The nursing students at Alkan University have almost completed their training and are beginning to look towards the future and their interactions with Ethiopia’s professional health councils, and also think about how they will stay in contact as they move back to their home towns or other rural communities in Ethiopia to practice.
Part of their training includes interactions with a variety of health professional organizations, though the majority of their first three years of training was spent on studies, as Tsehay points out: “In the last three years I gave my major time to my education and I had no time to interact with professional associations. But now I am on the way for graduation and can participate in different professional activities.” These activities include both professional groups organized under the ministry of health and the government, and non-governmental associations. Every student, in order to get their professional license, is required to join the government organized system. This way, all health workers in the country are registered, and the government can best identify where more health workers are needed.
The students are now eagerly preparing for their last certification examination, which will allow them to practice. Eyerus says, “I am prepared to take the last COC examination which is a prerequisite to get my professional license from the above mentioned organization and be part of the health professionals.”. These professional organizations are also the main way the students anticipate staying in touch with one another.
Almaz even talks about pursuing an advanced degree in nursing, and shares this goal with many of her colleagues. She comments, “Most of my colleagues and classmates have a plan to upgrade their profession to degree level and I am one of them. This will be possible after one year experience…I expect that will help me stay connected with my colleagues and classmates after graduation.”.
Having strong professional organizations help build Ethiopia’s health worker work force and we are so proud of these students for becoming a part of these many organizations.
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