Current challenges facing Nursing Education in Saudi Arabia

Author(s): Adel Harb

Introduction: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is facing many health related challenges. It was on 1954 when Ministry of Health (MOH) has established nursing as a profession. Since the last 64 years, nursing has faced many obstacles, difficulties and challenges and there was a direct impact on the growth and development in nursing education. Unfortunately, these challenges facing nursing education in Saudi Arabia are increasingly complex and dynamic. Aim: The main purpose of this paper is to highlight and discuss those challenges through structure, process, outcome model. Methodology: Systematic review of the literature published between 1988 till 2018 were reviewed using different electronic database such as Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Pro Quest Central, Expanded Academic ASAP, Wiley Interscience (Wiley), MEDLINE (OVID) and SAGE. Databases were accessed using key words: Saudi Arabia, nursing, nursing education and challenges.Results: There were 36 studies accessed and discussed these challenges but only 30 studies had studied the direct impact on clinical training and staff education. Challenges facing Nursing Educations in KSA were categorized on structure, process, outcome model. Structural challenges included shortage of staff and scope of nursing practice, process challenges included the role of the clinical teachers, educational and teaching methods, specialized certification, and communication while the outcome challenges included the assessment of staff competencies. Based on these challenges facing nursing education a clinical setting, the author had a list of recommendations to nursing leadership and educators to overcome and manage these challenges with some strategies to reflect on the present and plan strategically for the future. Conclusion: Many challenges and gaps were cited in the literature that will provide ample opportunity for further studies and researches. As healthcare is one of the main focus areas of the ambitious Saudi Vision 2030 and due to the fact that Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has a plan for privatization and formulating health clusters, nursing leaders in nursing administration and education must overcome all these challenges facing nursing education in the hospital setting