Distance-Based Education for Nurses Caring for Children With Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Nursing specialization in the care of children with cancer provides the foundation for implementing successful childhood cancer and blood disorder treatment programs throughout the world. Excellence in nursing education is at the center of all that is needed to maximize cures for children with cancer in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). While the burden of childhood cancer care is the highest in LMIC, opportunities for continuing nursing education and specialization are extremely limited. Capacity-building programs using distance-based learning opportunities have been successful in sub-Saharan Africa and provide insight into successful, continuing professional development. The Global Hematology-Oncology Pediatric Excellence (HOPE) program part of Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas, has developed and implemented a distance-based training program designed for nurses working in sub-Saharan Africa. Following a needs assessment, Global HOPE developed a program using both the Moodle (modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment) distance-based learning platform and computer notebooks that hold the course content. The program teaches basic principles of nursing care for a child with cancer and has been implemented in Malawi, Uganda, and Botswana. Courses are taught using a modular approach and core competencies are established for each module. Frequent teaching sessions using Zoom and WhatsApp reinforce independent learning experiences. Formal course evaluation includes written pre- and posttests, self-competency assessments, and simulated checkoffs on essential pediatric oncology nursing competencies. The success of this distance-based learning program emphasizes the importance of formal training for nurses in LMIC to become full-time specialists in pediatric oncology nursing.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hockenberry, M; Mulemba, T; Nedege, A; Madumetse, K; Higgins, J

Published Date

  • September 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 37 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 321 - 329

PubMed ID

  • 32659198

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-8457

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1043-4542

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1043454220938355


  • eng