The Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi (NMCM) has engaged in significant efforts to reform nursing and midwifery pre-service education in Malawi. To that end NMCM decided to revise and strengthen existing syllabi and curricula for nurse midwifery cadres, starting with the nurse midwife technician (NMT). In an attempt to make evidence-based decisions for syllabus revision, NMCM conducted a task analysis to assess how prepared NMTs were to perform tasks in their daily jobs. NMCM used the activity to identify curricular gaps and key NMT tasks. In the task analysis, quantitative and qualitative methods identified NMTs’ perceptions of tasks required for daily practice, competency to perform such tasks, factors influencing quality of care, and pre-service programmatic gaps. NMCM collected data from 48 NMTs randomly selected from a weighted sample of NMTs from all districts in the country. The most frequently performed tasks (≥ 50%) were found to be in infectious diseases and midwifery. NMTs felt inadequately prepared to handle human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases, obstetric complications, and certain family planning methods. Findings also identified gaps in clinical training and faculty supervision of students. The task analysis provided a robust approach to curriculum revision through identifying key content gaps. Other countries might consider adopting this approach to improving the content and relevancy of nursing and midwifery syllabi and curricula.
Key words: Task analysis, curriculum revision, nursing and midwifery education.
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