CapacityPlus Studies Schools' Challenges to Produce Enough Nurses

The Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI)—the US Government’s unified program to address the underproduction of nursing professionals in developing countries—convened its partners for the first time in June in Washington, DC. NEPI’s goal is to assist in the nursing component of the US Government’s commitment to training 140,000 additional health workers in developing countries by 2015.

NEPI is led by PEPFAR with government partners USAID and the Department of Health and Human Services. Other partners include CapacityPlus (led by IntraHealth International), Columbia University, the World Health Organization, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

Over the next two to three years, CapacityPlus will first analyze the costs of producing more nurses (and physicians) so that donors and countries can estimate scale-up costs and, using the project’s “best buys” approach, make the most cost-effective investments in training more health workers. CapacityPlus will then survey nursing schools in sub-Saharan Africa to better understand their current capacities and challenges, as well as to start a global web-based database of nursing schools. This survey will help the global health workforce community better understand how nursing schools are being managed, governed, and financed, and will lend insight into their educational strategies.

In addition, CapacityPlus hopes to assist in the establishment of an African Nursing School Association to help schools learn from each other and share innovations.