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Nursing Education Systems in Kenya and Ireland


Nursing Education Systems in Kenya and Ireland

Nursing Education Systems in Kenya and Ireland

Kenya is one of the African countries where Europeans settled at during the colonial era (Mule, 1986). Although it is believed that missionaries and explorers introduced the nursing profession in the country, the natives had their own traditional medical practices with the help of witchdoctors, and village elders. However, modern medical practices originated from the missionaries. While venturing the nation, the demand of health personnel kept increasing especially with the influx of Europeans in the country and the demand of the service from the natives. In is with regards to this that the missionaries commenced training locals. The demand for health services kept on increasing. To address this issue, the missionaries requested the colonial government to formulate and fund the program in 1929 (Mule, 1986). In response to this, the government developed training programs training dressers and assistant nurses. This was the beginning of nursing education in the nation. Nursing Education Systems in Kenya and Ireland


Ireland is one of the last nations in the developed world to develop modern nursing education system and practices. Between the 1950s and 70s, the apprenticeship nursing model was used to train nurses. Under this model, more experienced nurses (O’dwyer, 2007) trained nurses. During this time, the need for professional nursing education was recognized but the Irish government was not ready to face these costs. However, the entry of Ireland into the European Economic Community brought about drastic changes in the nursing education and profession. These changes aimed at ensuring the quality of education and health service from nursing conform to that of other member states. However, it is in 1999 when effective changes were put across in the nursing profession. These changes came about because of the nurses’ strike. As a result, nursing education was moved into colleges and universities. This increased the quality of education, knowledge, and experience that nurses in the nation possess. Nursing Education Systems in Kenya and Ireland

Government and Nursing Organizations Influencing Nursing Education: Comparison of Kenya and Ireland

The nursing education and profession of a given nation is designed to meet the social-cultural, economic, and political needs of a given nation. To achieve this, nursing education is normally government by an autonomous body that ensures that the goals and objectives of the modules that have been presented conform to the needs and desires of the community. In Kenya, the government under the Ministry of Health influences nursing education. However, the Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK) (Mule, 1986) governs nursing education in Kenya. The main purpose of this body is to standardize the nursing practice nationwide, give approval to all institutions that offer nursing education, prepare, and monitor the nursing syllabus and examinations and to register and enroll nurses all within the country (Mule, 1986). In the process of performing its functions, NCK receives support from other bodies such as National Nursing Association of Kenya and the International Nursing Council. Nursing Education Systems in Kenya and Ireland

Just like in Kenya, the nursing profession in Ireland has been developed and modified to meet its societal, economic, and political needs. Additionally, the nursing profession in the nation has also been designed to meet up to the international nursing standards since Ireland is a member of the European Economic Community (O’dwyer, 2007). Nursing education in Ireland is under the discretion of the Ministry of Health. The main purpose of the Ministry of Health is to develop and implement the nursing curriculum within the nation. The Ministry of Health has also played a critical role in the integration of the nursing education into universities and colleges. This has greatly improved the level of nursing education in Ireland.

Current System of Nursing Education: Comparison of Kenya and Ireland

The registered nursing course in Kenya commenced in 1952 (Mule, 1986). Since its inception up to the present moment, several changes have been made to ensure that the nursing education meets the health needs of the nation. In Kenya, the nursing course lasts for three years comprising of theoretical and practical sessions. Before a student becomes a registered nurse, he/she has to sit for a hospital exam. Once the student has passed this exam, he/she is expected to sit for an exam from the Nursing Council (Mule, 1986). On completion, a student becomes a Nursing Officer III. Through merit and experience, promotions to grade II and I are definite. In Ireland, Degree programs in the field of nursing have been available (O’dwyer, 2007). This program lasts for four year, three of which are spent on studying clinical theory and practices while the fourth is spent on studying health services. It is during this last year that students put all their knowledge into practice.

Post-Graduate (Masters) Education: Comparison of Kenya and Ireland

As per the information that is provided in these two articles focusing on nursing education in Kenya and Ireland, Masters Education in the field of nursing is not offered in any of these nations. This may be because nursing education in these nations is a relatively new. Thus, with the advancement in this sector of education and the contemporary needs of the nursing discipline, post-graduate education might be developed. This is because nursing education has to meet to the social, economic, and political needs of a given community (Mule, 1986).

Reflections on Nursing Education in Kenya and Ireland

It is astonishing that nursing education is a relatively new practice in Kenya and Ireland. This has made the nursing profession not to be taken seriously within the society (Secker, 1999). However, with the increasing demand of nurses and the development of political ideologies by nurses, nursing education and profession have undergone drastic changes to ensure that they live up to the expected standards of the community.


Mule, G. (1986). Nursing Education in Kenya: Motivations and Innovations. International Nursing Review, 33(3), 83-86.

O’dwyer, P. (2007). Looking Back and Moving Forward: The Education Preparation of Nurses in Ireland. Nursing Education Perspectives, 28(3), 136-139.

Secker, J. (1999). Health Training Needs of Primary Health Care Nurses. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 8(2), 643–652.

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