Sunday, November 4, 2007

This presentation is part of : International Learning Communities
International Collaboration to Establish Baccalaureate Nursing Education in Rwanda
Carroll Iwasiw, RN, BN, MScN, EdD1, Elsa Arbuthnot, RN, BScN, MScN2, Pam Skinner, BNSc, MEd3, Imelda Bagamaki, BScN, MS4, Desiré Kamanzi, PhD4, Laetitia Kakana, BScN, MS4, Nancy Johnson, RN, MHSc, PhD5, Alex Tumusime, BScN4, Donatilla Mukamana, BScN, MS4, Yolanda B. Babenko-Mould, RN6, and Marc Arseneau, RN, BN4. (1) School of Nursing, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada, (2) School of Nursing, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS, Canada, (3) Faculty of Health Sciences and Human Services, Fanshawe College, London, ON, Canada, (4) Faculty of Nursing, Kigali Health Institute, Kigali, Rwanda, (5) School of Nursing, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada, (6) Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
Learning Objective #1: The learner will be able to gain insight into the challenges to, and enhancers of, international collaboration in nursing education.
Learning Objective #2: The learner will appreciate the mututal value of long-term international collaboration to advance nursing education.

Rwanda is a county of approximately 8.4 million people in East Africa. The population is mainly rural, with 60% living below the poverty line (UNAIDS, 2003). Life expectancy is 43 and 46 years for males and females, respectively (World Health Report 2005), with HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis the leading causes of death (UNDP, 2003). As Rwanda recovers from the effects of the 1994 genocide, a national priority is improving the quality of health and nursing care. Expanding the capacity of institutions to produce qualified health professionals is a governmental goal.

Rwandan nurses have been educated in high school programs or in governmental and private post-secondary programs. High school and private programs are being discontinued and new-established, regional, post-secondary nursing schools with a standardized curriculum will now be the only means to achieve a nursing diploma. As well, the country’s first Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) and first Bachelor of Nursing Education (BNE) programs are being developed and implemented at Kigali Health Institute in the national capital. The intent of the BScN program is to prepare comprehensive nurses, in accordance with the World Health Organization’s view of nursing, who are responsive to Rwanda’s major health problems. The BNE program will prepare nursing teachers for the regional schools. Canadians have been asked to assist with curriculum development.

We will describe the development of these programs with analysis of factors facilitating and challenging curriculum development and implementation. Plans for ongoing curriculum refinement will be addressed. Recommendations for other health human resource development programs will be presented, with emphasis on the importance of cultural understanding, program champions, and organizational support.

*Funded by the Canadian International Development Agency