PAHO promotes training in adolescent health for nurses in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru

18 Jan 2023
Mujer joven con una libreta en la mano

Washington DC, January 18, 2023 (PAHO) - Within the framework of the project “Improved health of women and adolescent girls in situations of vulnerability” funded by the Government of Canada, 694 health workers completed the “Training of nursing professionals in adolescent health” on the Public Health Virtual Campus platform from September to December 2022.

The course was aimed at nursing professionals who provide services to adolescents in different settings in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

128 of the nurses are from Colombia, 279 from Ecuador, and 287 from Peru.

The majority (90.1%) are women, 26.1% are between the ages of 25 and 34, and 69.5% work full-time (30+ hours per week) in a nursing role (practice, education, research, government or politics). 90.1% work in a health service that cares for adolescents.

Almost half of the participants, 47.6%, have a bachelor's degree as the highest level of education, 34.4% have worked as nurses for less than 5 years, and 33.9% work in public health services.

The objective of the course was to train nurses in current and relevant topics in adolescent health since their care requires technical, scientific, and attitudinal competencies to advance toward access and universal health coverage for adolescents. Among the topics covered, we mention the following:

  • Gender identity and sexual orientation: the role of the nurse.
  • Family and dating violence: the role of the nurse. 
  • Use and misuse of digital technologies, bullying and cyberbullying: the nurse's role.

National universities contributed with the selection of tutors and students (Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia; Universidad de Guayaquil, Ecuador and Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru).

The PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centers of the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University supported in the development of content.

Suggestions received during the course indicate a demand for continuing education opportunities and the need to invest in the education of these professionals. In 2023, PAHO will continue activities under this project to develop the competencies of nurses in the Region of the Americas.