Seychelles Nurses Advance Their Education at Chamberlain

Lyndy Rath, a nurse and midwife, provides prenatal and family planning care in her home country of Seychelles – an archipelago located some 1,000 miles off the east coast of Africa.

She’s dedicated to her profession, but the limited options in Seychelles have stood in her way of advancing her education. That’s because nurses in that country earn diplomas from the National Institute of Health and Social Sciences, but no bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in nursing are offered.

Thanks to a new program with Chamberlain University, however, Lyndy and a number of her fellow Seychelles nurses are on their way to earning their bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. This educational partnership is part of a national effort to advance the level of professional nursing and improve the country’s healthcare.

“I always wanted to gain a bachelor’s degree in nursing but never had the opportunity,” said Lyndy. “As this one presented itself, Chamberlain was a perfect choice because they produce professional nurses with higher and new standards, knowledge and competency.”

Two cohorts of students from Seychelles began in July 2017 – one group of 21 students in the RN to BSN Online Degree Completion Option and another group of 12 students in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Educator Specialty Track.

Students were selected to enroll at Chamberlain through a competitive program from the Seychelles government. Each receives a full-ride scholarship funded by the Seychelles Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO).

In the true spirit of Chamberlain Care®, two Chamberlain professors – Cecilia Jane Maier, MS, RN, CNE and Janina Johnson, DNP, RN, CNE – traveled to Seychelles in July 2017 to orient the students and better understand their needs, expectations and challenges.

The students made a big impression on both faculty members.

“Collectively the students are positive, eager, professional and respectful. I am amazed at the level of higher order thinking skills and global perspectives demonstrated by the students,” said Dr. Johnson.

Professor Maier agreed. “These students are change agents,” she said. “They’re passionate about caring and improving healthcare in their country. I admire them, and I’m honored and privileged to be a part of this.”

As they make their way through the program, Seychelles students will stay together as a cohort and follow the same curriculum as their United States-based peers. Faculty and leadership hand-picked the electives for the RN to BSN students to have the most impact on them – courses such as world political science and transcultural nursing.

“This partnership between the Seychelles and Chamberlain is a transformative experience for both students and faculty,” said Dr. Johnson. “This is a great example of living our mission through educating, empowering and emboldening diverse nurses prepared to advance the health of people, families, communities and nations. These students will be part of emerging changes that will shape and positively influence patient outcomes, healthcare delivery, nursing practice and the profession of nursing in the Seychelles. How amazing. I am honored to be part of this project.”

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