Global Health & Medicine 2023;5(4):249-254.
International cooperation for nursing human resource development in Lao PDR: Investing in nursing leadership
Koto-Shimada K, Miyazaki K, Inthapanith P, Phanpaseuth S, Sisoulath A, Nagatani S, Kikuchi S, Tamura T, Fujita N
Strengthening nursing leadership in health systems has been identified as a priority for achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). We aimed to analyse the characteristics of Japanese technical assistance projects for nursing human resource development in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and suggest directions for future assistance. An upgrading program, as part of human resource development, was initiated in the 1990s; it has contributed to the development of nursing leaders. Moreover, technical assistance from development partners has had synergistic effects by consistently promoting the involvement of nursing leaders in administration, education, and clinical practice to establish a functional regulatory system. In resource-limited settings, the application of both edge-pulling (leadership development) and bottom-up (quality improvement of the mass population) strategies are required. From a long-term perspective, development partners should continue to invest in increasing the number and quality of nursing leaders by upgrading the courses and leadership training programs, starting from the younger generation.