A Cross-sectional Study of Self-Perceived Educational Needs of Emergency Nurses in Two Tertiary Hospitals in Nairobi, Kenya

Anthony Ndung'u, Eunice Ndirangu, Ahmed Sarki, Lilian Isiaho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Many low- and middle-income countries lack resources for well-functioning emergency care systems. Emergency nurses interact with injured and critically ill patients as the first contact in many health care settings. However, insufficient training limits nurses from providing ideal emergency care. The purpose of this research was to highlight educational needs specific to nurses working in 2 emergency departments in Nairobi, Kenya. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study involving emergency units of 2 of the largest referral and teaching hospitals (Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, and Kenyatta National Hospital) in Nairobi, Kenya, was conducted. Data were collected by using an adapted structured, self-administered questionnaire. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The skills and competencies of the participants were assessed. In addition, the educational gaps and needs of the participants around emergency care such as trauma, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory and neurological illnesses were described. Results were presented in frequencies and percentages. Results: The questionnaire response rate was 63.6% (n = 84). Most of the respondents held associate degrees in nursing (72.6%), whereas 19% had a bachelor's degree in nursing. Most respondents (84.5%) perceived themselves as being highly competent in basic skills such as performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and assessment of body systems. Less than half of the respondents (48.8%) perceived themselves as being highly competent in intermediate skills such as assisting with endotracheal intubation. In advanced competencies, such as analyzing electrocardiograms and administering thrombolytic medications, only 16.7% perceived themselves as highly competent. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest there is a knowledge gap and educational needs among emergency nurses in Nairobi, Kenya. It identified injuries/trauma; cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurological disease; and other emergencies as topics of focus areas with a high need. To address these knowledge and skills needs, a future specialty training in emergency nursing is recommended and this could be achieved through continuing professional development and short courses or postgraduate-level training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-476
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Emergency Nursing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Emergency department
  • Emergency nursing
  • Emergency nursing services
  • Kenya
  • Nursing education


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