The Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI): innovations in nursing and midwifery education

Acad Med. 2014 Aug;89(8 Suppl):S24-8. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000342.


The nursing and midwifery workforce is key to improving the performance of the health system overall. Health workforce shortages are significantly influenced by the productive capacity of health professions education institutions. Long-standing underinvestment in preservice nursing and midwifery education severely limits the capacity of institutions to educate nurses and midwives in sufficient numbers, and with the necessary clinical skills, for current and anticipated population health needs. The Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI) was established in 2011 by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in response to key capacity-building challenges facing preservice nursing and midwifery education in Sub-Saharan Africa. NEPI has formed partnerships with governments and key stakeholders in Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, and Zambia and supports 19 nursing and midwifery education institutions and 1 nursing council. NEPI has been informed by activities that strengthen education systems, institutions, and organizations as well as faculty capacity building. Ministry of health-led advisory groups were established to provide strategic direction and oversight for the work, fostering intersectoral dialogue and ensuring country ownership and sustainability. Three illustrative examples of innovations at the system, institution, and workforce levels describe approaches for country ownership, for addressing the shortage of highly qualified faculty, and for remedying the inadequate teaching and learning infrastructure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara
  • Capacity Building
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Education, Nursing / trends*
  • Faculty, Nursing / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*
  • Midwifery / education*
  • Nurses / supply & distribution
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Program Development
  • Schools, Nursing / organization & administration*
  • United States