The first phase of the project "Strengthening Nursing in Bosnia and Herzegovina"

Duration: October 2012 – November 2017

The assessment of the situation conducted during the project preparation showed that the health system and education of health workers in BiH are primarily focused on curative health care, clinical care and doctors’ services thus limiting the potential of the nursing force to respond to the current and future health care needs of the population, especially of the vulnerable population groups. In addition, significant gaps in nurse competencies and practice were identified that negatively affect the effective operation of the health system in the country, weaken the results of the existing reforms and leave the country insufficiently prepared to respond to the changed health care needs and expectations of the population. Therefore, the project consolidated the interventions in three project areas (components).

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Component 1: Nursing regulation and recognition  

· improvement of nursing profession regulation, including the development and adoption of standards in nursing practice, and the development of harmonized licensing regulation 
· strengthening of nursing associations to represent the interests of the members and to enable their continuous professional development
· establishment of well-functioning nursing chambers at entity level
· linking BIH nurses with international nurse networks and knowledge base 

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Component 2: Community nursing

·  development of community nursing services that are aligned with the international standards, priority needs of the vulnerable population groups in BIH, as well as with the needs and available resources of the health system
·  adjustment of the role, training and accompanying curricula to the necessary community nursing services 
·  implementation and monitoring of the community nursing service provision in selected geographical areas 

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Component 3: Formal university-level nurse education

·  agreeing on core competencies that nurses should gain at university level education in order to address the current and future health care needs and problems 
·  revising curricula to be in line with agree upon competencies and pertinent EU standards 
·  developing strategies to build local nurse faculty teaching expertise at university-level 

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Main results achieved during Phase 1:

·     Population of 1.5 million covered by 31 primary health care centers has access to standardized, gender sensitive, high-quality and safe nursing services owing to the developed and applied standard operating procedures.

·      Nurses, for the first time, have the leading role in policy and regulatory documents development concerning their profession. Established nursing associations are getting stronger and growing, organizing training for their members and establishing contacts with the international associations.

·     More than half a million of population has access to the community nursing services in 10 municipalities. 195 nurses trained in community nursing have provided service to 67000 persons (of which 46900 belong to the vulnerable and socially excluded group).

·     Significant part of the community nursing activities is focused on health education, promotion and prevention.

·  Yearly reviews of the patients with chronic non-communicable diseases, that were introduced in order to prevent complications, already showed positive results in blood pressure and glucose level control.

·   Community nursing obligatory documentation has been developed in FBIH and is in the process of adoption by the authorities.

·       Introduced community nursing services are fully covered by the health institutions.

·     Four out of five nursing faculties supported by the project have revised their first study-cycle curricula, while one faculty (Banja Luka) has already started implementing it.

·     Clinical skills laboratories have been equipped at eight nursing faculties and staff trained in order to offer students suitable practical training in line with the European standards.

·       11 PhD students at nursing studies were granted scholarships.

·     Ministries of Health and Ministries of Education in both entities jointly work on modernization of education in the field of nursing.