The last round of scholarships for master’s and doctoral studies in nursing ended this year with the awarding of scholarships to 20 nurses. During the previous four years, the project supported a total of 39 master/doctoral students at public faculties in BIH, and provided funds for 99 semesters of studies in the total amount of 128,753.71 KM. By helping the academic development of the profession and strengthening the education system, the project contributes to better quality of health services in BiH.

Following the example of EU countries, the education of nurses is being raised to a higher level in BIH as well, so nurses get the opportunity for academic progress. The first undergraduate studies in nursing BIH were introduced in 2002, and today they exist at nine public higher education institutions. Master studies are available at six, and doctoral studies at four public colleges.

Although in the transition period the majority of lecturers at master and doctoral studies in nursing will be medical doctors, after the completion of the II or III cycle of studies nurses should be elected to academic titles. Their number is slowly growing, and there are quite a few nurses elected to the teaching titles of professors and assistant professors and already pursuing academic career. For adequate transfer of knowledge to future generations of students, a sufficient number of such teaching staff is necessary. Only once the majority of lecturers at the nursing faculties have education background in nursing, the education system will be in compliance with EU Directives and standards.

The project supports the improvement of higher formal education of nurses in several ways. By revising the curricula in accordance with the EU Directive, a significantly higher number of practical hours are included, providing students with more adequate training for future work with patients. In the equipped clinical skills labs and under the guidance of trained mentors,   students now have the opportunity to practice diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and interventions on modern models-simulators. To help the academic development of the profession, scholarships for masters and doctoral studies have been awarded.

Since 2017, the project has supported a total of 39 nurses, and covered 90% of tuition costs for one or more semesters per nurse. Financial resources have been provided for a total of 47 semesters of master's and 52 semesters of doctoral studies. By awarding scholarships to 14 master's students and 6 doctoral students in health care in 2020, the project ended this type of support.

The support of the project was a driving force for local institutions to take over part of the tuition costs, which range up to 3200 KM for a master's degree, and 15’000 KM for doctoral studies. The project hopes and expects that they will recognize the importance of the academic development of the nursing profession, and during the planning provide funds and continue to award scholarships. Today, more than ever, BIH authorities need to respond to the health needs and expectations of their population, investing in the development of the nursing workforce, raising both the level of education and the number of nurses who can care for those in need.

A brief overview of the awarded scholarships can be found on our website.