“The School of Nursing’s primary mission is to raise the standards and standing of the profession itself, so that it is accorded the recognition and prestige earned and deserved by the women whose working lives are dedicated to the demanding and honorable task of caring for the sick. The key to the School’s philosophy is excellence”.
His Highness The Aga Khan February 16th 1981
At the invitation of nursing leaders of the Governments in East Africa, the Advanced Nursing Studies (ANS) programme was established to enhance the skills of working nurses throughout the East African region. Our mission is to provide nurses and midwives with internationally benchmarked quality education that is:
In 2001, AKU’s first ANS programme began in Uganda, followed by Kenya and Tanzania in 2002. Currently, there are about 300 nurses in AKU ANS programmes throughout East Africa.
AKU-ANS aims to enhance the overall health status of the people of East Africa by preparing a critical mass of qualified nursing professionals. Our programmes are unique in their needs-based design for working nurses. They specifically aim to prepare nursing professionals to meet the health care needs of the East African region.
AKU-ANS currently offers two programmes:
Both programmes offer an innovative curriculum that is based on a blended learning approach, which means that students attend in-class sessions two days a week, followed with self directed learning tasks. This arrangement allows working nurses and midwives to continue working while completing the programmes. We also offer scholarships to nurses in both rural and urban areas, in order to enhance access to our programmes.
AKU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery aims to make a major contribution to enhancing the quality of nursing education in East Africa by ensuring that current and future programmes:
- Facilitate curriculum reform to transform nursing education to meet the health care challenges of the 21st century;
- Promote student-centered pedagogies through practice and faculty professional development opportunities;
- Model clinical best practice; and
- Employ a variety of learning resources, including modern technologies such as e-learning.
AKU-ANS has also demonstrated considerable success in encouraging graduates to continue working in the East African region after they have completed their certifications. Of the over 1,600 graduates of the Advanced Nursing Studies programme, 85 percent have remained in the region. This is significantly higher than the national retention rate, which is approximately 60 percent.
Our alumni hold key positions in nursing education, policy and practice across East Africa. They play leadership roles in rural and urban communities, and are recognised by national and international agencies for making a difference in their clinical practice.
AKU’s pioneering upgrading degree and diploma programmes for working nurses have recently been endorsed by the external Johnson & Johnson evaluation. The evaluators commended AKU’s Advanced Nursing Studies programmes in all three countries for their quality and impact on the careers of nurses, quality of health services and communities at large.