The Robert Bosch Stiftung

Pflege 1
Photo: Björn Hänssler 
Thanks to the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s help, the field of nursing care in Germany has gone through an intense process of professionalization, and many of those in need of care as well as the industry’s workers continue to benefit from this.

Nursing Care

The Robert Bosch Stiftung has focused on nursing care for the sick and elderly for 35 years. Thanks to the Foundation’s help, this field has gone through an intense process of professionalization which many of those in need of care as well as the industry’s workers continue to benefit from today. Furthermore, nursing care, long viewed as nothing more than an afterthought within the field of medicine, has been firmly established as its own independent discipline in Germany. This can be seen most impressively in the countless degree programs created as a result of the Foundation’s initiatives which are now offered at universities. Furthermore, the Robert Bosch Stiftung also actively supports projects in palliative and hospice care and addressed the issue of dementia early on. The Foundation successfully carried these growing social duties into Germany’s policies governing health care and senior citizens.

The Foundation made the decision to support nursing care projects in 1978. Shortly thereafter, the Foundation established the "Nursing Care" focus area, which it steadily expanded in the following years. Since its inception, the Foundation has invested around 14 million euros in projects related to training nursing professionals alone.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Foundation supported more than 350 real-world projects which have improved the daily lives of countless people. Furthermore, the Foundation carried out projects which modernized and made significant advancements to both home and out-patient care. Nursing professionals and institutions took innovative new steps in caring for children, people with disabilities, the homeless, immigrants, and other groups with special needs. In addition, new methods of care, such as kinesthesia, as well as measures to evaluate the quality of care were first introduced.

Care Needs Elites – The path to a university education

The Foundation’s 1992 position paper "Care Needs Elites" on the need for degree programs for teachers and managers in the field of nursing accelerated beyond all expectations the nationwide establishment of academic structures in Germany. The writers called for at least one nursing degree program per German state within a period of five years. Yet by 1995, German universities already offered 30 programs, and in 2000 that number had climbed to 54. The Foundation established a scholarship program to qualify nursing professionals for these new academic activities. Visitation programs, graduate programs, and post-graduate programs created a new generation of young academics and the necessary expertise. With these measures, the Foundation played a decisive role in moving nursing care into its current position among academic disciplines. Further programs resulted in an increased exchange between theoretical knowledge and practical application as well as the application of scientific findings to the daily operations of care facilities.



Reform of vocational training in nursing

A further focus was on reforming and making advancements to vocational training in the field of nursing. Promotional awards and competitions as well as international partnerships for nursing schools provided key momentum in this regard. The Foundation’s position paper from the year 2000 entitled "Rethinking Nursing – The Future of Vocational Training in Nursing" was extremely effective in creating the conditions required to bring about change, and ultimately led to an amendment to Germany’s laws governing the nursing and geriatric care professions and their vocational training. In addition, it provided inspiration for many pilot projects related to the vocational training program.

New duties, new partners, new careers

In 2004, the Foundation launched the initiative "Together for a Better Life with Dementia." This initiative saw experts address different aspects of the disease during seven workshops. The results, which were published as a series of books, and the approximately 140 projects on the issue of dementia – including the "People with Dementia in the Community" program – helped significantly improve sufferers’ situation. One key approach in this context was creating of network which joined professional care facilities with local initiatives in civil society. In 2004, the Foundation looked at palliative care and its spread throughout in-patient and out-patient geriatric care. The most important tool in this context is advanced training for professionals in this field. Around 3000 care professionals have already been trained in palliative care on the basis of a curriculum developed by the Foundation.

In 2013, the Foundation began accepting applications for a new program on interprofessional learning in health care professions, and published the position paper entitled "Rethinking Health Care Professions, Reorganizing Health Care Professions." The focus of this appeal to politicians was primarily on improving the interdisciplinary cooperation between professions and tailoring them to regional demands. As such, the Foundation was the first group to openly discuss the need for medical and nursing care professions to be more closely intertwined in the future.



Projects in the field of health

Nursing care is a focus area of the Foundation
in the field of health.