Background: Nurses are the majority of readily available healthcare professionals in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), therefore, improving access to Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) programmes in order to improve health care within SSA where preventive services are much needed is essential. Sub-Saharan Africa is unique in terms of its challenges, opportunities and health needs hence an APN curriculum must be designed and continually reviewed to meet the needs of the continent. Professional education has not kept pace with SSA’s special healthcare challenges, largely because of fragmented, outdated, and static curricula that produce ill-equipped graduates. There are, however, no frameworks to guide governments and institutions in SSA in developing APN (Child Health) curricula that are relevant and responsive to the special needs of the sub-region. The development of an APN curriculum development framework will guide institutions and governments in their quest to develop, review and maintain relevant and responsive APN curricula. Such curricula will also help SSA in achieving, in part, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3.
General Aim: The aim of this study is to develop a curriculum development framework to guide the development of an Advanced Practice Nursing curriculum that will meet the special healthcare needs of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Specific Aim: The aim of this review is to explore the state of Advanced Practice Nursing in Sub-Saharan Africa through a scoping review.
Methodology: Arksey & O’Malley;’ (2005) scoping review framework was used in this review.
Results: Thirty-five (35) articles were retrieved from Science Direct, PubMed, Medline Plus, CINAHL , Wiley Online Library, Proquest and Google Scholar using keywords ‘Advance Practice Nursing, Specialist Nursing and Africa. 25 articles were excluded and 10 were finally analysed in this study.
Four key themes were identified and described in this study: contextual opportunities and challenges; regulation and practice of APN in SSA; resource mobilisation for training and Practice of APN in SSA and APN curriculum development, implementation, maintenance, and review in SSA.
Conclusion: The potential exists for the Advance Practice Nurse to respond to and assist in overcoming the special healthcare challenges of SSA. A challenge exists, however, by the existence of medical assistance who provide relatively lower cost care, meagre resource allocation, rigid nursing council regulations and Eurocentric curricular implementation in the SSA context. We, therefore, recommend that innovative ways be employed by nursing educationists, researchers, practitioners and leaders to overcome these challenges so as to create a fertile environment for APN to thrive in SSA.
Audience take away:
- Appreciate the state of Advance Nursing Practice research in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Appreciate the state of Advance practice Nursing in Sub-Saharan Africa-regulation, curriculum, practice, resource allocation and the contextual issues.This is to stimulate further research and dialogue on APN in Sub-Saharan Africa to facilitate its introduction into the constituent countries so as to response to the peculiar healthcare needs of Sub-Saharan Africa.