Staring at a gloomy future; how Kenya has neglected degree nurses

Degree nurses in Kenya have for a long time been ‘tarmacking’ on slim edges as their career advances suddenly come to a grinding halt immediately after internship. For avoidance of doubt, if you are contemplating on taking a bachelor’s degree in nursing, then brace yourself for a dejected and wasted future. The stars for this career is not rising any time soon, or can only rise in utopia.

Factually speaking, most degree nurses are left transfixed as rare job advertisements will only seek one or two graduate nurses. To even prove how rumpled their path is, allegations of bribery and ‘connections’ have seen the chosen few easily grab ‘their low hanging fruits.’

For the vast majority yearning to earn a dime, life goes on unusually. They are forced to sneak into private hospitals who only overwork them for a meagre Ksh 18000 monthly pay. Their lights are ever dimming and as pressure to get a decent salary consumes them, a section of them resort to finally get off the gloves and begin businesses or look for greener pastures abroad.

The latest job advertisement by the ministry of health has proved how dire the condition is. At a time when the globe is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Service Commission (PSC) decided that these nurses will be casualties of ‘wrong career choices’.

The ministry’s move appears to shrug off degree holders as they were allocated zero (slots) while certificate and diploma holders have themselves 500 and 2000 slots respectively. It was another day on the chopping board, this time with a 100% precision.

A quick flashback, I remember the unprecedented euphoria I had when joining the school of nursing in 2014. I never knew things will be a downturn, I never imagined that stakeholders at Afya House would be this insensitive to the health needs of the people they trained.

To the health ministry, do whatever it takes to bring upon equity . You must promptly describe the position that we hold in the health sector. Worse still, we are yet to enjoy the fruits of devolution as our condition is ever deteriorating in the hands of county governments. Our profession needs to be streamlined by new policies!

We just want to serve the people!!

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  • Kiogora BScN
    This is the time we should speak out of injustices, inequities and discrimination in health sector careers.
    Can Minstry and other organizations responsible come out clearly on this menace

  • 4 years of intensive training then one more year for internship under MOH PSC then after that you are left alone. This cadre has wasted brilliant brains given that the entry mark to BSc Nursing is nothing less than a strong A- to A’s. Was there hurry in starting BScN in Kenya?

  • Great article indeed, these bright people have been ignored deliberately by the central and devolved governments. For one to take BScN they always score A plain or A – (minus).
    Quite wrong policies by the government

  • It’s a sad truth.i too been hustling with my degree in nursing.with the hope of employment in this current state,onlyro find zero post on my thinking business.

  • The unfortunate reality is that BScNs are better equipped in terms of pathophysiology. In a situation like COVID-19, the BScNs can provide alot of insight into the management of patients. The science behind management of the signs and symptoms is based on one being very knowledgeable on the pathophysiology of a condition.

  • Very true. I agree. Kenya /African countries have completely neglected the BScN. Personally, this is my 8th year without a reasonable job as a graduate nurse. Then, the nurses union also does not care much about the plight of degree nurses.

    • Samuel this is very disheartening. As a KRCHN who was upgrading to BSN I am contemplating dropping it and pursuing Clinical Medicine. I think it might be better there.

  • This is a great article that needs to be addressed. With all the intensive four-year training, plus whole year of internship,results to very knowledgeable and smart brains as far as patient care is concerned. With all the Pathophysiology knowledge, I suppose Bscn’s should be the most marketable, and most especially at this time of crisis. Why can’t everyone see this?

  • No wonder most Bsn go for greener pastures outside kenya. That’s why most nurses do not to pursue other degree e.g. masters and PhDs coz no one will higher them unless they go for teaching jobs in the university so sad

  • Very unfair to graduate nurses putting in mind the grade required for BscN entry.The govt should scrape off this course from universities if at all it’s useless doing it.