Original Research

A middle-range model for improving quality of nursing education in Malawi

Thokozani M. Bvumbwe, Ntombifikile G. Mtshali
Curationis | Vol 41, No 1 | a1766 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v41i1.1766 | © 2018 Thokozani M. Bvumbwe, Ntombifikile G. Mtshali | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 November 2016 | Published: 22 March 2018

About the author(s)

Thokozani M. Bvumbwe, Faculty of Health Sciences, Mzuzu University, Malawi
Ntombifikile G. Mtshali, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Background: Despite a global consensus that nurses and midwives constitute the majority and are a backbone of any country’s health workforce system, productive capacity of training institutions remains low and still needs more guidance. This study aimed at developing a middle-range model to guide efforts in nursing education improvements.
Objective: To explore challenges facing nursing education in Malawi and to describe efforts that are being put in place to improve nursing education and the process of development of a model to improve nursing education in Malawi.
Method: The study used a qualitative descriptive design. A panel discussion with eight nursing education and practice experts was conducted guided by core concepts derived from an analysis of research report from a national nursing education conference. Two focus group discussions during two quarterly review meetings engaged nurse educators, practitioners and clinical preceptors to fill gaps from data obtained from a panel discussion. A qualitative abductive analysis approach was used for the development of the model.
Results: Transforming and scaling up of nursing education emerged as the main concept of the model with nursing education context, academic practice partnership, regulation, competent graduate and nursing workforce as sub concepts. Key main strategies in the model included curriculum reforms, regulation, transformative learning, provision of infrastructure and resources and capacity building.
Conclusion: The model can be used to prioritise nursing education intervention aimed at improving quality of nursing education in Malawi and other similar settings.


Malawi; Middle range model; Nursing education; Quality; Quantity; Relevance; Transformative and scale up of health professional education


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