Araceli Monroy-Rojas,1 Erika Shantal Ramírez-Posada1
1Facultad de Enfermería, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Xochimilco, Distrito Federal, México
Correspondence: Araceli Monroy Rojas
Keywords: Nursing education
Higher education is a product of the history, emergence, and development of each country. The circumstances and the cultural, social, political, and economic underpinning of higher education determine the direction that education policies take in each region.
In particular, nursing education has gone through three phases, depending on the characteristics of institutional dependency, academic and human resource aspects, among others. These phases are: hospital schools, schools linked to medical schools, and graduate schools of nursing.1
In Latin America, the first nursing schools emerged in the last decades of the nineteenth century, usually under the leadership of medical professionals, British or American nurses, or Catholic or Protestant institutions, often put in place with hospitals or supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).2
In over 90% of cases, nursing schools arose at the initiative of doctors and as a result of the need to compensate the demands of caring for the sick.
The institutionalization of nursing in Mexico occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. With the creation of the first nursing schools, professional education was recognized, as well as the qualities and skills that students should build on; the latter allowed nurses to acquire their own typologies in terms of teaching and based on existing educational models, such as: hospital schools, the link with medical schools, and nursing schools and colleges with graduate programs. This is recognized in the three stages of labor, based on the type of care and the acquisition and application of their knowledge: the empirical model, empirical-practical model and theoretical-practical model.2
At the time the training of nurses joined the university level, these were given independence, and it was not until 1970 that nursing schools were directed only by nursing professionals. On the arrival of academic culture, nursing schools formalized their plans and programs to a three-year course of study. One of the requirements for admission was a secondary school certificate, and at the end they were granted the title and professional certificate of technical nurse or general nurse. Between the 1970s and 1990s, so-called remedial education courses were approved by the university boards of numerous universities, so that nurses could obtain the degree of Bachelor of Nursing or Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery. The aim was to regularize technical nurses with high school and of professional experience.
This breakthrough demanded the incorporation of large and significant changes in academic life, between theoretical knowledge and practical know-how, as well as the body of knowledge that supports the nursing profession. The patterns and conditions were developed for the degree of academic quality of preparation, looking for an advanced vocational training, higher level teachers, training of researchers in basic and service sciences, among other things. Academic programs for nursing education focused on the professional profile of graduates with the ability to give their professional work a high humanistic sense, sensitive to ethical and moral values, thereby ensuring society quality services in nursing care.
It is appropriate to make some remarks about the educational institutions that train human resources in nursing. There are a total of 69 nursing schools that are enrolled in public universities in Mexico. Professional educational institutions have increased significantly from 1987 to date. In 2005 2 the Standing Committee of Nursing (CPE) reported 103 nursing schools, seven schools who offered technical level above university, and 490 at the technical level.
Thus, the process of evaluation and control of nursing education area should not be released to fate and free will, to succeed or fail. Therefore, monitoring and evaluation are necessary in these schools and based on the main objectives: to inform and guide learning; to improve the teaching-learning process; to identify physical, human, and material weaknesses; and to know the agenda and goals of education.
Nurse training is based on being, knowing, knowing how, and knowing how to coexist,3 for which a series of disciplinary, professional, and training goals are set to acquire knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes, and values to develop a professional practice of nursing which is oriented mainly to care, administrative, education, and research. However, the training of nurses is not an isolated process: it is immersed in a global dynamics that categorically influence the challenges to be taken in order to fulfill international, national and local expectations.
Nursing graduates will be attracted by the turbulence of the technical, scientific and technological advances that are permeated by sociopolitical and economic matrices of our own reality as a country and region, and the specific characteristics of our healthcare, education, and production systems.
Thus, the nurse should not be kept outside the globalizing context that demands excellent training and graduate profile in line with the demands of a changing and dynamic epidemiological context, and a society increasingly informed by scientific and technological advances in the field of health sciences. Hence the nursing professional will obviously contribute to resolving the social and health problems inherent to their professional responsibility.4
The best evidence that nursing education has evolved is reflected in the training of its professionals and the profile of its graduates, with attitude and focus on the construction of new possibilities, the ability to learn and unlearn, the ability to build and rebuild. Thus the basis of nursing education will be based on a holistic-interdisciplinary paradigm, so that the fundamental purpose of training professionals have a high humanistic sense and evolved thinking on reflection and criticism, as the pillars for research and education in themselves, in education for life and human development.