PAHO promotes the improvement of capacities of nurses through graduate education

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Washington DC, 29 February 2024 (PAHO) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in partnership with the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre (CC) for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, hosted the webinar titled “Improving capacities of nurses through graduate education”. The webinar was held on 27 February, with the aim of discussing the opportunities, challenges, strategies, and perspectives to advance the capacities of nurses through graduate education, particularly in the Latin America and Caribbean countries. 

More than 590 participants attended the event from 35 countries, most of them from Dominican Republic (18,1%), Peru (11,1%) and Colombia (8,2%). Most of the participants were nurses (35.7%), followed by professionals in leadership positions (21.8%) and teachers (20.5%). Regarding institutions, the participants mainly represented educational institutions (34.1%), hospitals (14.1%) and ministries of health (13.1%). 

Data from “Doctoral Education Training Survey” carried out by the CC in 26 countries in the Region of the Americas highlights priorities for research training, student support, faculty development and doctoral programs. Among other priorities, efforts are needed to  increase scholarships for research training; selecting methods and designs for nursing research; to build faculty and academic leadership capacity; and to implement curricular innovations needed to prepare the graduate of a research-focused program.

The panel conformed by Nelcy Martínez Trujillo, Escuela Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuba, María Liliana Calderón Macias, Universidad Estatal del Sur de Manabí, Ecuador, and Dawn A. Munroe, University of the West Indies School of Nursing, Jamaica, addressed the impact of graduate training on strengthening the skills of nurses in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The panel discussions and interventions from the audience, addressed opportunities for advancing graduate training in nursing, including: mapping graduate professionals and programs; developing strategic plans, legal and regulatory frameworks; establishing partnerships between institutions and countries; adopting strategies for evaluating and maintaining the quality of graduate programs; and strengthening the capacity to conduct research and generate, disseminate and make evidence accessible to health service professionals. In addition, the need for nurse advocacy was highlighted so that more training opportunities would be accessible to nurses.

This webinar underscores PAHO's efforts to strengthen human resources for health in the Region of the Americas, with actions that include enhancing workforce capacity-building. 

The recording of the webinar is available here.