Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


Background: Many low- and middle-income countries lack resources for well-functioning emergency care systems. Emer- gency nurses interact with injured and critically ill patients as the first contact in many health care settings. However, insuffi- cient training limits nurses from providing ideal emergency care. The purpose of this research was to highlight educational needs specific to nurses working in 2 emergency departments in Nairobi, Kenya.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study involving emer- gency units of 2 of the largest referral and teaching hospitals (Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, and Kenyatta National Hospital) in Nairobi, Kenya, was conducted. Data were collected by using an adapted structured, self-administered questionnaire. The data were analyzed using descriptive statis- tics. The skills and competencies of the participants were assessed. In addition, the educational gaps and needs of the participants around emergency care such as trauma, cardiovas- cular diseases, and respiratory and neurological illnesses were described. Results were presented in frequencies and percentages.

Results: The questionnaire response rate was 63.6% (n ¼ 84). Most of the respondents held associate degrees in nursing (72.6%), whereas 19% had a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Most respondents (84.5%) perceived themselves as being highly competent in basic skills such as performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and assessment of body systems. Less than half of the respondents (48.8%) perceived themselves as being highly competent in intermediate skills such as assisting with endotracheal intubation. In advanced competencies, such as analyzing electrocardiograms and administering thrombolytic medications, only 16.7% perceived themselves as highly competent.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest there is a knowledge gap and educational needs among emergency nurses in Nairobi, Kenya. It identified injuries/trauma; cardio- vascular, respiratory, and neurological disease; and other emer- gencies as topics of focus areas with a high need. To address these knowledge and skills needs, a future specialty training in emergency nursing is recommended and this could be achieved through continuing professional development and short courses or postgraduate-level training.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Emergency Nursing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Included in

Nursing Commons