Nursing and Midwifery Education in Rwanda: Telling our Story
This article reviewed the development of the education of nurses and midwives in Rwanda. Nursing and midwifery education started with missionaries providing general nursing education and later evolved into the integration of nursing education in public and private schools. The establishment of the Kigali Health Institute in1996 greatly advanced nursing and midwifery education with the awarding of an advanced diploma (A1) in nursing and midwifery, followed by the bachelor’s (A0) and master’s degrees in nursing. This increased level of education for nursing and midwifery was supported by the Ministry of Health (MoH) when in 2007, the five Schools of Nursing and Midwifery were tasked with the goal of upgrading the A2 (enrolled nurses) to A1. More recently in 2011, the innovative Human Resources for Health program (HRH) was initiated by the MoH. The HRH program highlights skill transfer from faculty of leading schools of nursing in the United States to the Rwandan faculty. In 2013 all public higher learning institutions, including the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, merged to form one University of Rwanda, under the Ministry of Education. In collaboration, Rwandan and US faculty have developed eight tracks within the Master of Sciences in Nursing curriculum which will well prepare nurses and midwives for leadership and educator roles in the Rwandan health care system. This stunning progress in education of Rwandan nurses and midwives over the past two decades promises a brighter future for nursing and midwifery as a profession.
Keywords: nursing, midwifery, education, collboration