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Nursing Education Systems


Globally, nursing education is distinct among the nations. The nursing education of Poland is obviously different from that of Sri Lanka. This essay chooses the two nations because of their variations in economic development, educational growth, nursing management systems, and historical backgrounds. In presumption, the nursing education systems of the two nations differ historically, politically, and structurally.

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Political History and Development of Nursing Education

Poland: The polish nursing education began in 1911 when the first nursing school emerged (Slusarz, Ireland, & Green, 2012). By then, Poland was in wars with Germany and Russia. Due to its rivalry with Russia, the U.S. supported Poland. From 1918 to 1928, America and Poland trained their Red Cross workers together (Slusarz et al., 2012). Afterward, nurses were trained to care for the wounded soldiers.

Sri Lanka: The Sri Lankan informal nurse training started in 1878. The British government, which colonized the country, invited qualified nurses from England to train nurses in Sri Lanka (Hewa, 2014). In the 1930s, Dr. William P. Jacocks inspired the development of a public health program under the Rockefeller Foundation (Hewa, 2014). In 1939, the program launched a formal nursing education at the Colombo nursing school.

Comparison: While an independent war to reclaim territorial dominance led to the development of nursing education in Poland, British colonization and its preparation for the First World War resulted in the development of nursing education in Sri Lanka, through the Rockefeller Public Health Foundation.

Government & Nursing Organizations influencing Nursing Education

Poland: The main public organization of Poland that supports nursing education is the National Health Fund (NHF), which financially supports nurse-training institutions and ensures that nursing education meets the demand set by the World Health Organization (Slusarz et al., 2012). The Polish nursing organization that ensures adherence to nursing standards, care ethics, and professional nursing is the Polish Nurses Association.

Sri Lanka: The Sri Lankan government provides free-of-charge public health care and the Ministry of Health highly controls the nurses (Hewa, 2014). The Sri Lankan government develops and implements curriculum for nurses, the relevant education policies, and the learning systems (Jayasekara, 2013). There are no independent nursing education organizations as the nurse examination, nurse certification, and nurse registration and licensing are under the government’s control.

Comparison: While the Polish nursing education enjoys its independence through the Polish Association of Professional Nurses, the Sri Lankan nursing system belongs to a centralized western structure that impedes nurses’ autonomy. The Polish government has independent funding and professional growth programs that support nurse education, while the Sri Lankan nursing education relies on the central systems.

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Current System of Nursing Education

Poland: The Polish nursing education is represented by the universities. After graduating from their high schools, aspiring nurses join either the vocational institutions or the universities for undergraduate nursing courses (Kozka, Brzostek, & Ksykiewicz-Dorota, 2011). To qualify as a trained nurse, Kozka et al. (2011) state that practitioners must complete a nursing educational program from either a university or a vocational college. In Poland, there is a combination of nursing education programs and a continued nursing competence like that of the U.S.

Sri Lanka: Nursing education in Sri Lanka is also obtained at the universities. According to Jayasekara (2013), the present nursing education system includes a three-year certificate program that exists in the government nursing schools, which are under the control of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health. Hewa (2014) explains that after the completion of the three-year certificate program nurses join universities to study three-year bachelor’s degree programs. In Sri Lanka, there is no combination of nursing education programs and no mandatory continuing education.

Comparison: The Polish and the Sri Lankan nursing education systems are similar in the way the undergraduates become accepted, nurses. In both countries, nurses have to take three years of specialized nursing training in the universities, and some years in secondary schools to become publicly known, qualified, and registered nurses.

Post Graduate (Masters) Education

Poland: Due to its quick adaption to the American nursing system, the Polish nursing education system has expanded into two degrees within the universities. Kozka et al. (2011) state that after completing the bachelor’s degree or the undergraduate licensed studies, the students can further specialize in different nursing courses as for the Master’s Degree level.

Sri Lanka: Jayasekara (2013) reveals that the Sri Lankan government has recently reformed nursing education from a three-year Bachelor’s Degree Program to a four-year Bachelor’s Degree Program. However, according to Jayasekara (2013), the postgraduate degree program known as the Master’s Degree is still lacking and completely out of existence in Sri Lankan nursing education.

Comparison: The idea of the Master’s Degree Program in the universities is different in Poland and Sri Lanka. While the Polish government has ensured the presence of a Master’s Degree Program and even Doctoral Ph.D. programs in some universities, the Sri Lankan government is only acknowledging a four-year undergraduate Bachelor’s degree in nursing education.

Conclusion: Reflections on Nursing Education

Poland and Sri Lanka have closely related, but highly differing nursing education systems. What surprises me the most is that the Polish nursing education has been developed systematically from its historical involvement with the United States, while the Sri Lankan nursing education system has emerged from the British colonization. Comparatively, only the Polish nursing education system slightly resembles that of the United States in terms of structure and planning.

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Hewa, S. (2014). Introducing Modern Nursing to Sri Lanka: Rockefeller Foundation and Colombo School of Nursing. Galle Medical Journal, 19(1), 17-22.

Jayasekara, R. (2013). Evidence Based National Framework for Undergraduate Nursing Education in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Nursing and Health Care, 1(1), 107-113.

Kozka, M., Brzostek, T., & Ksykiewicz-Dorota, A. (2011). Analysis of nurse staffing and factors determining the demand for health care in Poland. Progress in Health Sciences, 1(2), 57-66.

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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