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Train the trainers: Developing a nursing program in Ghana

May 21, 2013
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Sue Anne Bell has worked as an emergency room nurse practitioner and has experience in Africa and Asia. So when the University of Michigan was looking for people with a global background who could help train nurses for emergency rooms in Ghana, Bell was an obvious choice.

Sue Anne Bell with Ghanaian colleagues.

Sue Anne Bell with Ghanaian colleagues.

“There aren’t too many people who fit that bill, so it all fell into place,” said the doctoral student in U-M’s School of Nursing.

Bell and her colleagues have developed a 12-month nursing education program designed to train specialists in emergency nursing. The team, part of U-M’s Ghana Emergency Medicine Collaborative, sends someone to Ghana to teach for two weeks every month. Bell goes to the West African nation about four times a year.

The group includes professionals and students from the School of Nursing and U-M Health System.

The team is using a “train-the-trainers” approach designed for the current students to eventually become the educators. The first cohort of 25 students is expected to graduate in August.

Bell estimates it will take three or four graduating classes before Ghanaian emergency nurses gain the skills to assume leadership of the program.

“In 10 years, when the current students are the leaders in emergency nursing for Sub-Saharan Africa,” she said, “I can say I had a small piece in making that happen, and I’m really proud of that.”

A longer version of this story is available at the School of Nursing’s website.






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