SONAM Dean, Dr Eunice Ndirangu receives the Mwongozo handbook from Health CS, Hon Mutahi Kagwe during the Inauguration ceremony
Dr Eunice Ndirangu-Mugo, Dean at Aga Khan University's School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa (SONAM EA) has been reappointed as Chair of the Nursing Council of Kenya.
This is her second term following her first appointment in 2019. The Nursing Council of Kenya, NCK, is the only professional regulatory body for all cadres of nursing and midwives in Kenya. The Council is mandated to ensure the delivery of safe and effective nursing and midwifery care to the public.
In her first term, Dr Ndirangu developed Scopes of Practice for entry-level specialists and advanced practice nursing and midwifery. This also includes strengthening the legislative framework for the regulation of nursing and midwifery in the country.
She also implemented the online licensure examinations, making it easier for nurses and midwives to access examination resources and proceed to be licensed nurses and midwives.
“I am happy that we achieved so much despite the pandemic. However, there is still more to be done, particularly by leveraging technology," says Dr Ndirangu. “During my second term, I hope to review and adopt a competency-based approach to all existing nursing and midwifery programmes and enhance evidence-based practice. As nurses and midwives, I believe it is also time to embrace technology by using data to inform our advocacy, decision-making and policy-making functions. We also hope to complete the mHealth App to help address the challenges in accessing the NCK online system. The app will also help us with our overall data management."
During the inauguration event, the Health Cabinet Secretary Hon Mutahi Kagwe reaffirmed the government's commitment to delivering the highest possible standard of health in a manner responsive to the needs of the citizenry.
He directed members of the various boards to stay true to their mission and observe integrity in their undertakings. “Over the past years, we have seen the reputation of government institutions dragged in the mud due to the misconduct of a few officials. I urge you to appraise yourselves with the provisions of the Mwongozo code and respect the separation of power between the management and the board."
In her role as Dean, Dr Ndirangu introduced Advanced Practice Nursing and Midwifery programmes in Kenya and launched the Bachelor of Science in Midwifery program in Tanzania. Additionally, she convened the Nurse Midwife Alliance, leading to a new National Nursing and Midwifery policy in Kenya, among other achievements.
Concerning her dual role, the Dean shares, “AKU-SONAM is committed to enhancing the quality of nursing and midwifery education in Kenya and East Africa, which complements my role as NCK Chair. Through the support of key partners, such as the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, collaborations with SONAM and other partners helped the regulator develop and implement key regulatory tools. Similarly, the dual role enhanced the relationship between SONAM and the Ministry of Health as we aim to achieve Universal Health Coverage. I believe many nurses and midwives stand to benefit from these initiatives, both as SONAM students and alumni and for general nurses and midwives countrywide."