Balancing Academia with Clinical Proficiency in the Training of Nurses at the University Level: The Case of Ghana
Keywords:Nursing Training, Academia, Clinical Proficiency, Ghana
Background: At the University level, the preparation of student nurses involves acquisition of theoretical
knowledge and clinical practice, when this is done well, it can serve as a double-edged sword for blending
theory and practice. We explored the ability, role, and experiences of nurse academics in balancing theory
and practice in training nurses.
Method: Using exploratory research with methodical triangulation design, data were collected from nursing
lecturers and student nurses using interviews, questionnaires, and focus group discussions.
Conclusion: Findings indicate that clinical practice is recognized by lecturers and students as an important
measure for enhancing theoretical preparation of nursing students. University academic calendar does not
favor inclusion of clinical practice, thus, balancing theory with clinical practice is difficult. University nurse
educators in Ghana are obligated to blend theory and practice. However, challenges are encountered in
doing so. Curricula for nursing education should be designed to be autonomous to place priority on clinical
practice. The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana should also put monitoring mechanisms in place to
ensure clinical practice competencies of nursing lecturers.
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