Legislation regulating Spanish and European academic curricula prescribes a certain level of knowledge and skills any student must master. Spanish universities freely decide the number of credits assigned to each subject and in which year the subject will be taught. We hypothesize that this flexibility may give way to excessively heterogeneous training across universities in nursing degrees. Such curricula heterogeneity hinders inter-university transfers and weakens educational excellence.
1) To review the existing differences in nursing degrees in Spanish universities; 2) to compare our results against current legislation; 3) to propose changes in the legislation, if necessary.
Mixed-methods approach.
We reviewed nursing degree curricula of all 60 Spanish universities. Inter-university differences were analyzed and checked against current legislation. A focus group proposed legislative changes accordingly.
Several differences between public and private universities were statistically significant. During the first cycle, public universities´ course loads include more theoretical teachings, more credits in core subjects during the first year, and more compulsory subjects in second year. Private universities are more likely to offer external internships during the first cycle whereas the public ones are more likely to offer them during the second cycle. Public universities offer more credits under the following curricular blocks than private ones: “Nutrition/Dietetics,” “Psychiatry,” “Public and Community Health,” and “Geriatrics.” In turn, private universities offer more credits in the areas of “Theory/Methodology,” “Ethics/Legislation,” “English,” and “Theology.” Academic curricula meet most of the criteria established by the Spanish and European legislation. The proposed legislative changes aim at standardizing curricula by associating specific credits and their timeline to the teaching blocks.
Nursing degree curricula among Spanish universities are highly heterogeneous. Legislative changes to homogenize teaching blocks would facilitate credit validations and student mobility across universities, in addition to increasing nursing degrees´ standardization and excellence.

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