Perioperative Nursing Training in Rwanda in Partnership with American Universities: The Journey So Far
Nurses within a surgical team play such a fundamental role in the success of a surgery that they require specific training for the purpose. However, in Rwanda, there has been a severe scarcity of perioperative nurses. This article describes the collaborative effort for perioperative nursing training by the University of Rwanda (UR) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) with the Human Resources for Health (HRH) Program and a consortium of American Universities. The goal of the HRH program has been to build up the capacities of health professionals both in academia and clinical settings so as to address the shortage of qualified staff. In that regard, the UR in 2015 started a Masters program in nursing in eight specialties, of which one was perioperative nursing. The aim of this paper is to highlight the training process, success, and challenges of perioperative nursing training in Rwanda.
The training has so far been successful, with the 19 nurses who completed the program working now in academic and clinical teaching institutions. Students in the program have also increased their number of research publications in peer-reviewed journals and international conference presentations. The UR and its partners are investing in the sustainability and excellence of this program. Using the import-of-experts approach to train Rwandans within their country, the program addresses the scarcity of specialists in various disciplines within the nursing profession. As a consequence, countries where the lack of specialized nurses poses challenges may adopt this partnership strategy.
Rwanda J Med Health Sci 2021;4(1):185-196
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