Political History and Development of Nursing Education

In any given country, nursing education creates the future of nursing. As a result, nursing education is vital and it needs a lot of attention. However, different countries have different forms of nursing education in terms of levels and nursing courses. In addition, there are other factors that impact the level and quality of the nursing education. Some of these factors include political factors and government influence among others. In this paper, a comparison and reflection of nursing education in Ireland and the People’s Republic of China show the similarities and differences that are present in nursing education between these two countries. From the argument developed in the paper, the quality of nursing education in Ireland is higher than in China, because of the greater number of agencies and organizations interested in the sector.

Comparison of [CHINA] and [IRELAND]

In China, nursing education existed even before the world war. After the World War II, China’s nursing education was greatly impacted by many political factors (Xu, Xu & Zhang, 2000). During this time, many nursing schools were closed down and those that remained faced a lot of economic and social hardships (Xu, Xu & Zhang, 2000). As a result, the quality of nursing in the People’s Republic of China depreciated and impacted the overall quality of nursing and nursing care. However, China did not give up and after its war with Japan ended and it emerged victorious, the country through its nursing association has put in place the plans to re-open the schools as a way of saving nursing education. Another political instance that shook the stability of nursing education came during the Communist Liberation of China (Xu, Xu & Zhang, 2000). At this time, the government focused more on agriculture, and nursing was not given that much needed attention. As a result, the sector had to struggle on its own.

On the other hand, in Ireland, nursing education began its road in the 1960’s (O’Dwyer, 2007). After its introduction, there have been several changes and proposals to the education curriculum in Ireland and their impact on nursing education is great. For example, the curriculum objectives in Ireland do not support basic levels of structured training. Instead, they have moved to an approach where a broader, self-confident, and educationally favorable method of education took place (O’Dwyer, 2007). As a result, nursing education in Ireland is now focused on retaining the core values of patient care and support (O’Dwyer, 2007). On the other hand, a Nursing Forum in Ireland in 1999 changed the nature of nursing education because of the proposals that it contained. Among the proposals suggested and implemented there were flexibility, commonality, and equivalence of nursing education.

Government and Nursing Organizations Influencing Nursing Education: Comparison of [CHINA] and [IRELAND]

In terms of government and nursing organizations influencing nursing education in China, there is a difference in the nature and organizational impacts in China and Ireland. In China, there are many organizations that have impacted nursing education with the Chinese Association of Nurses being among them. The organization creates forums and congresses on a yearly basis, whereby they discuss the issues that impact nursing and nursing education in the country (Smith, 2004). Nursing progress in science and technology is vital to the well-being of nursing. As a result, the association proposes changes and additions to nursing education in order to make it better and to ensure that the future of such education is safeguarded. The Chinese Education Department has a say in nursing education, because it defines the nature of nursing certificates and the levels, at which they are acquired (Smith, 2004).

On the other hand, Ireland also has some nursing organizations that are vital to the development and quality of education. However, the roles they play are broad, and they all depend on the type of organization, whether it is governmental or non-governmental, and its interest in nursing (Fealy & McNamara, 2007). One of the organizations in Ireland that impacts nursing education is the Irish Practice Nurses Association. This organization assists nursing education in Ireland by promoting the advancement of education and by coming up with a strategy to help the trainee nurses to become professionals. As a result, this agency disseminates information to the nurses and nursing educators, and they ensure that the information is instilled in nursing practices to ensure that they are better equipped (Fealy & McNamara, 2007). In addition, the agency also partners with nursing education schools to see that trainee nurses get the best practical experience before setting out into the working population.

Current System of Nursing Education: Comparison of [CHINA] and [IRELAND]

The system of nursing education in China differs from the one that is offered in Ireland in a number of ways. In the Chinese education system, there are several levels that nurses pass through before coming to the top of the ladder. To start with, a graduate from high school joins the mid associate degree program. This form of education level is equivalent to a high school diploma in China, and it takes three years before completion (Shuzen, 2001). The nurses, who qualify with this level of nursing education, form more than 90% of the nursing workforce in China (Shuzen, 2001). Another level of education in China is the associate degree program that takes three years before completion (Shuzen, 2001). In this level of nursing education, the nurses form 4 – 8% of the current workforce in China, and they also can apply for further educational exams. Bachelor degree programs come in as another level of education and the level takes 5 years before completion (Smith, 2004). The curriculum followed here is similar to that used in the United States of America. Lastly, there are master’s and doctorate degree programs in nursing that nurses-to-be enroll in (Smith, 2004).

The levels of nursing education in Ireland differ from the levels in China. In Ireland, the lowest level of nursing education is a certificate in nursing, where trainees undergo the basic nursing care procedures (O’Dwyer, 2007). Thereafter, there are post-graduate nursing certificates, that nurses register and enroll in, in order to come out as qualified nurses to work in a certain level of the nursing profession in Ireland. In addition, the nursing education system also encompasses post-graduate diplomas and graduate certificates for the nurses before they are allowed to join master’s programs in education.

Post-Graduate (Master’s) Education: Comparison of [CHINA] and [IRELAND]

The master’s programs that are offered in Ireland and China vary significantly. The master’s program offered in China uses a similar curriculum to the one that is applicable in the United States of America (Smith, 2004). The duration of this post-graduate degree is 3 years before completion and it is offered on a full-time basis. Once a student joins this program, they are prepared to be registered by the Nursing Council and they stand a chance of becoming nursing leaders (Smith, 2004). However, there are major aims of this nursing program and they include equipping students with a holistic care approach, shaping their cultural sensitivity to nursing therapy, and advancing their legal and ethical perspectives for the better. Entry requirements to the master’s program include a university certificate, an exam transcript or certificate, and two recommendation letters.

In Ireland, the aims of the program vary to some extent, as compared to the ones of the same program in China. For example, the master’s of nursing program aims at strengthening the knowledge of students to better equip them with the research skills applicable in the evidence-based care (Fealy & McNamara, 2007). Other objectives of the program include an extension of the evaluation skills applicable in research and equipping learners with the necessary information and attitude to become nursing leaders (Fealy & McNamara, 2007). For the program completion, full-time learners take one year, while part time learners take two years for the program to come to an end. In an overall situation, the program prepares nursing leaders, so that they will help the profession to move forward (Fealy & McNamara, 2007).

Reflections on Nursing Education in [CHINA] and [IRELAND]

In my reflection, the nature of nursing education in China and Ireland has distinct features that make them very different. To start with, China has a large number of nurses that cannot move out of the country to do nursing jobs in an international context. This is because more than 90% of the total working population of the country comprises of the nurses with the lowest grades leaving the other percentage to the higher order nurses. However, nursing education seems to be rising in terms of quality, because there are many organizations and agencies in the country that are interested in the healthcare sector and nursing education. In addition, the political history of the country seems to have played a great role in impacting the quality of nursing education. On the other hand, nursing education in Ireland has many divisions making the quality of the education rather high. For example, all the units of nursing in Ireland have different agencies and organizations interested in them. As a result, the quality of nursing education in Ireland is higher, as compared to the quality of nursing education in China.

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