Child health nursing in the Solomon Islands: A qualitative evaluation of the impact of the 'Bachelor of nursing - Child health'

Burhin, M., Isom, V., Ogaoga, D., Devine, S., Duke, T., Bugoro, H., Tamou, M., Mark, C., and Panda, N. (2024) Child health nursing in the Solomon Islands: A qualitative evaluation of the impact of the 'Bachelor of nursing - Child health'. International Nursing Review, 71 (1). pp. 35-43.

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Aim: To explore graduates’ perceptions of the impact on nursing practice of a new postgraduate course in child health, developed and implemented in the Solomon Islands in 2016.

Background: The Bachelor of Nursing - Child Health was implemented in 2016 to develop nurses’ knowledge and skills in child health and paediatric care with the intent to improve national child health outcomes.

Design: A qualitative exploratory, descriptive design was used to evaluate the impact of the Bachelor of Nursing - Child Health on graduates’ nursing practice.

Methods: Fourteen nurses who graduated from the first cohort of students enrolled in the child health course were purposively selected to participate. Participants engaged in individual semi-structured interviews, conducted between August and December 2018. A thematic analysis was undertaken following Braun and Clarke's six-phase process.

Results: Findings from the study demonstrate positive impacts of the course on graduates’ nursing practice. These include a perceived enhanced quality of care through their commitment to evidence-based practice, the ability to contribute to capacity building of colleagues, the reinforcement of provincial public health programmes and expanded participation in managerial activities. Following graduation, most alumni took on senior roles and greater responsibilities, felt more confident in managing unwell children, felt there was better access to and quality of child health care at the community and broader country levels and felt recognised by colleagues and communities. Some graduates faced resistance from colleagues to change practice and felt that despite being given greater responsibilities, nursing levels and salaries remained unchanged. This reflected a potential lack of recognition from hospital or provincial managers, the Nursing Council as the regulatory body for the nursing profession, and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services. A lack of human and material resources also impacted quality of care.

Implications for Nursing and Health Policy: Findings from this study underline the need for the Solomon Islands National University, the Nursing Council, the Public Service and the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to concord and delineate formal accreditation standards for child health nurses. Overall, collaborative efforts and commitments at local, regional and global levels are required to support child health nurses in their ability and ambition to improve national child health outcomes.

Conclusions: Findings from this study demonstrate positive impacts of the course on graduates’ nursing practice. The impact of increasing nurses’ knowledge and skills on national child health outcomes could be significant. Ongoing implementation and recognition of this course in the Solomon Islands, as well as more broadly across the Pacific region, are recommended.

Item ID: 77929
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1466-7657
Copyright Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. © 2023 The Authors. International Nursing Review published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Council of Nurses.
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2023 00:06
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420505 Nursing workforce @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200307 Nursing @ 100%
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