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Health care system changes supporting the development of the nurse practitioner role in Tanzania

Mboineki, Joanes Faustine PhD, RN (Candidate, Assistant Lecturer)1,2; Chen, Changying RN (Professor)1

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners: September 2019 - Volume 31 - Issue 9 - p 488–496
doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000168
Research - Quantitative
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Background and purpose: Accessibility to health care services remains a global challenge, and this has affected the quality of services delivered. This has affected the quality of health care services. Poor accessibility to health care services in Tanzania has hindered the achievements of health care system goals. The development of the nurse practitioner (NP) role has not yet received enough attention to resolve current existing and emerging problems facing the Tanzanian health care system. This study assessed the health care system changes that support the development of the NP role in Tanzania.

Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study design was used to collect quantitative data. Purposive and convenience sampling techniques were used to collect data from 237 health care providers using a semi-structured questionnaire. Data were entered into SPSS version 20 and analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square test for independence (Pearson Chi-square, χ2).

Conclusions: Although the government of Tanzania has made some improvements in access to health care services, the rural health care facilities still suffer from an extreme shortage of skilled health care providers. This has forced the government to allow medical attendants to treat patients when they are not licensed to do so. The development of the NP role should be able to address the shortage of skilled health care providers in rural health care facilities.

Implications for practice: The development of the NP role will improve the accessibility to health care services in rural primary health care facilities.

1School of Nursing, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China,

2School of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, The University of Dodoma, Dodoma, Tanzania

Correspondence: Changying Chen, RN, School of Nursing, Zhengzhou University, No. 3 Jianshe Dong Lu, Zhengzhou 450000, China. Tel: +8613523713861; E-mail: changying@zzu.edu.cn

Funding: This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China Grant U1404814 (W.H. Zhang) and Henan Province Science Technology Innovation Talent Support Plan 17HASTIT048 (W.H. Zhang). The authors are grateful for the provided financial support.

Competing interests: The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Authors' contributions:All authors participated fully in the development of this manuscript. Joanes Faustine Mboineki developed the research proposal, prepared tool for data collection, collected data, performed data analysis, and prepared the manuscript. Changying Chen reviewed the research tool, suggested data analysis methods, and reviewed the prepared manuscript.

Received July 20, 2018

Accepted October 24, 2018

© 2019 American Association of Nurse Practitioners
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