Kenyan Nurses Involvement in National Policy Development ProcessesReport as inadecuate

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Nursing Research and Practice - Volume 2014 2014, Article ID 236573, 10 pages -

Research Article

Nursing Department, Aga Khan University, P.O. Box 39340, Nairobi 00623, Kenya

African Population and Health Research Center, P.O. Box 10787, Nairobi 00100, Kenya

School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, 1 Stewart Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5

Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa, 1 Stewart Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5

Received 10 May 2014; Accepted 14 September 2014; Published 2 October 2014

Academic Editor: Linda Moneyham

Copyright © 2014 Pamela Atieno Juma et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to critically examine how nurses have been involved in national policy processes in the Kenyan health sector. The paper reports qualitative results from a larger mixed method study. National nonnursing decision-makers and nurse leaders, and provincial managers as well as frontline nurse managers from two Kenyan districts were purposefully selected for interviews. Interviews dealt with nurses’ involvement in national policy processes, factors hindering nurses’ engagement in policy processes, and ways to enhance nurses’ involvement in policy processes. Critical theory and feminist perspectives guided the study process. Content analysis of data was conducted. Findings revealed that nurses’ involvement in policy processes in Kenya was limited. Only a few nurse leaders were involved in national policy committees as a result of their positions in the sector. Critical analysis of the findings revealed that hierarchies and structural factors as well as nursing professional issues were the primary barriers constraining nurses’ involvement in policy processes. Thus, there is need to address these factors both by nurses themselves and by nonnursing decision makers, in order to enhance nurses engagement in policy making and further the contribution to quality of services to the communities.

Author: Pamela Atieno Juma, Nancy Edwards, and Denise Spitzer



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