Clinical Nursing Update November 2011

Producing an MSc Nursing Curriculum

In February 2011, supported by a small curriculum development grant from the Nuffield Foundation, 2 Principal Nursing Lecturers (Carol Greenway and Dr John Fowler) from the School of Nursing and Midwifery De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester visited Gondar University in Ethiopia. They had received a request to help support the development of a Masters degree in Advanced Clinical Nursing for Ethiopia.

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Following a very intensive week of workshops a philosophy for the programme was developed along with an outline and structure. It was decided that a critical feature of the programme would be its clinical focus, aimed directly at improving health care in Ethiopia.

In April 2011, a larger grant application was awarded to continue this work and this involved two Gondar Nurse Tutors; Frehiwot and Yeshaneh who travelled to the UK to work with John, Carol and nursing colleagues at DMU to continue the curriculum development work.

Carol and Professor Silverman travelled to Gondar to attend the validation (approval) of the MSc; the programme was presented to the University Registrar, Dean and external representatives from other Universities in Ethiopia on the 13th July. During the day a series of workshops took place to review the proposed curriculum which resulted in healthy debate.

It would have been useful to have had the discussion with the external academic representatives earlier; this is something that would naturally happen in the UK when undertaking curriculum development and is something that I would strongly recommend for the future.

Frehiwot has reported that the programme has been approved and that 18 students have enrolled, 6 in each nursing speciality, surgical, medical and paediatrics.  The students are currently undertaking the core modules from the existing MSc programme that started in September 2010, also supported by the Leicester-Gondar Link.

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As with all challenges we inevitably find solutions, so one of the challenges we anticipated in the bid for the Nuffield grant was supporting the nurse tutors in Ethiopia around their teaching and learning techniques. For-example facilitating learning with a group of MSc nurses who don’t necessarily work in the same clinical speciality can be perceived as requiring 3 tutors to support this but for sustainability this will prove very resource intensive. Therefore a structured programme has been built into the grant to focus on facilitation skills, reflective learning and to develop interactive assessment strategies that are clearly focused on changing and improving clinical practice.

A timetable for 8 of the nurse tutors to visit Leicester in October and November has been prepared. The aim of their visit is to observe UK teaching and learning strategies and to complete the teaching and assessment materials for the modules commencing in February 2012. John will be walking them through some techniques in experiential learning and colleagues within the Faculty of Health and Life Science at DMU have kindly allowed them to come and observe active learning techniques.

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