ELIZABETH WANJIRU February 7, 2011.
The health sector in the country is expected to improve after the launching of a revised and harmonized Bachelor’s of Science (BScN) syllabus.
The Nursing Council of Kenya and other stakeholders have launched a revised.
The new curriculum is an improvement of the BScN core syllabus and is set to take effect as early as March of this year.
Speaking to the Nation, Mr David Maingi the head of education at the Nursing Council of Kenya, the previous BScN core syllabus had been in use for over 10 years and the stakeholders recognized the former to be deficient in addressing new developments.
“The core syllabus was prescribed to only 3 universities offering Bachelor of Science program. Currently, 11 are training students and 4 more are yet to be approved” he said.
He also emphasized that unlike the core syllabus, the revised one addresses and incorporates emerging issues in fields of reproductive health, gender, forensic nursing, health financing, ICT and HIV and AIDS.
The revision of the syllabus comes at a time when the number of universities offering nursing courses at degree level has more than tripled hence the necessity of having an input from nurse educators, scholars, managers and clinicians from all institutions.
Among the challenges the new syllabus is expected to handle include; shortage of faculty, increased number of students, inadequate clinical experiences as a result of problems at the clinical areas and the influx of graduates who lack employment after training.
According to Mrs Isabella Mbai the HOD of nursing at Moi University, the Nursing Council has the mandate of monitoring and evaluating the programs by indexing and licensing exams so as to counter the challenges.
However she said that the success of the new curriculum depends on the cooperation of all the stakeholders so as to provide a health policy direction for all.
“The NCK, the ministries and universities are expected to implement the new syllabus by revising their existing curricula and conform to the new one so as to be at per with all the other institutions in the country” she said.
New the syllabus falls under the directive of the strategy and the realization of achieving vision 2030 and provision of the highest standards of healthcare in the country.
“The council has reviewed the core syllabus in a bid to achieving vision 2030, general health reforms and the MDGs on health” Mr Maingi said.
Elizabeth Oywer the NCK registrar, professional competence is a basic requirement which would be achieved through proper initial and ongoing education and training as well as lifelong learning.
The Council has also released a students’ training file which was compiled in 2010 and brought together by all the stakeholders who contributed new ideas as well as revised the existing BScN Core syllabus.
The file will act as a guide to the council in determining eligibility for registration and licensing of BScN graduates trained both locally and outside the country.
The document will also guide both students and nurse educators on the minimum course content to be learned and other requirements.
“It will ensure that the students acquire and apply the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to function effectively at degree level” Mr Maingi added.
The new syllabus was launched in yesterday in Nakuru. The event was attended by representatives from both private and public universities as well as Government officials, hospitals and NGOs’.