Capacity Building in Higher Education for Nurses in Kazakhstan and Its Importance

Kazakhstan is in the midst of a national healthcare transformation, which includes transforming the nursing profession. Inclusion of nurses in this reform is vitally important, as nurses are in the unique position of care delivery that contributes to the implementation of reformed healthcare.

The current task is to determine and then utilize the role of nursing education and practice in realizing transformed healthcare in Kazakhstan. However, due to technological advancement and the growing needs of population health at present, the aforementioned task cannot be realized by relying on traditional practice in the clinical setting and prior designs of nursing education (Halstead, 2012). As such, new competencies are required. Accordingly, building capacity in higher education nursing faculty should be prioritized.

Capacity building in nursing higher education and nursing faculty is a vital component in transforming the nursing profession in Kazakhstan, as considered in the ‘Comprehensive Plan of Nursing Care Development in the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2020’ (Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 2015). Through this capacity building, nurses are educated and trained in current 21st century health trends. By elevating nursing knowledge and skills, nurses can fully implement and disseminate best practice in nursing education, the clinical arena, and research. Conversely, assuming immediate results is unrealistic as this multi-year task will be a cycle of constant development through local, national, and international collaboration, partnership, education, training, and research. Nevertheless, it can be accomplished as evidenced by nursing capacity building success stories cited in several countries (Koto-Shimada, Yanagisawa, Boonyanurak, & Fujita, 2016; Rumsey, Catling, Thiessen, & Neill, 2017; Uwizeye et al., 2018). We look forward to adding Kazakhstan to these stories!


Paolo Colet

Nancy L. Stitt

Alma Syzdykova

School of Medicine, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan


Halstead, J. (2012, September 24). Transforming nursing education to meet emerging healthcare needs. Robert Wood Johnson Human Capital Blog. Published 2012. Retrieved from

Koto-Shimada, K., Yanagisawa,. S., Boonyanurak, P., & Fujita, N. (2016). Building the capacity of nursing professionals in Cambodia: Insights from a bridging programme for faculty development. International Journal of Nursing Practice2222-30. doi:10.1111/ijn.12436

Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

(2015). Integrated plan of the nursing care development in the RK for 2020.

Rumsey, M., Catling, C., Thiessen, J., & Neill, A. (2017). Building nursing and midwifery leadership capacity in the Pacific. International Nursing Review64(1), 50-58. doi:10.1111/inr.12274

Uwizeye, G., Mukamana, D., Relf, M., Rosa, W., Kim, M. J., Uwimana, P., & ... Moreland, P. (2018). Building Nursing and Midwifery Capacity Through Rwanda’s Human Resources for Health Program. Journal of Transcultural Nursing29(2), 192-201. doi:10.1177/1043659617705436

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