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Open Access Correspondence

Building nurse education capacity in India: insights from a faculty development programme in Andhra Pradesh

Catrin Evans1*, Rafath Razia2 and Elaine Cook1

Author Affiliations

1 School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy, University of Nottingham, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, U.K

2 Government College of Nursing Hyderabad, Dr NTR University of Health Sciences, Andhra Pradesh, India

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BMC Nursing 2013, 12:8  doi:10.1186/1472-6955-12-8

Published: 27 March 2013

Abstract

Background

India faces an acute shortage of nurses. Strategies to tackle the human resource crisis depend upon scaling up nursing education provision in a context where the social status and working conditions of nurses are highly variable. Several national and regional situation assessments have revealed significant concerns about educational governance, institutional and educator capacity, quality and standards. Improving educational capacity through nursing faculty development has been proposed as one of several strategies to address a complex health human resource situation. This paper describes and critically reflects upon the experience of one such faculty development programme in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Discussion

The faculty development programme involved a 2 year partnership between a UK university and 7 universities in Andhra Pradesh. It adopted a participatory approach and covered training and support in 4 areas: teaching, research/scholarship, leadership/management and clinical education. Senior hospital nurses were also invited to participate.

Summary

The programme was evaluated positively and some changes to educational practice were reported. However, several obstacles to wider change were identified. At the programme level, there was a need for more intensive individual and institutional mentorship as well as involvement of Indian Centres of Excellence in Nursing to provide local (as well as international) expertise. At the organisational level, the participating Colleges reported heavy workloads, lack of control over working conditions, lack of control over the curriculum and poor infra-structure/resources as ongoing challenges. In the absence of wider educational reform in nursing and government commitment to the profession, faculty development programmes alone will have limited impact.

Keywords:
India; Nursing; Faculty development; Andhra Pradesh; Education; Capacity development