An overview of nursing and midwifery leadership, governance structures, and instruments in Africa

Faith Nawagi, Rosie Kneafsey, Mohammed Modber, Madeline Mukeshimana, Cecilia Ndungu, Lisa Bayliss-Pratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
Investment in nursing and midwifery leadership and governance are key suggested approaches by the World Health Organization (WHO) Africa Regional Office to address the shortages in the nursing health workforce. However, there are few if any studies that have investigated the existence and operationalization of the nursing and midwifery leadership and governance structures in Africa. This paper fills this gap by, providing an overview of nursing and midwifery leadership, governance structures, and instruments in Africa.

Methods
We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study of the nursing and midwifery leadership, structures, and instruments in 16 African countries using quantitative methodology. Data was analyzed using SPSS IBM 21 statistical software. Data was summarized in frequencies and percentages and presented as tables and charts.

Results
Only (9,56.25%) of the 16 countries included had retrievable evidence of all expected governance structures while (7, 43.75%) lacked one or more of the structures. A quarter (4, 25%) of the countries did not have a department of nursing and midwifery or chief nursing and midwifery officer at their Ministry of Health (MOH). The dominant gender representation across all the governance structures was female. Only Lesotho (1, 6.25%) had all expected nursing and midwifery governance instruments while the remaining (15, 93.75%) had either one or four of these instruments missing.

Conclusions
The lack of complete nursing and midwifery governance structures and instruments in various African countries is a matter of concern. Without these structures and instruments, the strategic direction and input of the nursing and midwifery profession cannot be maximized for the public good in relation to health outcomes. Addressing the existing gaps requires a multipronged approach with the need to strengthen regional collaboration, and advocacy, creating awareness, and advancing nursing and midwifery leadership training to enable nursing and midwifery governance capacity development in Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Article number168 (2023)
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Nursing
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2023

Bibliographical note

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Funder

The Burdett Trust for Nursing provided funding for this study.

Keywords

  • Nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Governance
  • Structures
  • Instruments
  • Africa

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