National School for Nurses in Haiti A new professional curriculum

By Roodeline VALCOURT | 24 Feb, 2014

The international day for nurses in 2013 was celebrated around the topic of “ Closing the gap, the millennium development goals: 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1”. The ICN wants to keep this slogan as a countdown to 2015, with an emphasis on the health-related goals. Because nurses represent the largest part of the health profession, their contribution is very important to reach these goals in the world. In Haiti, nurses and auxiliary represent more than 70% of health professionals (Population(MSPP), 2011). Anywhere in the country you can find a nurse or an auxiliary who take care of patients. But nursing includes advocacy, promotion of a safe environment, research, participation in shaping health policy, and in patient and health systems management (ICN). How a nurse can reach these if their basic grade doesn’t allow them to access a university in order to attend a second grade training to have her master, etc.? The leaders of MSPP in Haiti understood this situation and were engaged to change it.

For a long time, the training of nurses in all national schools involved the completion of a three year didactic learning model (Bacc +3). At the end of this period, the graduate nurse would complete her social service for one year and take part in a national exam for nurses. The completion certificate of the social service and her success on national exam allow the nurses to receive her nursing license. This situation didn’t allow the young licensed nurses to pursue a four year bachelor degree in science (nursing). In many universities to have access on a master program you should to have Bacc + 4. This situation constitutes a big handicap for the nurses in the fulfillment of their mission. Many accomplishments in the work’s field of nurses as research require a strong academic as well as technical background. Where the nurses can’t allow their study to get grades (bachelor, master, PhD) in the nursing science this is a big problem. And it was the situation of nurses from National School of Nurses in Haiti. The foundation for this precedent was based on law of 1944; the National Schools of Nurses was affiliated with the State University of Haiti (Sérand, 2014). These situations were uncomfortable for nurses who have the big vision and couldn’t contribute on the country development.

 Hopefully the Ministry of Health via her direction of nursing, and many people who were interested by training of nurses in the national schools, understood this situation and did the right action: Reviewed training curricula for nurses in the national schools. That’s exactly what many nurses who studied in theses schools dreamt. January 7, a memorial day at Le plaza hotel of Port-au-Prince, the leaders of the ministry of health presented this new curriculum for training of nurses. This new curriculum is the realization of a common dream. This is a new bend in the road for training for nurses in Haiti. Establishing a bachelor’s degree four year program in nursing is an essential component in elevating the collective standard of professional practice. It confers to nursing student a grade of license on nursing science. From now, the training of nurses is a component of the State of University in Haiti. In this way the nurses can allow their study and get grades on nursing sciences. The nursing community in Haiti needed it. Thus, in the future astute Haitian academic nurse leaders will be able to train the nurse students and the nurses could have strong background to fulfill their mission for the well being of the patients, the whole population and the development of nursing profession.



Kate Dieringer Replied at 9:24 AM, 24 Feb 2014

This is an essential step forward in advancing nursing professional practice and leadership- thank you for highlighting the National School of Nursing's new bachelor program Roodeline.

Sheila Davis Moderator Emeritus Replied at 9:27 AM, 24 Feb 2014

Thanks Roodeline for sharing this exciting update about the new curriculum in Haiti. This is a pivotal step in the ongoing professionalism of nursing globally.

Cindy Uttley Replied at 9:52 AM, 24 Feb 2014

Thank you for sharing this news. It is exciting on many levels: the Minister of Health is well-informed and engaged in strengthening the role of nursing as it bolsters Haiti's health system; updrading the educational and professional opportunities for the Haitian nurse; wider benefits for the Haitian society at large; increasing the stature of nursing internationally, as well. I applaud this new development!

Michele Sare Replied at 11:20 AM, 24 Feb 2014

I'd like to extend my deepest congratulations - the MSPP and the National School suffered such terrible loss in 2010 - and to build as much and as well as all have - is truly impressive. In Aug. 2010 many of us met in FL at the 1st Int'l Symposium on Nursing in Haiti - it was an honor to met the Director of Nursing at MSPP - Madam Bois - and the Dean from the Nat'l University - to hear their commitment and vision. It has taken many partners, but it has been Haitian nurses who have made this happen - Congratulations - amidst tremendous difficulty - you are building a stronger healthcare system for Haitians - a brighter future for Haiti's nurses! Bravo!

Joyce Pulcini Replied at 1:53 PM, 24 Feb 2014

This is very exciting. Congratulations on a very important accomplishment. I am at George Washington University SON and we are interested in more information on helping with this effort in Haiti. How can a US SON or groups of SONs help Haiti in these efforts? We do medical missions three times per year but we are interested in doing more.

Joyce Pulcini

HARUSHA Simplice Replied at 2:05 PM, 24 Feb 2014

yeah.Nursing care need reforms but basic fundamentals shouldremain.

chris macrae Replied at 2:28 PM, 24 Feb 2014

is the curriculum on a web anywhere
I wonder how it compares with the lowest cost /highest quality curriculum that I have so far been able to search

Grameen Nursing College

The search for lowest cost /highest quality nursing curriculum is a project thousands of youth are being invited to search for as part of the youth jobs summits as a social movement inspired by people like Muhammad Yunus and Jim Kim

Monique Germain Moderator Replied at 7:20 PM, 24 Feb 2014

This is real progress in the making.
Since 2005, I have been involved in strenghtening nursing education in Haiti through the Faculte des Sciences Infirmieres de "Universite Episcopale d'Haiti (FSIL), the only baccalaureate nursing program in Haiti at the moment. It is heart-warming to know the curriculum in nursing education is progressing at national level. Educating and training nurses to be competent to handle complex health problems is a challenge and Haiti is meeting that challenge. Congratulations, Roodeline!

Monique Germain

Gini Williams Replied at 9:53 PM, 24 Feb 2014

This is wonderful news and as long as these nurses are able to work to their full potential once qualified it will have an enormous impact on Haiti's health system. I am currently in India at the National TB Conference. For the first time in 68 years nurses have been invited to participate in the programme. This is largely thanks to Anita Rani Kansall, the Nursing Superintendent from the National Institute of TB and Respiratory Diseases where the conference is being held this year. Last year, Anita had an abstract accepted and presented at a major international TB conference. This is good news but it has been an extraordinary struggle for Anita every step of the way.
The condescension she has to deal with from her medical colleagues on a day-to-day basis is breathtaking and I have experienced it myself while I have been here. Mostly she ignores it and gets on with the job. This works on a day-to-day basis and is the price many nurses pay to do what they see needs doing to improve services. In the long-term it is not only demoralising, it prevents her from being recognised for the amazing achievements and most importantly the significant improvements which could be taken up as policy and used elsewhere. Anita and nurses like her could have a huge impact on health programmes in India and other low and middle income countries if they were given the recognition and respect they deserve and were able to participate at a strategic, policy-making level.
Anita qualified as a graduate-level nurse and has since completed a masters degree and is about to finish her PhD. She is a wonderful manager, educator, researcher and leader and full of great ideas to improve the quality of nursing and patient care. Out of the 45 nurses that originally qualified with her, 40 of them are in the US or Canada. Anita herself has taken all the necessary steps and completed all the exams to be able to practice in the US. She remains in India because she is passionate about her work and her children are still relatively young. It is essential that we have graduate nurse-training programmes but it also essential that health systems recognise the contribution that these nurses can make and encourage them to stay in their countries long enough to make it.

dian marandola Replied at 7:50 AM, 25 Feb 2014

Often, nurses who lead are courageous. Anita is an inspiration to us all. Thank you, Anita! Dian

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