In 2019, we granted scholarships to sixteen nurses attending masters or doctoral studies at the public nursing faculties in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). This is one of the ways that the project supports the academic development of the profession and strengthening of the educational system, which ultimately will lead to an improvement of the quality of health services.
Provision of good quality nursing services requires educated and competent nurses. This can be achieved by strengthening the formal education systems in BiH and their adjustment to the new needs of the health systems and population.
Following the example of EU countries, the education of nurses in BiH has been also rising to a higher level, giving nurses the opportunity to advance academically. The first graduate nursing studies in BiH were introduced in 2002 and today exist at nine public higher education institutions. Master studies are available at six and doctoral studies at four public colleges.
The project supports the improvement of formal nurse education in many ways. The revision of the curricula to align with the EU
Directive includes a significantly higher number of practical hours and provides students with more adequate training for future work with patients. In equipped clinical skills labs and under the guidance of the trained mentors, students have the opportunity to use modern models-simulators to practice diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and interventions. The secondary education reform process has been initiated and should in the future serve to produce health assistants, while nurses should exclusively be educated at higher education institutions. In order to assist the academic development of the profession, scholarships for master and doctoral studies are provided.
Although during the transition period the majority of lecturers at master and doctoral studies in nursing will be medical doctors, after having completed the II and III cycle of studies nurses should be elected to teach at the academic level. The number of nurses-lecturers is increasing gradually and there are quite a few already pursuing academic careers. 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.
In 2017, we have granted scholarships to support doctoral studies during 21 semesters. In 2018, scholarships were granted for nine doctoral and one master study semester. In 2019, eleven master level students and 5 doctoral level students received scholarships, i.e. in total 29 semesters were supported. An overview of the scholarships granted is available on our web site.
The project will continue to grant scholarships in 2020, a year recently designated as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. We refer you to our web page where the details for scholarship application will be announced in March 2020.
Here is what our scholarship grantees shared about why they chose this profession and what they plan to do after they complete the studies.
Mirza Jahic, Tuzla: third cycle of health studies at the Faculty of Health Studies in Sarajevo
I have chosen this profession out of love for people and for wanting to help them with their health problems. Also because of the feeling one has when he/she has helps someone. Once completing the studies, I plan to build a lecturing career and transmit my theoretical and practical knowledge to younger colleagues.
Miljana Kuljić, Bileca: second cycle of nursing studies at the Faculty of Medicine in Foca
On one hand, the white uniform has always been attractive to me. On the other hand, there is nothing better that saving and improving other people’s lives. When I started my internship, I realized that I had not made a mistake. Working with people makes me happy, especially when the outcome is positive. I plan to start working when I finish the studies. In addition to that, I would also like to continue with PhD studies.
Vedrana Radulovic, Han Pijesak: second cycle of nursing studies at the Faculty of Medicine in Foca
Throughout my schooling, I have been interested in these studies. Nursing is a humane, responsible and wonderful profession. After having completed the first cycle of studies, I did my internship and took the state exam. Then I enrolled in the second cycle of studies and engaged in scientific research. I hope to find soon a job as a nurse.
Nemanja Gajic, Banjaluka: second cycle of nursing studies at the Faculty of Medicine in Banjaluka
I have chosen this profession once I completed secondary medical school in order to obtain a higher level education. After completing the studies, I would like to enrol in a specialist nurse training in paediatrics. Our profession is advancing every day and I think we need to do so too, in order to do our job as best as possible.
Mirjana Dzajic, Ljubuski: second cycle of nursing studies at the Faculty of Health Studies in Mostar
Ever since childhood, I have always wanted to help people around me. I also had a neighbour who was a nurse and I liked that. The visit to health facilities as a child when I would get ill, also pointed to that direction. After completing the studies, I will try to further advance my competencies that are very much needed at my work place because of all the challenges that nursing profession will be facing in the future. If possible, I would like to undertake PhD studies. I am drawn to working with students.
Veselinka Kulic, Foca: second cycle of nursing studies at the Faculty of Medicine in Foca
I was motivated me to enrol in this study program by the fact that nursing as an autonomous profession enables a new approach to health and healthcare. It is a humane profession that implies taking care of patients, providing nursing care in new ways and taking a holistic approach. After having completed the first cycle of studies, I did the internship and took the state exam. At the same time, I enrolled in the second cycle of studies and engaged in scientific research, wanting and hoping to find a job as a nurse.
Mirna Radman, Vitez: second cycle of nursing studies at the Faculty of Health Studies in Mostar
Nursing is for me not only a job, but a vocation that enables me to take care of the sick and give them courage in difficult times. Even though some tried to discourage me by telling me it is difficult and not worthwhile, I did not give up once I managed to get a smile from a satisfied patient during clinical practice. I am currently an intern in the primary healthcare centre Vitez, looking for a permanent job. I wish to stay in BIH and serve my town, help my fellow citizens and promote health. I will advocate for my rights and the rights of my colleagues and participate in the strengthening of nursing in BIH, so it could reach the same level that it has in some European countries.
Ivana Begic, Posusje: second cycle of nursing studies at the Faculty of Health Studies in Mostar
I have chosen this profession because I care for people very much. I was led by the fact that I can help the sick. After completing the studies, I would like to advocate even more for nursing as a nurse and a teacher.
Oksana Memic, Mostar: second cycle of nursing studies at the Faculty of Health Studies in Mostar
I have chosen this profession because I was always interested and fascinated by what people in white uniforms are doing. I was especially interested about the work nurses do in operating theatres and intensive care units, and I thought of it as very challenging and humane. That has been confirmed to me during the 26 years that I have been doing this job. After completing the studies, I plan to educate my younger colleagues and students and pass my knowledge and skills to them, thus contributing to improvement of health care.
Sasa Stanivukovic, Banjaluka: second cycle of nursing studies at the Faculty of Medicine in Banjaluka
This profession enables us to show humanity and help people in need. To save someone’s life or help them live more comfortably, is a precious feeling. Nursing has advanced a lot nowadays and provides many opportunities to expand knowledge. Therefore, after completing Master studies, I plan to enrol in PhD studies.
Daniela Dobrovoljski, Banjaluka: third cycle of health sciences at the Faculty of Medicine in Banjaluka
I have chosen the nursing profession because I want to help the sick and weak to improve their health and live a better life. By showing compassion, providing professional assistance and knowledge gained during many years of schooling, I believe we are significantly helping people to get better. After completing the third cycle of studies, I plan to be a teacher and participate in training of nurses at higher educational levels.
Kristina Vidovic, Mostar: third cycle of health studies at the Faculty of Health Studies in Mostar
I am proud to say that I belong to the first generation of students at the Faculty of Nursing Studies in Mostar. I have never regretted the decision to choose this road that required a lot of sacrifice and effort so we could deserve the trust we have today. The wish to help and care for the needed grew further and led me to ask more from the education. My greatest wish is to work directly with students, and not just indirectly within the practical training, and change the understanding of nursing as a profession.
Katarina Vukovic, Banjaluka: second cycle of nursing studies at the Faculty of Medicine in Banjaluka
I have chosen this profession because I was always interested in helping and communicating with people. After having completed the secondary school, I realized I wanted to further advance and decided to enrol in nursing studies. After completing the studies, I hope to find a job as a nurse and be able to devote with love to nursing.