Kalene Nursing School
History of the Kalene School of Nursing
The nursing school was first opened 1969, under the supervision of Hilda Wadsworth, with 420 nurses being trained over 20 years. The school gained a reputation for its high standards and the quality of its graduates. Unfortunately it was closed due to staffing shortages. Following government initiatives (See below) the school was reopened on on 3rd March 2008 and is currently training approximately 70 students
Government initiative and funding to reopen the school
Part of the government’s response to the shortage of nurses in Zambia has been to reopen nursing schools that had previously been closed. Although the nursing school facility was still structurally sound a lot of work was necessary to make it possible to reopen the school. The funding for this was provided by the government of Zambia. We are very grateful for this and acknowledge that without this support it would not have been possible to reopen the school.
The work performed included renovation of the nursing school facility (painting, fixing of roofs, drainage), refurbishment of the students rooms, re-establishing the library and purchasing teaching resources, computers and cooking equipment. Six houses were also built for tutors and other staff working at the nursing school.
Mr Aaron Banda has been appointed the Principal tutor and has done an excellent job in providing leadership and guidance and in establishing the teaching program of the school. He has been joined by two other tutors: Mr Godfrey Mwila and Mr Joseph Mukumbi. They have helped to maintain good teaching standards and have contributed well to the overall development and life of the school and the hospital. Mr Crispan Savita who was the school’s clinical instructor from 2008 to 2012 has now enrolled in the Nursing degree program at the University of Zambia. His role as clinical instructor has been taken over by Mr Clement Chipule, a RN with extensive clinical experience, especially in the areas of HIV, paediatric nursing and in the management of acute medical and surgical problems.
Nursing school syllabus
The school provides a two year course for the training of Zambian enrolled nurses (ZEN). The syllabus is determined by the Zambian Nursing Council and includes medical and surgical sciences, anatomy and physiology, biological and behavioural sciences and practical modules. It is the intention of the nursing school to provide a high quality nursing education, while also emphasizing the professional importance of caring for the patient.
Spiritual atmosphere at the school
Mission staff contribute to the school by performing the morning devotions. There is also a Sunday early evening service which is contributed to by mission, nursing school staff and other church leaders in the community. There is an emphasis on maintaining a positive spiritual atmosphere. We believe that it is important that Christian love and care is taught alongside the science of medicine. This will help nurses to have a commitment first and foremost to look after patients. It will also equip them to look after the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of their patients.
Relationship between the School of Nursing and the Hospital
The nursing school and hospital have worked together to support and benefit each other. The hospital and mission has been able to help the nursing school by staff assisting with the school of nursing (SON) lectures, with pastoral care of students, by helping with the supply of utilities and in a number of other practical ways. The nursing school has been able to help the hospital by attracting good staff to Kalene, by helping to introduce a higher standard of nursing and documentation in the wards, and by students helping with patient care. Perhpas the greatest benefit has been the ability of the hospital to employ a number of the nursing school graduates who have wanted to work at Kalene. This has helped to redress the issue of the chronic shortage of qualified staff at the hospital.
Training of Nurses to work in Rural Zambia
Part of the rationale for reopening the school was to help with the training of staff to work in rural Zambia. As 50% of the population live in rural areas it is important that Zambia have trained staff working in these places. It has been observed that nurses who come from a rural environment, and are trained in a rural setting, are more likely to enjoy working in a rural area. The Kalene Nursing School is therefore well positioned to help with this process.
Initial funding from the United Nations Family Planning Association (UNFPA) was because of its commitment to the recruitment and retention of nurses to work in areas of greatest need (which at that time included the North West Province of Zambia). While changes in government recruitment policies over the last two years has made it more difficult to develop sponsorship programs for students coming from rural areas, the nursing school and hospital continue to support this vision.
The first class of 2008 benefitted from many people making a real effort to make the students feel welcome to Kalene. There was a positive class atmosphere, with the students working together well, and times of fun, such as student sporting events and dinners were organized). All of the class passed their final examinations. Ten students stayed at Kalene, and have made a significant contribution to the hospital.
Since then approximately 30 students have been enrolled each year, and the final pass rate for the General Nursing School exams has been 96% to 100%.
There continues to be a commitment to providing a supportive environment for the students. Because of the isolated area of the school entertainment activities are organised when possible. These have included visiting the Source of the Zambezi, visiting Nchila Wildlife Reserve, climbing Kalene Hill, Games nights and watching films using a data projector at the Hannays.
The first graduation of the newly opened nursing school was in 2010. The video below shows some highlights
Further development of the nursing school
The Zambian government, the Clinton Foundation and LinkNet (website link) have helped with the ongoing development of the school. Development projects have included 1) A second student hostel, which was completed in 2009. 2) The building of a further education block. This includes lecture theatres and a demonstration room. The construction of this complex should be completed in 2013. 3) The establishment of a computer laboratory. We are grateful to LinkNet for sending a team who supplied computers, helped to build the laboratory and also provided the initial internet connected for this facility.
Mission Involvement in pastoral care for nursing students
Angela Hannay has written an article in Medical Missionary News on involvement with the Nursing Students. You can read it here
Selection of Students
Students are selected annually according to General Nursing Council of Zambia Guidelines. The current GNC selection criteria are outlined in our advertisement for 2012. Senior staff from different institutions including the Kalene school of nursing, other nursing schools, government departments from the Ikelenge and Mwinlunga districts and Kalene Mission are involved. The selection process includes a government aptitude test by the Ministry of Labour, an interview by a panel and a written essay. Applications can be made by post, and should be sent to The Principal Tutour, Kalene School of Nursing, PO Box 11 Ikelenge. This should include a letter of introduction, a copy of your NRC and of your Grade 12 marks. Applications or enquiries can also be made to the Nursing School