The majority of nurses in India graduate from a 3 year diploma program which are hospital-based and do not require academic credits from an institution of higher learning. Bachelor’s prepared nurses on the other hand obtain their education from an institution of higher learning. In the following paragraphs, the curriculum for the B.Sc. Nursing inIndiawill be analyzed.
Liberal Arts & Sciences
At first glance of the bachelor’s curriculum, it is noted that there is not enough exposure of the student to other liberal arts and science courses. Starting with the second semester, the student focuses on upper-division courses (in nursing). This is quite different from the BSN programs in the USA and also in the Philippines where there is extensive exposure of the student during their first two years of college to other disciplines of study. This undoubtedly affects the breadth of knowledge of the graduate to other areas related to nursing. Psychology is focused on nursing and not on general psychology. This does not lay foundation to the study of pathologic psychological states in Psychiatric Nursing. In addition, Nursing Fundamentals is immediately presented in the first semester of study, whereas in the USA, this is usually found in the third year of study.
Development of a multi-disciplinary view of man
The lack of exposure of students to other disciplines hampers the development of a concept of the individual as a sociologic being. When a nurse graduates from this program, human problems cannot be viewed from a wide, multi-disciplinary perspective. The application of the nursing process requires the nurse to draw not only from nursing but also from other disciplines. Whereas, there might be a narrowed focus of the individual and the art of nursing emphasized in this curriculum, the science of nursing may be lacking.
The hours of clinical study is quite adequate and knowing the quality of clinical facilities inIndia, the B.Sc. nurse will have adequate clinical exposure to prepare her for practice. The articulation of didactic and clinical experience is coherent in this curriculum.
The course titles of this curriculum indicate that the framework of the program still is the old medical model, dividing its subject areas into medical, surgical, obstetrics and pediatrics. It does not have any nursing framework to reflect the contemporary nursing subject areas. Nor does the curriculum have subject areas pertaining to the development of nursing science (e.g. nursing theories, nursing issues). The inclusion of a computer education is laudable. This is a deficiency in their counterpart nurses graduating from the diploma program.
Observations of Indian Nurses in General
Nurses from India are quite talented. They study hard and usually do much better in NCLEX performance compared to Philippine BSN graduates. Their theoretical base is quite solid; they have adequate knowledge in both the science and art of nursing.
Because English is vital to the practice of nursing in most international locations other than the USA, it is important that the study of English be continued in college. It is noted that Indian nurses have difficulty in passing the IELTS. Yet, as noted in their curriculum, there is only one semester of study of collegiate English. This gives them a handicap in the international setting.
In general, Indian nurses have difficulty in being assertive. This is because their culture imbues an acquiescent role for women. This becomes a challenge in recruiting from India. Recruiters must be willing to invest in programs to make them more assertive in order to survive the hospital culture of the west. The additional challenge is that although they could be taught the concepts of responsible assertive behavior while in India, they do not have a platform to practice these new learned behaviors in their culture. And because behaviors decay when not used or nurtured, it is thus necessary to continue this training once they arrive at the international site.
Indian nurses are more exposed to medical technological advances compared to their Philippine counterparts. In the Philippines, hospitals tend to be small and the use of advanced technology is common only in hospitals catering to the rich. Government hospitals have deficient funds to invest in new technology. In India,however, most hospitals are government operated and they tend not only to be big facilities but they also have advanced technology.
Overall, nurses from India can compete very well with nurses from other countries. Their challenge of the English language is the only factor that makes them minimally competitive in the USA market. However, with education to improve their English skills (including accent modification), they are in par with the rest of the nurses in the world.
By: Dr. Tomas Madayag