Models of psychiatric nursing education in developing African countries: a comparative study of Botswana and Nigeria
Background. Against the perspectives of the mental health needs of the people of Africa, this study explored and compared the models of psychiatric-mental health nursing education (PMHNE) in two sub-Saharan African countries – Botswana and Nigeria.
Method. Examination of the existing PMHNE programmes and responses to a self-reporting questionnaire administered to psychiatric nurse educators from Botswana and Nigeria provided the sources of data.
Findings. Findings from both countries revealed that participants used various terms to describe the same model for PMHNE programmes in the countries. Botswana adopted a more functional generalist basic diploma nursing education approach that encouraged an advanced postbasic diploma specialization and practice in community psychiatric-mental health nursing. Nigeria’s model leaned towards a hospital-based basic specialization with no defined role for the generalist nurse within the psychiatric-mental health nursing care system. Although community theme occurred in both countries’ curricula, PMHNE in Botswana appeared to be more geared towards the community than in Nigeria. While PMHNE and nursing education generally is affiliated to the University with a clear pathway within the formal higher education system in Botswana, basic and postbasic nursing programmes are mostly run independent of the country’s formal higher education system in Nigeria.
Conclusion. A model that streamlined PMHNE within the general system of education in both countries was proposed. It was stressed that one key concept that must underlie the development of PMHNE in the two countries, and Africa in general, was the need to create a psychiatric-mental health nursing education programme and role that would be appropriate for people’s mental health needs and the provision of quality nursing care.