Authors: Dr Rasika S. Jayasekara
In Sri Lanka, nursing education is moving from diploma nursing certificate to a university bachelor degree. In this transitional stage, the development of a national level framework that uses evidence to underpin undergraduate nursing education is a crucially important step to improve nursing education and nursing service in Sri Lanka. The overall purpose of this PhD research study was to develop an evidence-based national framework for undergraduate nursing education in Sri Lanka.
My PhD research study has involved conducting critical reviews of literature, two systematic reviews, developing a draft conceptual framework, testing its appropriateness and feasibility with key stakeholders via focus group discussions in Sri Lanka, and formulating the final national framework for nursing education in Sri Lanka.
The systematic reviews revealed that the evidence regarding the effectiveness and appropriateness of undergraduate nursing curricula is notably weak and direct transfer of the curriculum model from one country to another is not appropriate without first assessing the cultural context of both countries. The conceptual framework, which was developed using the finding of systematic reviews and literature reviews, consists of widely recognized nursing concepts in international and local contexts. However, some concepts cannot be directly applicable because of cultural and economic impediments.
This study identified several factors that shape the approach to nursing education in Sri Lanka. These factors include: Western influence; Sri Lanka’s cultural influence; the current healthcare system and demand for healthcare; nursing systems and regulation; medical dominance; financial support; and Sri Lanka’s education system. All of these factors influence the conceptualization of nursing and educational strategies needed to effectively and appropriately prepare nurses in Sri Lanka.
Keywords: Nursing, Education, Conceptual framework, Curriculum development, Systematic reviews, focus groups, Evidence based practice, Sri Lanka