Review of an International RN-BSN Nursing Education Program Curricula: A Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program

Sunday, 22 July 2018: 3:05 PM

Prisca O. Anuforo, DNP
School of Nursing, Kean University, Union, NJ, USA
Sharon Mary Brownie, DBA, M (ApNsgMgt), MEd (Admin), M (HlthSMgt), BEd, RN, RM
School of Nursing & Midwifery East Africa, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya


The purpose of this fellowship was to enable the host organization to secure external input to the review process while offering opportunity for the visiting scholar to gain experience and contribute expertise in their continent of birth. The project included collaborative review of the post RN to BSN curriculum in keeping with the mission of the University to strengthen the healthcare workforce in East Africa. The project activities established by the Fellow and University included: review and analysis of the existing RN- BSN curriculum; review of international and regional standards and benchmarks in nursing education; review against Nursing Council standards and requirements in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda (Nursing Council of Kenya, 2012; Tanzania Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2014) (the BSN being a regional program) development of recommendations for the revision, updating and strengthening of the BSN curriculum; and co-development of revised curriculum, in partnership with faculty of the University.


The International Council of Nurses (ICN) Nursing Care Continuum Framework and Competencies, as well as specific country standards of nursing practice, were utilized to guide the review. One of the purposes of the ICN Nursing Care Continuum Framework is to “assist in a variety of situations such as deciding on curriculum content, negotiating skill mix and developing job descriptions” (ICN, 2008 p. 5). In addition, other countries such as China, South East Asia and Western Pacific have used the competencies as a framework for cultivating thorough regulation that inform curriculum development, making it appropriate to use in East Africa. Triangulation of information from various sources such as documents, websites, teachers, and administration were employed in the curriculum review (Hays, 2016). Using triangulation proved useful in determining context-relevance of the RN-BSN curricula (Downes, Wold, Belatchew, Mustafa, and Blount, 2017). Tables were used to align courses to the tenets of ICN framework to show both congruence and incongruences of the curriculum.


As a result of this collaborative process, areas of curriculum alignment to ICN standards and country-specific standards were identified. Alignments identified were in the areas of mission statement of the University and School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONAM); mission of SONAM to Program Student Learning Outcomes (PSLO); and PSLO to Course Student Learning Outcomes (CSLO) (AKU Undergraduate Nursing Program Student Handbook, 2016; American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2008). Differences exist among Countries regarding credit allotment, course descriptions, course contents, assessment methodology and skill levels required of a BSN graduate. Opportunities were identified for standardization across countries, content alignment, and faculty development in the areas of curriculum development and assessment. A revised course template was developed, and assessment instruments were developed and implemented as a pilot model involving two specific courses within the overall curriculum.


This review provided a unique opportunity for the Carnegie Fellow to gain insight into nursing education in East Africa and offer recommendations to strengthen the curriculum with potential flow on to the healthcare workforce. The (CADFP) offers opportunity for educational providers in other African countries to engage with the program and collaboratively improve the quality of various educational program such as nursing education and practice. Participating scholars gained new skills in curriculum review and, will be able to apply that knowledge gained to identify opportunities for improvement in their own curriculum/ organizations.