The current partnership between the Centralized School of Nursing, Addis Ababa University and Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto formally began in 2008. It was built on previous needs assessment trips, first focused on supporting basic psychiatric nursing diploma program at Amanuel Mental Hospital, and then strengthening the masters program at AAU. It is a collaboration that engages nursing leaders in education, research, and practice. The overall aim is to support the vision of Ethiopian nursing leaders to strengthen the profession within Ethiopia through higher education and professional development. The specific focus is on research capacity-building, with an emphasis on cross-cultural peer and mentor relationships amongst faculty, graduate students, and clinical nursing leaders. The objectives of the partnership are to:
- Enhance scholarship in existing masters curriculum through seminar-based learning and individual mentoring (on-site and by distance) that focuses on research proposal development and final report writing.
- Increase the quality/rigour of final research reports of two batches of masters students evidenced in successful defense and graduation.
- Address professional development needs of faculty members of masters program through collegial peer support and the sharing of material resources.
- Facilitate the teaching of clinical curriculum in the maternal and reproductive health stream by engaging the midwifery faculty at Queens University Belfast(QUB).
Two teaching trips have already taken place in April 2010 and October 2010(QUB only), and LSBFN and QUB are committed to sending teaching teams to Addis Ababa twice a year, in 2011 and 2012, and once in 2013. Each trip is two weeks in duration and involves working with AAU MScN faculty and students. Support of nursing research, scholarship, and advanced practice is carried out using lecture, seminar, small group, and 1:1 formats. Research topics have included choosing the topic & refining the question, proposal writing, the literature review, ethics, and qualitative methodologies. Individual mentorship by distance is in the beginning stage through the Â‘PENpalsÂ’ (Peer support for Ethiopian Nurses) mentoring program.