I completed my practicum over the summer at IntraHealth International. I worked on a project in Namibia that conducted data collection of the nursing cadre by using the Workload Indicators of Staffing Needs (WISN) tool and made recommendations to the Ministry of Health on ways to alleviate nursing shortages. I specifically worked on a literary review focusing on a country comparison of WISN use. I also wrote a document discussing WISN use in a hospital setting, policy implication and the pursuit of achieving universal health coverage.
What skills did you gain during your practicum?
I gained a better understanding of how to analyze the health workforce. I learned how interventions could influence health policy. The practicum also helped fine-tune my research and literary reviewing skills, and it helped strengthen my writing skills for potential publication.
What was your favorite aspect of your practicum experience?
My favorite aspect of the practicum was the opportunity to network with people who are working in the field. While I was at IntraHealth there was a conference, which provided a great chance to learn more about the different projects and others’ accomplishments.
What was your experience like working with your preceptor?
My preceptor was a former professor that I met through the program who ensured that my work was meeting the competencies outlined by GW. My advisor was always available to answer questions and provide support.
Do you think this experience will help you professionally?
The practicum affirmed my interest in capacity building through health system development and workforce strengthening. I’m looking forward to applying my experience and skills as a nurse to improve the work environment for health workers.