A team from the School of Health Sciences at St. Paul’s University (SPU) visited Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) on Tuesday March 21, 2023 for academic exchange and benchmarking mission. The aim of the visit was to discuss and gain insights into three key areas namely clinical instruction, medical skills laboratory, and examination processing in a bid to identify areas of improvement for the nursing programme at SPU.
While welcoming the SPU team to JKUAT, Prof. Robert Kinyua, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs, described the Bachelors of Nursing programme at JKUAT as popular and highly competitive, with cut-off points nearly equivalent to those of the Medicine programme.
“The field of Nursing is broad and full of opportunities, and although the JKUAT Nursing program is the most popular in the country, we can only admit the number of applicants permitted by the Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK),” Prof. Kinyua explained.
The Principal College of Health Sciences at JKUAT Dr. Reuben Thuo called for interdisciplinary research collaboration between the two institutions to address the rapidly changing context of research in health sciences.
The roundtable discussions were spearheaded by the Dean School of Nursing, Dr. Albanus Mutisya and Chairpersons of the four departments at the School of Nursing JKUAT which include Community Health Nursing, General Nursing, Nursing Education Leadership, Management and Research, and Midwifery.
They focused on the modalities around clinical teaching and examinations within the university and at various hospitals, which are planned in advance in consultation with key stakeholders. The clinical teaching sessions, held twice a week, enable students to complete prescribed rotations.
The team also toured the NCK accredited JKUAT Nursing skills lab which is equipped with manikins for practical demonstrations to complement the different specializations during the clinical sessions.
Dr. Mutisya explained the program’s strict adherence to the university’s quality assurance procedures, and the Integrated Management System (IMS), which ensures the learning environment is safe for the students.
On her part, the Acting Dean School of Health Sciences at SPU, Ms. Susan Wanja said that the department of Nursing was still new and therefore her team was keen to learn from JKUAT so as to gain diverse perspectives and implement changes that will yield significant improvements.
“Our first stop was JKUAT, and it has yielded so much fruit. The day was insightful, and we are grateful for the opportunity to benchmark our nursing department, which has been in place for four years now,” said Ms. Wanja.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at JKUAT began in 2011, and the School will admit the first Upgrading Program in May 2023, which will be delivered in a blended mode, thus allowing working students to continue their education.