Innovative Program for Increasing Access to Higher Education for working Nurses.
Research as a driver for science, Technology and Innovation for Health. :75-76., Nairobi Abstract
Background: Health care training including nursing have conventionally been delivered through face to face mode requiring physical presence of the trainee. Because of distance, shortage of staff, cost, perceived and/or real staff vacuum, higher training of working nurses have been a challenge. Therefore, the University of Nairobi (UoN), School of Nursing sciences (SONS) in partnership with AMREF established an innovative program to increase accessibility of higher training for working nurses.
Objective: To increase access to higher education for Nursing while maintaining acceptable staffing patterns and health care delivery services.
Methodology: This is a blended eLearning program where registered diploma nurses upgrade to BSc Nursing. The program takes three academic years, structured into 3 trimesters of 14 to 17 weeks. In addition, each semester has 2 weekly three face to face sessions with the remaining time dedicated for self-directed learning. The program has been running seamlessly since 2012.
Results: Five groups have been admitted since the inception totaling 300 students. Of the students, 80 %( n=240) are females. The transition of each class from one level to the next have been 80 to 95%. The performance by the student on individual course unit have been above 80 %( very good) including the biomedical courses.
Implication: E-Learning program is an effective model that should be adopted for nursing training. It improves accessibility to higher education for nurses, maintains staffing patterns while assuring continued service delivery. A unique collaboration between University and private entity bringing synergism and resource maximization has been brought forth. In conclusion, a review of the performance by the students undertaking this programme needs to be carried out to assess the trickledown effect of the accrued benefits of higher nursing training.