The School of Nursing at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) officially welcomed 65 first-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students on Monday September 5, 2022.
The BSN program at JKUAT is an all-encompassing program that leads to a well-rounded career in the healthcare industry, as it includes courses from the fully-fledged departments of General Nursing, Midwifery, Nursing Education, Leadership, Management, and Research as well as Community Health Nursing.
The interactive orientation session between faculty and freshmen allowed lecturers, led by Dean School of Nursing Dr. Albanus Mutisya, to provide insights into the course while recounting their now successful career journey, admitting that for many it was not their first career choice.
Dr. Mutisya, an expert in acute and critical care nursing explained that all courses under BSN are tailored to help the students understand the human body adding that they are all equally important not just for passing exams but laying a strong knowledgeable foundation for the future.
“It is important for you to be psychologically prepared for the demanding training ahead and I, therefore, urge you to adapt to the university setting in order to succeed. In the words of Earl Nightingale, all you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination, which is the graduation after the four years.”,” advised Dr. Mutisya.
Ms. Dainah Kariuki, the chairperson of the Midwifery Department, which focuses on reproductive health, informed the students that the hours completed in her department were critical due to the gap that still exists in safe child delivery and maternal healthcare. She also touched on gender issues, which she advocates for as a member of the university’s mainstreaming committee.
“Society dictates the roles and relationships between the different genders. However, we should be able to coexist and accommodate each other irrespective of our different cultural backgrounds. Let us choose the correct words and respect our peers when relating in order to avoid conflict. If friendship is declined, please accept it”, advised Ms. Kariuki as she referenced the University’s gender policy.
In a similar fashion, Mr. Joseph Mwangi a counselor at JKUAT discussed the measures put in place by the student welfare department to help the students who may experience burnout and high levels of stress due to exam irregularities, financial mismanagement, and bereavement, among others.
“Counseling is not for people with mental illnesses.” It is intended for ordinary people who are facing difficulties. To broaden our reach, we train selected students as peer counselors on early warning signs of stress and reporting mechanisms so that appropriate, timely action can be taken. We also have several bursaries available for deserving students who have been assessed,” said Mr Mwangi.
Nurses play an important role in the healthcare industry; their dedicated work and contribution to the sick are equal to that of any doctor. This was an affirmation by Dr. Grace Mbuthia chairperson department of Community Health Nursing to encourage those who were not selected for a course in medicine, which is often deemed superior to nursing.
Her sentiments were echoed by Ms. Rosemary Kawira, the Chairperson Department of Nursing Education, Leadership, Management, and Research. Ms. Kawira explained that the nursing profession has a myriad of opportunities such as the management of healthcare organizations that need nursing leaders who can be resourceful in various management roles.
This is the 13th cohort since the inception of the program in 2011 which is regulated by the Nursing Council of Kenya.