Development of a global mentorship infrastructure to support African Emergency Nurses
Study/Objective: This presentation will describe the creation of a global mentorship arrangement designed to support emergency nurses in Africa and the potential benefits and limitations of such a project. Background: Emergency nurses care for patients in the emergency or critical phase of their illness or injury, focusing on the level of severity and time-critical interventions. The emergency nurse identifies life-threatening problems, prioritises care, and initiates resuscitation and appropriate management often as the first health professional the patient comes into contact with. In Africa emergency nursing is delivered in a range of acute clinical and community based health contexts with much variation across the various countries. Methods: In November 2011, an international emergency nursing workgroup convened in Cape Town, South Africa, to develop a framework for emergency nursing in Africa with implications for nursing education and training, continuing education, and staffing at institutional and regional levels throughout the African continent. This was followed up in 2013 with the development of a Pan African Emergency Nursing Strategy with the specific aim to develop and implement a theoretical and competence framework for emergency nursing in Africa. In order to provide support and continuing professional development for emergency nurses in Africa a mentorship programme was developed. Examples exist of Afrocentric mentorship arrangements which enhance the personal development and expertise of novice health practitioners however no current mentorship infrastructure exists to support the development of emergency nurses in Africa. Results: Experienced emergency nurses from around the globe were invited to participate in this mentorship programme to embrace the development of emergency nurses in Africa; providing support and guidance to these nurses in the difficult work they do. Conclusion: The further development of emergency nurses in Africa can be enhanced by a robust global mentorship infrastructure.