The Clinical Nursing Society of Kenya (CNS) has accepted the Nightingale Challenge and as part of its programme this year, is implementing a ‘Mentor a Nurse’ initiative. This initiative seeks to bridge the gap between the experienced nurses and early career nurses working at the County Public hospitals in Kiambu and Kisumu Counties, Kenya.
Kenya is one of the countries that was affected by structural adjustment policies which led to limits on public expenditure in the 1990s. For more than a decade, there was little to no recruitment of nurses in the public sector, other than very few to replace nurses leaving for retirement. This created a mentorship gap with the majority of nurses retiring without ever having had a mentor. Without a mentor, young nurses enter an unfamiliar hospital environment and are unable to benefit from the significant experience of more experienced nurses.
“In Kenya, it is common to find early career nurses working alone in primary health care units or working without support on teaching and referral hospital wards. The ‘Mentor a Nurse’ initiative will provide support to these young nurses so that they can offer the appropriate care for their patients,” explained Jeremiah Maniah, Registered Nurse, CNS Kenya.
As part of their Nightingale Challenge programme, the CNS will pair early career nurses with more experienced nurses. All nurses participating in the initiative must be willing to attend knowledge exchange forums and share their experiences.
Early career nurses are also being given the opportunity to work in national positions at the CNS, collaborating closely with their mentors who hold leadership positions. This gives the young nurses an opportunity to be present at the decision-making table.
More information about this initiative and the nurses involved here: