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Comparing Nursing Education in China and Poland


Nursing in every country has its peculiarities that have been developed throughout decades and centuries. However, nursing education is transforming significantly due to globalization (Baumann & Blythe, 2008). This paper dwells upon nursing education in Poland and China and a brief comparison of the two systems is provided. The countries were chosen due to similar trends that occurred in nursing education. Poland and China adopted a new paradigm in nursing in the 1980s as, before that, the political systems of the two countries had a considerable impact on their development (Nowak-Starz, Zdziebło, Szpringer & Głuszek, 2008; Hao, Niu, Li, Yue, Liu, 2014). It is also remarkable that the countries located on two different continents have quite many similarities when it comes to contemporary nursing education. Globalization accounts for these similarities.

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Political History and Development of Nursing Education


As has been mentioned above, nursing education has always been affected by political changes in a country. Prior to the 1980s, Poland was under the rule of the Communist party that was controlled by the Communist Party of the USSR. All spheres were highly centralized and quite outdated compared to democratic countries of the same period. Thus, in Poland, nurses could obtain 2.5-year post-secondary education at a nursing school (Slusarz, Ireland & Green, 2012). The situation changed when the regime was overthrown and Poland chose the path of European integration.


In China, the situation was quite similar as the country was also ruled by the Communist party that had certainties with the USSR. However, nursing was even less developed as nursing education stopped completely between 1966 and 1975, which was the period of the Cultural Revolution (Hao et al., 2014). When the country chose the path of economic development, the approach used in nursing education also changed. In the mid-1980s, higher education for nurses was reestablished in the country.


It is clear that two countries that were ruled by Communist parties (China is still ruled by the Communist party, though the political agenda has transformed due to the choice of capitalist approaches) had a similar approach to nursing education. In simple terms, there was no higher education available for nurses who were regarded as healthcare professionals who assisted doctors and completed quite regular tasks. Standards were quite high but they differed greatly from the standards in nursing in western countries.

Government and Nursing Organizations Influencing Nursing Education


As any country ruled by the Soviet regime, every sphere of the economy was highly regulated and centralized. Polish nursing education (prior to the 1980s) was in the competence of the Ministry of Healthcare (Slusarz et al., 2012). As has been mentioned above, major systems and programs were borrowed from the USSR. There were no nursing organizations in the country at that period.


The situation was even worse in China where no post-secondary education was available to nurses. Clearly, there were no nursing organizations. The entire system of healthcare was regulated by the Ministry of Public Health (Hao et al., 2014). It was very centralized. Only after 1980, when the reform in healthcare started, did various nursing organizations appear.


Both countries had a similar problem as nursing education (which was very limited) was regulated by the ministries of healthcare of the countries. There were no agencies that could work on the development of more effective strategies and encourage nursing professionals to implement research and come up with various efficient methods of nursing.

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Current System of Nursing Education and Post-Graduate (Masters) Education


The country chose democratic ways in the mid-1980s and this was the start of important reforms. As for nursing education, various higher educational programs for nurses were established. At present, Polish nurses can obtain bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees in nursing. These programs last from two to four years respectively. To start working, a nurse needs a diploma and an RN license (Nowak-Starz et al., 2008). Notably, nursing education in Poland complies with standards established in the European Union.


Chinese nursing education has improved significantly since the 1980s when massive reforms started. Higher education for nurses was established and nursing professionals obtain bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees (Hao et al., 2014). These programs are available through various programs at universities. The programs usually last four and five years. Nurses also need an RN license before they start working. Chinese nursing education complies with major global standards in nursing.


Both countries established higher education for nursing professionals. Notably, these educational programs comply with major standards accepted in developed countries. Chinese and Polish students often obtain certain training abroad. There is also significant migration of nurses from these countries that contributes to the development of high-profile healthcare professionals (Baumann & Blythe, 2008).


In conclusion, it is possible to note that the two countries have gone through quite similar transformations in the field of nursing. First, they barely had nursing education and now these countries have higher nursing education that complies with global standards of nursing. Remarkably, the two countries chose to consider the successful experience of developed countries and now they have nursing education that is quite compatible with US standards. There are still many issues to address and the sphere needs additional financing and development. Nonetheless, Poland and China have done a lot and they continue working on the improvement of the system.

Reference List

Baumann, A., & Blythe, J. (2008). Globalization of higher education in nursing. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 13(2). Web.

Hao, Y.F., Niu, H.J., Li, L.P., Yue, S.J., & Liu, X.H. (2014). Measurement of professional identity in Chinese nursing students. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 1(2), 137-144.

Nowak-Starz, G., Zdziebło, K., Szpringer, M., & Głuszek, S. (2008). Nursing education in Poland and European standards. Studia Medyczne, 9, 9-13.

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Slusarz, R., Ireland, S., & Green, T. (2012). Specialist nursing training in Poland: Applications for neuroscience nursing. Canadian Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 34(3), 12-17.

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