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Good Research Paper On Analyzing Nursing From Past To Present: Comparing Nursing In Kenya And Poland

Good Research Paper On Analyzing Nursing From Past To Present: Comparing Nursing In Kenya And Poland

Political History and Development of Nursing Education: Comparison of Kenya and Poland
Traditions and culture in Kenya are the origins of its nursing system. As an African country, the wide belief of Kenyan community in the occult and/or supernatural had determined their earliest conceptual explanations of illness and disease. The earliest known nurses in Kenya were the Traditional Health Providers and Traditional Birth Attendants (Mule, 1986). Traditional Health Providers and Traditional Birth Attendants of the pre-professional nursing era in Kenya used objects, particularly herbs and ancient practices of sacrifice/offering, as the basic forms of medicines (Mule, 1986). However, with the arrival of Western missionaries on Kenyan lands, the traditional nursing known and applied by Kenyans in their community changed tremendously (Mule, 1986). The arrival of Western missionaries into the Kenyan lands marked the commencement of professional nursing era in Kenya (Mule, 1986). With the introduction of modern medicine into the Kenyan culture, the earliest nurses and midwives, known as Traditional Health Providers and Traditional Birth Attendants respectively, were “phased out” by the hospitals whose governance strictly adhered to churches, and the traditional form of medicine to which most Kenyans were accustomed to started to decline (Mule, 1986). However, despite the “phasing out”, Traditional Health Providers and Traditional Birth Attendants still existed in both rural and urban area (Mule, 1986). The strong adherence of Kenyans to their customs, specifically manifested by members of ethnic groups, was one of the major problems faced by missionaries who were initiating movement to improve the healthcare system of the community (Mule, 1986). However, the poor healthcare practiced by Kenyans which could be attributed to their traditions and customs started taking a toll on them and the need for an improved and modernized system of healthcare was eventually acknowledged and in 1929, the Kenyan government started establishing programs that focused on healthcare (Mule, 1986). This dynamic move finally taken by the Kenyan government addressed the need for training and production of knowledgeable and experienced healthcare professionals, including nurses, thus, marking the beginning of nursing education.
The history of nursing emergence and development in Poland widely varies from that of Kenya. The beginning of professional era of nursing in Poland is inseparable with both World Wars 1 and 2. World Wars 1 and 2 greatly affected the initial attempts of Poland to establish a highly organized system of nursing education and training. The first nursing school in Poland was founded in 1911—the very year Poland achieved its independence (Sztembis, 2006). However, shortly after the establishment of first nursing school, World War 1 emerged in 1914 and Poland got inevitably involved with the war, causing the government to abort its initial plans of creating Poland’s own system of nursing training and education (Sztembis, 2006). With the end of World War 1 in 1918, Poland tried reestablishing its initial plans for nursing training schools which were impeded as a result of the country’s involvement in the war (Sztembis, 2006). American Red Cross and the Rockefeller Foundation then aided with the struggling Poland and helped in making possible the establishment of nursing training schools that offered short courses that could be completed within two (2) years (Sztembis, 2006). Poland nursing progressed immensely within the span of 20 years, forming developed and more systematic programs for nursing training, until the onset of World War 2 in 1939 (Sztembis, 2006). Poland’s freedom was once again forcibly taken away by the demands of war and the development of nursing system became hindered once more (Sztembis, 2006). However, after the World War 2, Poland struggled once more to reestablish its nursing training system into its current condition (Sztembis, 2006).

Government and Nursing Organizations Influencing Nursing Education: Comparison of Kenya and Poland
The main organization that influence nursing in Kenya is the Nursing Council of Kenya, abbreviated as NCK (Mule, 1986; Segor, 2012). NCK is the main regulator of all activities related to nursing training and education in Kenya. All nursing training/education institutions in Kenya need to be evaluated, accredited, and approved by NCK (Segor, 2012). Generally, NCK, being concerned with a major branch of healthcare, is encompassed by the Kenya’s Ministry of Health or MOH (Segor, 2012). MOH is overseen by a Cabinet Secretary and is actually the result of the merge of Ministry of Medical Services (MoMS) and Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) (Segor, 2012).
Like Kenya, Poland also has its own MOH created in 1926 by the government to organize and coordinate activities related to nursing across the country (Sztembis, 2006). But before the creation of MOH, the Polish Nursing Association of Professional Nurses was established in 1925 through the desire of nursing leaders to give rise to a unifying body that will organize nursing affairs of Poland (Sztembis, 2006). The Polish Nursing Association of Professional Nurses was successfully established and accepted by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) during a conference in Helsinki (Sztembis, 2006). However, the Polish Nursing Association of Professional Nurses took a break and came back reactivated as Polish Nursing Association in 1957 (Wolska-Lipiec, 1987 as cited in Sztembis, 2006). Currently, Department of Nursing is existent in Poland, founded in 1990s in replacement of the Independent Nursing Section (Sztembis, 2006). The Poland’s Department of Nursing is currently the main governing body that organizes and coordinates nursing activities in the country. To closely monitor the nursing activities within the country, Department of Nursing expanded its workforce by employing “provincial nurses” and “medical school supervisors” who aid in keeping nursing institutions all over the country coordinated (Sztembis, 2006).

Current System of Nursing Education: Comparison of Kenya and Poland
The current system of nursing education in Kenya offers (1) Degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing, (2) Registered Nurse Diploma, and (3) Enrolled Nursing Certificate (Nguku, 2009; Segor, 2012). Both BScN degree and RN Diploma are expensive for most Kenyans to take: Demanding longer time to be completed with no assurance of employment or higher wages (Nguku, 2009). Due this, most Kenyans who aspire to work as nurses opt for the cheaper and less extensive enrolled nursing certificates (Nguku, 2009). Enrolled nursing certificates take only two (2) years to be completed, covering basic medical skills but not all the necessary knowledge a nurse needs to garner in preparation for employment (Nguku, 2009). As a result, nurses who obtain only enrolled nursing certificates are not allowed to hold senior posts and are mostly only instructed at work by other senior personnel (Nguku, 2009). On the other hand, obtaining diploma and degree are the best ways to become a permanent nurse in Kenya but the worth of such education is too expensive considering the uncertainty of proper wages (Nguku, 2009).
In Poland, the path to becoming a nurse requires a baccalaureate degree which can be obtained within three (3) to five (5) years in nursing college (Sztembis, 2006). Previously, nursing students in Poland had to enter a nursing school that takes two (2) to five (5) years to be completed after graduating from a secondary school (Sztembis, 2006). But after alterations were made and legislated, Poland’s nursing education system was changed and developed into its current state and nursing education has been integrated into universities (Nowak-Starz, Zdzieblo, Szpringer, and Gluszek, 2008).

Post-Graduate (Masters) Education: Comparison of Kenya and Poland
The availability of post-graduate education also differs in Kenya and Poland. In Kenya, the highest degree offered to a nursing student is not a post-graduate degree but a bachelor’s degree (Nguku, 2009; Segor, 2012). The best explanation would be the low rate of probable enrollees due to its assumed expensive but appropriate cost. In Poland, post-graduate degree is available and actually encouraged among nurses to ensure employment to positions that offer great wages (Sztembis, 2006). After the baccalaureate degree, nurses are given the opportunity to take master’s degree which will take up to two (2) years to be completed (Sztembis, 2006).

Reflections on Nursing Education in Kenya and Poland
The most surprising thing about the nursing education in both Kenya and Poland is the fact that both nursing education systems have just started to emerge upon entry of the 20th century. In Kenya, particularly surprising is the seemingly slow progress of nursing education which was once attributed to Kenyans’ strong adherence to their traditional beliefs and cultural customs. Nowadays, Kenyans have greatly learned to accept and embrace the significance of the modernization of their healthcare. Kenyans now acknowledge their need for healthcare professionals that will satisfy their medical and health needs. According to the study of Komulainen (2011), nurses are the foremost healthcare professionals requested for and needed by the patients, yet the unavailability of more affordable nursing programs that will produce more expert nurses creates a conflict. The recurrence of effects brought about by wars in Poland’s nursing education system also appealed greatly to senses, particularly the fact that the country has always been able to rapidly recuperate and go along the progress of other leading countries with the most effective nursing education system.

Komulainen, P. (2011). Healthcare and Nursing in Kenya. Retrieved from
Mule, G.K. (1986). Nursing Education in Kenya: Trends and Innovations. International Nursing Review, 33(3), 83-86.
Nguku, A. (2009). Nursing the Future: e-Learning and clinical care, in Kenya. Retrieved from
Nowak-Starz, G., Zdziebto, K., Szpringer, M., Gluszek, S. (2008). Nursing Education in Poland and European Standards. Studia Medyczne, 9, 9-13. Retrieved from
Segor, F.H. (2012). Kenya Nursing Workforce Report: The Status of Nursing in Kenya, 2012. Retrieved from
Sztembis, B. (2006). The past, present, and future of nurse education in Poland: stages, conditions and activities. International Nursing Review, 57, 102-109.


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