My take concerning the different entry points into nursing in Kenya. As a nurse educator and a medical educationist for that matter I happen by grace to have taught across the spectrum over the years apart from more than a decade as a clinical nurse.
But were there any other difference between diploma and BSNs at entry point into nursing?
Yes and a big one for that matter. Whereas BSNs are equipped with basic sciences, evidence based practice, and basically problem based/critical thinking. These as well as several parallel courses are what differentiate Diploma KRCHN from the BSc KRCHNs.
The diploma nursing programs in Kenya undergo routine prolonged clinical rotations during training while undergraduate BSNs go through shorter targeted rotations.
These are my humble submissions:.
As far as of either is concerned so much depends on where one will work not and less on where one trained or who they trained as. That is why Kenyan trained BSNs rank highly in most private high-end hospitals and in the diaspora (in my view) but have had a raw deal in the public sector.
My take on each:
Plain Kenya Registered Nursing
I began by teaching the plain KRNs, a really great lot, this is the only lot I can vouche for, who mostly are doing nursing for what it really ought to be. In what I refer to a catch line between a calling and a passion. If you land in their hands you might want to prove me right or wrong.
I have trained both preservice and RN-BScN. I ask them why they came for nursing and why upgrade respectively. The newbies mostly come to nursing because they feel jobs are more available, they missed other favoured program. A few come because it’s a passion. We get a lot of challenges with those who joined cos they missed e.g medicine.
As for the upgraders most say they feel they are lacking something.
When I look back I now realize that I enjoyed teaching in the Higher Diploma Critical Care. My class had both BSNs and Diploma KRCHNs. Everything had to be focused and articulate unlike teaching undergrads. These were looking for some autonomy, something challenging their prior learning basic sciences( at.least BSNs said so), but more importantly some felt it was one that puts food on the table and somehow facilitated a faster out- migration.
I have tossed my dice. Take it from me, do a rebuttal and let us help out as colleagues. Lastly, for everyone what will keep you in there is a desire to be different and remain focused no matter what.
Where you will work will be the healthcare system with is organizational culture, how it orientates new staff and maintains itself as a learning organization.
Let me put a disclaimer just in case my anecdotal comment rubs in the wrong way to some of you or not appear balanced.
Also see below:
BSNs must emancipate themselves from benevolence slavery