Attard
    Pages 1-20
  3. What Do We Mean by ‘Spirituality’ and ‘Spiritual Care’?

    • Tormod Kleiven, Bart Cusveller, Marianne Rodriguez Nygaard, Štefica Mikšić, Adam Boughey, Wilfred McSherry
    Pages 21-38
  4. Educational Context, Evidence and Exploration of Professional Fields of Nursing and Midwifery

    • Linda Ross, Janet Holt, Britt Moene Kuven, Birthe Ørskov, Piret Paal
    Pages 39-56
  5. Self-Care

    • Anthony Schwartz, Kath Baume, Austyn Snowden, Jyoti Patel, Nicky Genders, Gulnar Ali
    Pages 57-76
  6. Competence 1: Intrapersonal Spirituality and Its Impact on Person-Centred Spiritual Care

    • René van Leeuwen, Gørill Haugan, Melanie Rogers, Åsa Roxberg, Joanna Zolnierz, Anto Čartolovni
    Pages 77-93
  7. Competence 2: Interpersonal Spirituality

    • Josephine Attard, Mohd Arif Atarhim, Beata Dobrowolska, Julie Jomeen, Joanne Pike, Jacqueline Whelan
    Pages 95-109
  8. Competence 3: Spiritual Care, Assessment and Planning

    • Wilfred McSherry, Karnsunaphat Balthip, Chris Swift, Olga Riklikienė, Sarah McKay, Yanping Niu
    Pages 111-129
  9. Competence 4: Spiritual Care, Intervention and Evaluation

    • Tove Giske, Aliza Damsma-Bakker, Sílvia Caldeira, Gracia M. González-Romero, Wilson C. de Abreu, Fiona Timmins
    Pages 131-149
  10. Conclusions of the EPICC Journey and Future Directions

    • Adam Boughey, Wilfred McSherry, Linda Ross, Tove Giske, Josephine Attard, René van Leeuwen et al.
    Pages 151-169
  11. Back Matter

    Pages 171-172

About this book

This book is the first of its kind, addressing key issues in the teaching and learning of spirituality and spiritual care in the context of nursing and midwifery practice. The content is based on the outcomes of a European-wide project (EPICC) that brought together leading nursing and midwifery educators and practitioners from 21 countries. It highlights the importance of ensuring student nurses’ and midwives receive sufficient educational preparation to provide spiritual/person-centred care.

In turn, the book puts forward an innovative and creative approach to the teaching of spiritual/person-centred care, based on an evaluation of best practice across Europe. The content and activities presented will enable nursing and midwifery educators to acquire new knowledge/skills for learning about and teaching on the personal, religious and spiritual aspects of person-centred care. Both interactive and engaging, it will equip nursing and midwifery students to holistically address the needs of the people they care for.

The book has the potential to transform the nursing and midwifery workforce of the future by ensuring they are prepared to face the global challenges that are impacting international nursing and midwifery practice.


Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of NursingSchool of Health and Social CareStaffordshire University, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, Stoke-on-TrentStaffordshire, England, UK

    Wilfred McSherry

  • Department of NursingSchool of Health and Social Care, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-TrentStaffordshire, England, UK

    Adam Boughey

  • Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta, Msida, Malta

    Josephine Attard

About the editors

Wilfred McSherry is a Professor in Nursing working in a joint appointment between Department of Nursing, School of Health and Social Care, Staffordshire University and the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust United Kingdom and part-time Professor at VID University College, Bergen/Oslo, Norway. 

Wilf has had a career in nursing working as a Registered Nurse primarily within Acute Hospital Care with a focus upon care of the older person and end of life care. His interest in the spiritual dimension developed alongside a realisation that this aspect of care was neglected and forgotten by some healthcare professionals. He has published extensively in this field with several books and many articles addressing different aspects of the spiritual dimension. In 2010 Wilf led on a piece of work for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) exploring members perceptions of spirituality. 

Wilf is a founding and executive committee member of the International Network for the Study of Spirituality (Formerly British Association for The Study of Spirituality) https://spiritualitystudiesnetwork.org/ and a Principal Fellow of The Higher Education Academy. In 2012 he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing for his unique contribution to nursing in the areas of spirituality and dignity. Wilf co-led  a European project titled Enhancing Nurses Competence in Providing Spiritual Care through Innovation Education and Compassionate Care (EPICC) and is member of the EPICC Steering Group [http://epicc-network.org] 




Dr. Adam J. Boughey currently works full-time as a Lecturer in Adult Nursing and Post-Doctoral Researcher at Staffordshire University, UK.  Adam previously worked as a Research Associate and Project Manager for the EPICC project.  Having originally trained as an Adult Nurse in 2004 at Keele University, and worked in both primary (community) and secondary (acute) care, Adam attended Staffordshire University to read psychology (2008-2011) and subsequently health psychology (2011-2019).  In addition to his nursing qualification, Adam gained a first-class BSc (Hons) in Psychology, followed by distinction for his MSc in Health Psychology, and completion of his Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology (DHealthPsy).  Adam is currently registered with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), and registered with the UK Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Practitioner Health Psychologist.  Adam is also a Graduate Member (MBPsS) and Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) with the British Psychological Society (BPS).
In his role as a higher education academic, Adam has been privileged to have worked with many colleagues on a variety of projects pertaining to psychology and health and social care.  Adam’s Professional Doctorate research centred around psychological perceptions and predictors of influenza vaccination.  In recent years, Adam has been published with colleagues on a number of papers pertaining to spirituality and spiritual care research, of which he has had a long-term interest.  Adam currently sits on the International Network for the Study of Spirituality (INSS) Executive Committee as Digital Infrastructure Manager.



Dr Josephine Attard is Head of the Midwifery Department and Senior lecturer at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta.
Josephine qualified as nurse-midwife in 1981 and pursued clinical experience in the areas of antenatal, intra-natal and postnatal care. She obtained post-graduate certificate in education in 1991 from the University of Malta, MSc in nursing and midwifery education in 1999 and
Doctoral Degree from the University of South Wales UK in 2015.
Her PhD on the design and evaluation of a competency framework addresses the need for a rigorous and validated competency framework in spiritual care to guide the education and practice of nurses/midwives.



Dr. Attard is currently Head of midwifery department, teaching and supervising students at BSc, Master’s and PhD level. Dr Attard is coordinator of the Erasmus+ midwifery Programme. She represented the University of Malta as the EPICC partner and is a committee member of the EPICC network.



Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Enhancing Nurses’ and Midwives’ Competence in Providing Spiritual Care

  • Book Subtitle: Through Innovative Education and Compassionate Care

  • Editors: Wilfred McSherry, Adam Boughey, Josephine Attard

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-65888-5

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Medicine, Medicine (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-65887-8Published: 19 May 2021

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-65888-5Published: 18 May 2021

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIII, 172

  • Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Nursing Education, Spirituality, Religion and Health

Buy it now

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access