The ICAP Global Nurse Capacity Building Program (GNCBP), with funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through HRSA, has developed an HIV mentorship curriculum to train Kenyan nurses as mentors in preparation for their expanding role in HIV care and treatment.
As part of the scale-up of the national HIV treatment program, Kenya’s Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK) have supported an expanded scope of practice for nurses in HIV, including initiation and management of antiretroviral therapy (ART). A needs assessment conducted by ICAP last year, however, identified critical gaps in training and competency among nurses providing HIV care and treatment. Nurses have been essential in areas where there are few doctors and clinical officers and have enabled Kenya to make great strides in reducing HIV mortality. But in-service education and mentorship for nurses lag behind the clinical realities they face. These findings have informed the new curriculum and training program.
To begin addressing gaps in clinical education for nurses, ICAP hosted a three-day workshop in Nairobi in March, bringing together the National AIDS & STI Control Programme (NASCOP), MoH, NCK, and two nursing schools. Working together, they adapted “ICAP’s Campus to Clinic “:https://icap.columbia.edu/resources/detail/campus-to-clinic-manualcurriculum, aligning it with Kenya’s national guidelines. First developed for use in South Africa, the ICAP Campus to Clinic curriculum bridges pre-service and in-service nurse training by preparing nurse mentors with expanded knowledge, clinical skills, and teaching methodologies. Developed to be adapted to different communities, cultures and countries, it is a useful resource for programs seeking to expand and enhance HIV mentorship training for nurses.
ICAP’s Global Nurse Capacity Building Program now plans to support 20 health facilities in Kenya’s Nyanza and Eastern regions to implement the HIV mentorship curriculum for nurse mentors. This curriculum will equip nurse mentors with enhanced clinical and teaching skills to provide supportive supervision and assistance to other nurses, ensuring that they can competently provide safe, effective and comprehensive HIV care and treatment.
Ultimately, nurses who are adequately trained and mentored will be competent to care for their communities, improving health outcomes for all patients with HIV.