Nursing Education in Jordan: A Fulbright Scholar's Perspective

Saturday, 7 November 2015: 3:35 PM

Susan A. LaRocco, PhD, MS, MBA, BS, RN, CNL, FNAP
Division of Nursing, Curry College, Milton, MA, USA

In Jordan there are 15 universities that award a baccalaureate degree in nursing.  One of the largest nursing programs is at the University of Jordan (UJ) in the capital, Amman.  UJ was the first university based nursing program in Jordan.  When the program started in 1972 female and male students matriculated, but then male admissions were halted until 1982.  Masters education began in Jordan at UJ in 1986 and the first PhD program in nursing started at UJ in 2005.  Prior to 2005 many of the nursing faculty received their doctoral education in the US; others went to the UK.  Since 2005 there have been 48 doctoral graduates and 39 doctoral students are currently matriculated.   Currently there are 51 full time nursing faculty at UJ.

Associate degree nursing education is offered in about 29 colleges throughout the Kingdom.  Graduation from either program allows the nurse to be registered, without requiring a licensure examination.  The two categories of nurses are distinct, each with their own job title and responsibilities. 

Major issues in nursing education include:

  • Lack of clinical experience of some of the faculty.  Many of the doctorally prepared faculty have limited clinical experience prior to their advanced studies
  • Discrepancy between the English language (mostly US) textbook view of nursing and the culturally different environment that the students find in the hospitals
  • Large clinical groups (8-10 is common)
  • Lack of available clinical sites for students and lack of student access to electronic records
  • Entrance to the nursing program is based on the composite score of general national exams given during secondary education
  • The need to limit the number of male students because of female patients’ preference for female nurses

Strengths in the nursing educational system include strong support from Her Royal Highness Princess Muna, the King’s mother, who was honored by STTI in 2009 for her contributions to the profession.  A strong research ethic with many studies focused on nursing practice and education in Jordan helps to advance nursing science.  Collaborative agreements and scholarly exchange with universities outside Jordan also enhance the perspectives of the nursing faculty.

As a Fulbright Scholar, I had the opportunity to fully participate in the academic life of the Faculty of Nursing.  I taught qualitative research methods and professional writing to doctoral students as well as guest lectured in various undergraduate classes.  I also worked closely with the faculty at UJ as they formed the first nursing honor society in Jordan.  This society was created with guidance from STTI and will petition to become a chapter of STTI after the required one year waiting period.  The cultural and educational exchange that occurs as a result of the Fulbright Scholars program provides many benefits to the host institution as well as to the institution where the scholar normally teaches.