There is a significant urge for strengthening and expansion of nursing education in Afghanistan. The health indicators reveal remarkably high mortality rate of children under the age of five years and increase prevalence and incidence of communicable diseases, malnutrition and mental health problems. It has been estimated from several studies that there is a great need for trained and competent nurses in the country, which signifies the sub spatial shortage of female staff with nursing skills. Therefore, it is crucial to initiate programmatic approach which focuses on:
- To train increase number of female nurses.
- To improve in the quality of patient care.
- To encourage female enrollment particularly from the regions in nursing education program.
- Strengthening the role of nurses and scope of nursing practice
- To develop and award recognition to the nursing profession in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan Institute of Health Science is responsible for training nurses, midwifes and allied health care personnel. However, the training program had traditional approach which did not promote clinical skill development and competency-based learning techniques. To address the need for more qualified and trained nurses that promotes quality and safe delivery of nursing care, a general nursing diploma program is implemented at Institute of Health Science in Kabul and regional IHSs that focuses on enhancing the decision making, critical thinking and competency-based learning of their nursing graduates. The program is of three years duration and comprises of six semesters. The three years of training focuses on the integration of theoretical knowledge in clinical practices.
The goal of the general nursing diploma program at Institute of Health Science is to prepare a graduate who is health oriented rather than disease oriented and is able to provide care to well and sick individuals, families and communities in hospitals and other health care setting in urban and rural cares.
Definition of a Nurse
The definition of the nurse is the working definition approved by the ICN council of National Representatives.
The nurse is a person who has completed a program of basic, generalized nursing education and in authorized by appropriate regulatory authority to practice nursing in his/her country. Basic nursing education is a formally recognized program of study providing a broad and sound foundation in the behavioral, life, and nursing science for the general practice of nursing, for a leadership role and for post-basic education for specialty or advanced nursing practice.
The nurse is prepared and authorized to:
- Engage in the general scope of nursing practice, including the promotion of health, presentation of illness, and care of physically ill, mentally ill, and disabled people of all ages and in all health care and other community setting.
- Carry out health care teaching
- Participate fully as a member of the health care team.
- Supervise and train nursing and health care auxiliaries.
- Be involved in research.
- Educate health professionals to provide exemplary service appropriate to the health needs of urban and rural population in hospitals and communities.
- Provide leadership in health education, practice and administration.
- Graduate health professional with the capability of pursuing higher education at institutions of learning throughout the world.
- Provide opportunities of continuing education to meet the needs of health professional institutions, and communities in Afghanistan.
Objectives of the General Nursing Diploma Program are as follows:
- Demonstrate safe practice according to standards of nursing practice.
- Demonstrate accountability for his/her own nursing practice.
- Incorporate the nursing process to deliver safe nursing care to individuals, families and communities.
- Utilize knowledge derived from the Humanities, Natural and Behavioral Science, when providing nursing care to clients.
- Practice in activities that contribute to lifelong personal and professional growth.
- Recognize the need of research in nursing practice.