As I move forward in my internship, many of the ideas I had for the project are starting to take shape. I have been able to have meaningful connections with my supervisor and community partner and the WHE group. I have been able to connect with my own nursing supervisor in Canada on the way local nurses progress through their careers. Interestingly enough, there is not a formal career ladder here either, which is evidence that this is global issue in nursing. Although based on a small sample of two hospitals, I feel confident in making this assumption because my research has shown that formal progression through levels or “rungs of a ladder” through a career is something many others attempt to develop.
Moving forward, our plan is to connect with members of the AKUH hospital community at each level of nursing, from beginner to expert. This will help identify areas that nurses deem important to improve. As suggested, language surrounding the meeting and its goals will be important. It is crucial to think about the implications of speaking about one’s employment, even if the intended purpose is to improve safety, job satisfaction and retention. Using a confidential, inclusive and empathetic approach is necessary in these next steps.
It has been about a month since initially contacting my supervisor and learning about my project for the Western Heads East Internship. This summer, I will be developing a career ladder for nurses to attract and retain nurses at the Aga Khan University Hospital. Since then, I have been able to review literature about both nursing culture in Kenya, as well as compare to the nursing culture I am a part of here in the West. In addition, I have been able to research how the profession is outlined, including which organizations give Kenyan nurses and midwives credibility and education through support and formal testing, as well as understand the importance of undergraduate education in the abovementioned fields, provided by Aga Khan University. I have been able to comb through research studies that outline areas of nursing progression worldwide that are notorious for needing development, which I know will be important knowledge as I move forward with the research project. Through understanding of the five levels of nursing experience as theorized by Patricia Benner will help me shape the career ladder.
That being said, I am feeling like there is a lot of “I” in this experience and am longing for more connection with my contacts. I have come to experience firsthand the struggle of attempting to find meeting times that honour both parties outside commitments and schedules. I have also experienced how alienating remote work can be. Instead of dwelling on these aspects of the journey, I am utilizing this as a motivator to improve connection and communication the best way I can. This also helps me realize that flexibility is important, as although the communication is not what I had anticipated, it doesn’t mean that it is invaluable.
Moving forward, my plan is to present my research, next steps, and availability in an order to show initiative and improve connection. I am aiming to connect and facilitate focus groups to get qualitative data from nurses at AGU Hospital, to ensure the results of my project and research are relevant, meaningful, attainable and culturally appropriate.
I am excited to delve deeper into my research project and develop a career ladder for AKU and look forward to curating meaningful experiences for both AKU and WHE.