Preservice Education

Nursing Education Partnership Initiative Tackles the Global Nursing Shortage

Kate TulenkoAround the world nurses are often the front line of the formal medical system, providing care to underserved areas and filling in where and when doctors are in short supply. Yet it has been estimated that sub-Saharan Africa needs 600,000 additional nurses just to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

The Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI)—the US Government’s unified program to address the underproduction of nursing professionals in developing countries—convened its partners for the first time in a meeting in June in Washington, DC. NEPI’s goal is to assist in the nursing component of the US Government’s commitment to training 140,000 additional health workers in developing countries by 2015.

NEPI is led by PEPFAR with government partners USAID and the Department of Health and Human Services. Other partners include CapacityPlus led by IntraHealth International, Columbia University, the World Health Organization, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Read more »

What’s So Rosy about Garden City?

Carol BalesThe walls. They’re the first thing you notice when you arrive at Garden City University College, a small school in Kumasi, Ghana. They’re painted a pale mauve. During the magic hour, when the sun’s low and red, the building and everyone in it glows.

The women who lead it. We’d come to document the school’s progress toward its goal of graduating more health workers, and we had hours of interviews lined up. Garden City’s leaders are stepping up to help address the country’s shortage of health workers. Ghana has fewer than half the minimum number of doctors, nurses, and midwives recommended by the World Health Organization to provide adequate access to health care.

So school leaders are using CapacityPlus tools to improve school management and identify cost-effective ways to educate more health workers. And we couldn’t help but notice that many of those leaders we met—from the new acting president to the dean of students—were powerful women who #MakeItHappen. Read more »

Supporting Lifelong Learning among Nigerian Community Health Workers through a Targeted Assessment of Training Needs

Rebecca Bailey and Joseph EtonLifelong learning is the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. It is not confined to the classroom but takes place throughout life and in a range of situations. To develop and maintain the competencies needed to deliver high-quality services, health workers must be lifelong learners. Formal continuing education and training activities can support lifelong learning. Yet to be effective, they must target identified gaps between each worker’s current knowledge and skills and what is actually needed on the job. Training needs assessments provide information to target learning activities toward identified competency gaps and learning needs of specific health workers.

In Nigeria, CapacityPlus collaborated with the Community Health Practitioners Registration Board of Nigeria (CHPRBN) and the Federal Ministry of Health to assess the training needs of community health workers in the South-South region. The assessment focused on globally accepted knowledge, skills, and attitudes for community health practitioners in nine competency domains: Read more »

Scaling Up and Transforming Health Workforce Education and Training for Improved Health Equity

This post was originally published on the Global Health Workforce Alliance Members’ Platform. We encourage you to join and contribute to discussions like this one.

The statistics are startling: today the world is in urgent need of 7.2 million additional doctors, nurses, and midwives, according to the WHO, and by 2035 that number will rise to 12.9 million. Recent estimates show that just under one million doctors, nurses, and midwives graduate each year. At this rate, it would take more than seven years to produce the additional skilled workers currently needed. Yet in seven years, the need for health workers will be much higher. Read more »

The Winds of Change

Amanda PuckettThe Harmattan is a dry and dusty wind that blows right over Nigeria from the Sahara Desert into the Gulf of Guinea. During my recent trip to Abuja, the Harmattan was nearly ending and the dust was beginning to lift its cloud over the city, making way for clear and sunny days. I thought this was a perfect analogy for CapacityPlus’s work supporting preservice education for midwifery and community health workers in the country.

Just outside of Abuja at the School of Midwifery FCT Gwagalada, I had the opportunity to meet with 19 midwifery students, each a beneficiary of a scholarship provided by CapacityPlus to assist with tuition fees for their third and final year of training. Read more »

Picturing Our Work: Delivering Over a Thousand Textbooks for Students in Nigeria

Last month, CapacityPlus delivered much-needed textbooks and other educational materials to 11 schools of health technology and midwifery in Nigeria. Here I am shaking hands with Sampson Tita, the principal of a school of health technology in Nassarawa State. We had just opened boxes and boxes containing brand new books for use by students like these that are studying to become community health extension workers. Read more »

“We Have Done It Before, We Are Doing It Now, and We Will Do It Again”: CapacityPlus Awards Scholarships to Midwifery Students

Pius Emmanuel Uwamanua “We have done it before, we are doing it now, and we will do it again,” announced Samuel Ngobua, chief of party for CapacityPlus/Nigeria, during a scholarship award ceremony on August 13. The event marked the second scholarship award—this time to 1,200 midwifery students from 54 schools in 30 states!

The scholarship scheme is one of the interventions CapacityPlus is implementing to address low production of quality midwives and community health workers in Nigeria. A baseline assessment in September 2012 showed that financial difficulties caused a high number of students to drop out of their programs while other students pulled out until they had funds to continue. In February 2013, CapacityPlus awarded the first scholarships to 874 students in their final year of studying to become midwives and community health extension workers in two states, Edo and Benue. Read more »

Picturing Our Work: Scaling Up Health Worker Education

What’s the woman in this photo smiling about? Where in the world was it taken? Read more »

Ready, Set, Study: CapacityPlus Accelerates Nigeria’s Production of New Health Workers

Pius Emmanuel Uwamanua On February 19, 2013, CapacityPlus launched a scholarship bursary scheme, one of its mechanisms for supporting preservice education in Nigeria. The launch events, held in Edo and Benue States, were well attended by government dignitaries and by beneficiaries of the assistance. For me, it was a joyful thing to see smiles on the faces of indigent students who now could breathe some air of hope.

CapacityPlus/Nigeria is working to increase the numbers of health workers to meet the priority health needs of underserved populations. The project aims to boost the number of new health workers produced in Nigeria—in particular by supporting the preservice education and qualification of midwives and community health extension workers—accelerating Nigeria’s contribution toward PEPFAR’s target of supporting the training and retention of more than 140,000 new health workers. Read more »

International Nurses Day 2011: Increasing Access and Equity

Shaun NoronhaMay 12 is celebrated the world over as International Nurses Day, with this year’s theme calling particular attention to issues of access and equity in health care.

Nurses make up the bulk of the health workforce, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, which has 5.5 nurses and midwives for every physician. While nurses’ contributions to the health system are well-established in the literature, to date, scant attention has been directed toward many of the critical issues nurses face in their careers.

The status of nursing education in developing countries is poorly understood. Read more »

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