Enhancing nurses’ and midwives’ competence in providing spiritual care through innovative education and compassionate care (EPICC)

About this project

The provision of spiritual care for the health and wellbeing of patients has been the focus of a major project involving a group of nursing and midwifery educators, along with key stakeholders, across Europe. The EPICC project was launched in November 2016 to review good practice in spiritual care and develop new resources that can be applied to nursing and midwifery in higher education.

The project set out to address the findings through previous resesarch that pre-registration nurses and midwives don’t feel adequately prepared for spiritual aspects of care. This type of care can encompass the holistic understanding of patient needs when faced with life-changing events or sadness, and the providing of caring qualities such as warmth, compassion and empathy.

Gaps and inconsistencies in pre-registration nursing and midwifery education relating to a person’s spiritual and cultural world views, beliefs and practices as well the potential range of emotional responses had also been been identified by research. Therefore, the project team have been leading the debate on the provision of spiritual care and developing a standard approach to training and practical application in nursing and midwifery.

The methodology has been to produce a set of educational standards, reached by a process of collective thought and discussion. These are:

EPICC is working to become a recognised mark for training quality in spiritual care, and a worldwide network of nursing and midwifery educators has been established which will continue to share knowledge, experiences and resources in spiritual care that can be applied to nursing and midwifery education in higher education institutions.

You can find the project outputs and details of the EPICC Network and how to join at the EPICC Network website.

Spiritual care training to become part of Welsh nursing curriculum press release

Lead researcher

Professor Wilfred Mcsherry


Wilf is a Professor of Nursing and an active researcher in delivery patient centered care. His main area of interest is how we can prepare nurses, midwives and healthcare professional to be confident and competent in this dimension of care.

Wilfred's profile

Associated researcher

Dr Adam Boughey


Lecturer in Adult Nursing and Post-Doctoral Researcher BPS Chartered Psychologist and HCPC Registered Health Psychologist.

Adam's profile

Funding body

Co-funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ Programme (Erasmus+ KA2 Grant Agreement Number: 2016-1-UK01-KA203-024467)

Project partners

University of Malta

University of South Wales, UK

Christian University of Applied Sciences (VIAA), Netherlands

VID, Norway


in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2024

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021