Nurse using her experience to bridge nursing shortage through training

Veronica Mumira

Auscare International College Proprietor Veronica Mumira shows one of the classrooms for practicals at the institute in Nyali, Mombasa County on October 16, 2022.

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi | Nation Media Group

After living in Australia for more than 21 years, Veronica Mumira, a nurse and midwife with over 17 years’ of experience, is back home to share the knowledge and experience she has gathered over the years.

She is the owner of Auscare Group in Perth, Australia, and Auscare International College located along Nyali Links Road in Mombasa. The institution provides Australian standard education in Kenya, specialising in healthcare and community service. Veronica says she introduced the programme in the country to bridge the gap that exists in the health and community sector.

“There is a global shortage of skilled professionals to support nurses and people with special needs not only in Kenya but also in the West,” she says.

She adds that in Europe, there is demand for such professionals, a factor that motivated her to establish the college in Kenya to transfer the skills to Kenyans who would wish to take up the opportunities.

“We have a lot of injury cases in the health care system daily, and the nurses are overwhelmed, we need professionals to assist them,” she says.

Starting up the agency in Australia was not easy.

“Compliance was the biggest challenge we faced, but once we got the necessary documentation, we got approval and certificate to operate,” she explains, adding that there was also a shortage of staff, that while she had a business, she had no qualified staff to deploy to the various sectors. She, however, managed to overcome this challenge with time.

Veronica left Kenya to study in Australia when she was 20, graduating from The University of Notre Dame with a Bachelors of Nursing.

After graduation, she was employed by the department of health at Bentley Hospital. She then obtained a postgraduate degree in Midwifery at Curtin University. She has been practising midwifery for many years, and while at it, she discovered there was the need for professional staff to help care for patients in hospitals and outside health facilities.

“I saw an opportunity, that is how the staffing agency was born. I intend to convert the college into a fully-fledged training institution offering training courses for health care practitioners,” she says of her vision.

The training will equip the students with skills in tasks such as handling equipment used in hospitals to lift patients, repositioning patients and lifting them from bed to wheelchair.

“My aim is to transfer the skills which they are lacking. From my experience working in the health sector, I have observed there is a need to have professionals with skills that enable them to handle patients, the disabled and the elderly,” she says, pointing out that the students who train at her institution would be taking care of the elderly, the disabled and drug addicts.

A certificate course takes at least six months, after which one enrols for a diploma course in Australia and a chance of getting a job in Europe.

The courses on offer at the college include Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community.) A student who completes and does well in this course can pursue a career in the field of aged care and community, with the opportunity to work across a variety of settings with a hands-on approach within a community, residential or home environment.

The college also offers a diploma in Community Services, whose qualifications reflect the roles of community services, case management and social housing workers involved in the managing, coordinating and or delivering of person-centred services to individuals, groups and communities. To achieve this qualification, Veronica says the candidate must have completed a minimum of 160 hours of work as detailed in the assessment requirements of units of competency.

The college is registered with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority and the Australian Skills Quality Authority.

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