Evaluation of the readiness of nurse anesthetists in Ghana for a master’s degree completion program: An exploratory, observational study

Philip Kwame Kwetey, Donna Nyght, Paul Bennetts


Ghana is a developing country in West Africa with limited anesthesia providers impacting surgical access and anesthesia safety. There are only two anesthesia providers per 100,000 population, with the majority of providers being nurse anesthetists, most of whom hold only diplomas, and more recently, bachelor’s in anesthesia education. This paper reports an observational study exploring the prospects of an advanced degree at the master’s degree level for practicing nurse anesthetists in Ghana. Three focus groups and one semi-structured individual interview were conducted with a total of 69 participants. Four major themes emerged following data analysis: desire for improved clinical expertise; focus on research methods to improve patient outcomes; perceived inadequate physician support for graduate nurse anesthetists (NA) education and infrastructure; and desires for an advanced degree for career progression. Findings highlight the readiness of nurse anesthetists in Ghana for an advanced degree and the necessary infrastructure and needed areas of clinical anesthesia education and research that must be included in the curriculum development for a master’s level education.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v9n11p114

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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