La Trobe University : Improving nursing standards in Indonesia

A newly-funded comparative research project led by La Trobe University aims to assess nursing standards in Indonesia and Australia with a view to informing improvements in Indonesian nursing.

The project received more than $200,000 from Katalis – an Australian and Indonesian government initiative through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) – to enable greater alignment in nursing education between the two countries.

Lead researcher and Dean at the School of Nursing and Midwifery at La Trobe University Professor Lisa McKenna said the study will identify areas of improvement in curriculum, skills and competencies for Indonesia’s nursing education system to deliver world qualified and competent nurses and health workers.

“Worldwide the demands for nursing is growing rapidly, and this is driven by societal changes such as ageing populations, a rise in chronic disease and co-morbidity, technological and healthcare advances, and goals for greater community-based health care,” Professor McKenna said.

“This study will examine core health professional skills and competencies in both Indonesia and Australia and provide recommendations to bring these into closer alignment.”

The study is led by La Trobe University and conducted in partnership with experienced nurse academics and researchers from Universitas Airlangga in Surabaya, Universitas Hasanuddin in Majassar and Universitas Pelita Harapan in Jakarta.

Professor Lisa McKenna will work alongside fellow La Trobe researchers Dr Gulzar Malik and Dr Jenny Davis, and collaborate with experienced nurse academics and researchers from the three Indonesian universities.

Dr Ferri Efendi, a project collaborator from the Department of Advanced Nursing at Universitas Airlangga said the project is timely, as the world needs more nurses during and following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Closing the gap between nursing education and practice remains a huge challenge in our country, especially in an international context. We are honoured to work with Professor Mckenna and happy to strengthen the collaboration between universities through this prestigious initiative,” Dr Efendi said.

Professor McKenna says the project will allow equivalence in the educational preparation of nurses and enable greater alignment between Australia and Indonesia.

“If we align education and standards of nursing between the two countries it means we meet the same requirements. This is crucial as there is extensive migration of nurses between the two countries,” Professor McKenna said.

The project could also provide further opportunities for collaboration between La Trobe University researchers and nursing institutions in Indonesia.

“Through strengthening the partnerships that we already have, there’s even more opportunities for them to grow and develop beyond nursing and midwifery as well,” Professor McKenna said.