Stellenbosch University Upskills Nurse Educators by Hosting Fulbright Specialist Professor Kathy Nokes

Dr Kathy Nokes (at right) with colleagues in the Division of Nursing, University of Stellenbosch

As part of their efforts to build and strengthen the quality of nursing education, Stellenbosch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences hosted American Professor Dr. Kathy Nokes through the Fulbright Specialist Program.

Dr. Nokes, Professor and recent Director of the Graduate Nursing Program of the City University of New York’s Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, spent several weeks working closely with staff at Stellenbosch University’s Division of Nursing between August and September 2014.

At their request, Dr. Nokes provided expertise on three major themes in nursing education: evidence-based practice, knowledge translation, and Inter-Professional Education (IPE).  She presented seminars and workshops at their main Tygerberg and rural Worcester campuses, as well as to far flung audiences through Stellenbosch University’s innovative Telematics Centre.  In addition, she mentored doctoral and masters students, and nurse educators on staff new to doctoral supervision.

While Professor Nokes’ visit brought immediate benefits to those who interacted with her at Stellenbosch University’s Nursing Division, its potential long-term impact is much greater. With Stellenbosch University educating nurses from other African countries through formal institutional collaborations, preparing a better educated nursing workforce will also benefit the region.

Current Head of Nursing and Head of Research in the department, Dr. Ethelwynn Stellenberg, who requested the visit through the Fulbright Specialist program, said, “Developing [nursing] scholarship is a critical need today in academia.  Professor Nokes has been an international partner since 2001, and since then we have tried to see how we could bring her to Stellenbosch to share with us valuable capacity building in research, evidence-based practice, and IPE.  Dr Nokes played a valuable role in assisting with this development during her time at Stellenbosch.”

The Fulbright Specialist Program provides an opportunity for South African institutions to request an American academic for 2-6 weeks to engage and collaborate in curriculum planning, institutional development, teacher training, lecturing, conducting seminars, speaking at conferences, workshops and more.  Fulbright pays for international airfare and an honorarium while the host institution provides housing, local ground transportation and meals. For further information and the application, seehttp://southafrica.usembassy.gov/senior_specialists.html