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Education Practice Development

Trained children’s nurses make a difference. They improve health services. They improve child health outcomes. They justify the investment in training. Still only 1% of all registered nurses in South Africa are trained to care for children. In most other African countries, there are fewer than 100 children’s nurses per country, despite children making up half the population. Africa has a great need for children’s nurses including clinical nurses and nurse educators.

When CNDU was established, South Africa was the only country in southern and eastern Africa training children’s nurses. Through the work of our programme, children’s nursing training was successfully re-established at the University of Cape Town in 2008. The PGDip in Critical Care Child Nursing was the first in sub-Saharan Africa. CNDU subsequently partnered with Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya to assist them in developing Africa’s second children’s critical care children’s nursing programme. The MNCN programme is currently Africa’s only programme preparing advanced nurse practitioners in paediatrics. 

To date we have built enduring partnerships with educator teams in 6 other countries resulting in the creation of 7 new children’s nursing training programmes. All these programmes are pan-African in their scope and purpose fit to local context.  

In addition to this we also run an annual Child Nurse Educator’s Forum. This Forum is an effective way to continue growing the community of practice that sustains children’s nursing educators in southern and east Africa. It also aims to support educators to transition towards practice-based teaching and active facilitation of clinical learning.