Nursing Education in Saudi Arabia

Introduction

Nursing has become one of the most competitive professions globally. Providers of nursing education worldwide encounter numerous challenges in crafting effective learning experiences and providing constructive, objective evaluation of knowledge and skills in learners (Oermann, 2006). The Public tends to have an enhanced understanding of the safety of patients. Clinical settings often encounter an increasing number of patients and complex medical conditions (Mitchell, 2009). Stakeholders in this profession have to deal with an increasing number of nursing students. Students have to compete for the limited places both in nursing institutions and clinical sites. Therefore, nursing students need to demonstrate clinical competence prior to entering into the actual clinical setting (Myers, 2012). Nurses provide personal care to patients and these calls for strict guidelines to streamline the profession. Different countries around the world have set unique requirements for joining their nursing schools. In addition, various regulatory bodies to oversee the training and practice of nurses exist.

Saudi Arabia is not an exception. The nursing education in Saudi Arabia has undergone rapid transformations. Saudi Arabia saw its first formal training in nursing established in 1998 at the Health Institute in Riyadh. The training initially enrolled male students only. The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health and the World Health organization came to together to initiate the training. Only six male students with six years of schooling students enrolled in the program. Later, the training started in cooperating female students although it originally received some critics. Nursing education in Saudi Arabia has undergone numerous transformations. Students can now undertake a Bachelors degree in Nursing (BSN) or go for Masters in Nursing. The Ministry of Health has designed various policies to upgrade the quality of nursing education offered to Saudi Arabian nurses. Nursing profession in the Saudi Arabian cultural setting proves to be challenging because of strict cultural affiliations (McFarland & Leininger, 2006). Therefore, these calls for an all round education system that will enable the nursing institutions produce clinically competent nurses.

Problem statement

The research paper aims to collect views from nurses, healthcare and nursing education providers on what needs to be done to improve the quality of nursing in Saudi Arabia.

Significance of the study

Saudi Arabia has encountered a shortage of nurses because of the Muslim cultural belief that women do not need to seek employment, for it will make them mix with men (Oxford Business Group, 2010). Saudi Arabia also relies on the contributions of foreign nurses for the provision of quality nursing services. Nursing profession appears to be a profession for nurses. Provision of nursing education in the country needs to encourage both men and women to join the profession. The education provided needs to address both clinical and cultural challenges that nurses in Saudi Arabia face. Education providers seem to be facing out the three year Diploma in nursing and replacing it with BSN. Most BSN graduates assume leadership positions after graduation. BSN graduates should be encouraged to pursue further studies in order to sharpen their skills. This research will enable nurses and other stake holders (healthcare and education providers) to air their views on what needs to be done to enhance the quality of nursing services in Saudi Arabia. The information will be crucial in the development of education criteria and technical nursing curricula.

Research Methodology

The study will employ qualitative and quantitative research. Participants will include nurses, nursing education providers and healthcare providers who shall provide their views regarding the nursing education in Saudi Arabia. The study will require nurses to give a detailed account on their nursing journey. The nurses shall indicate their educational background and what influenced their decision to join the nursing profession. The nurses will need to indicate their level of experience in the nursing profession and the challenges they face in the field. The study will then assess their views and relate them to their education background. The study will also seek the participation of nursing education providers. The trainers will be able to share their experiences in providing nursing education. They will need to indicate how long they have been offering training in nursing, the number of graduates they have produced so far and the challenges they face in providing this training. In addition, healthcare providers will also provide their views. Hospital management teams and departmental heads will contact to get their views. The departments to be contacted will need to have a direct or indirect relationship with the nurses. The study will use questionnaires to gather this data. The study will require the participation of two hundred participants from each category. A comparison of the challenges facing the three groups will require the use of Univariate analysis like chi-square. Pearson correlation and ANOVA will come into play in the determination of the correlation between the quality of education and the competence of nurses. In addition, the study will employ Pearson correlation and ANOVA to determine the relationship between the level of education and the quality of nursing services.

References

Mac Farland,M. and Leihninger, M (2006).Culture Care Diversity and Universality: A worldwide Nursing Theory. Burlington: Jones & Barlett.

Mitchell, J. (2009). Job satisfaction and burnout among foreing trained nurses in South Arabia: A Mixed Case Study. Michigan: ProQuest.

Myers, S. (2012). Patient SafetyY and Hospita Accreditation: A model for Ensuring Success. Berlin: Springer.

Oermann, M. (2006). Anew Review of Nursing Education: A New Direction in Nursing Education. Berlin: Springer Publishers.

Oxford Business Group. (2010). The Report: Saudi Arabia. Oxford: Oxford.