The government has launched a Pearson Virtual University Enterprise (VUE) Test Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.
Pearson VUE Test Centre is an assessment provider that is in charge of the administration of the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) crucial test for nursing licensure across the USA, Canada, and Australia.
Speaking during the event Prime Cabinet Secretary (PCS) and CS for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Musalia Mudavadi said the move will enable Kenyan nurses meet the requirements of securing international jobs, where the demand for nursing skills is ever rising.
“This is a significant milestone not just for Kenya but also for our partners in East African Community and beyond, and now Kenya is the second in Africa, after South Africa, in certifying and licensing of nursing professionals,” Mudavadi stated.
The Centre will oversee administration of the NCLEX-RN exams, offering a significant solution for Kenyan nurses who previously had to take the exams in South Africa or India.
“We have 2,000 nursing professionals who have taken these exams recently and are now awaiting interviews for job placements abroad.” said Mudavadi.
Mudavadi lauded stakeholders and partners who have made the initiative a reality in the country, saying Kenyan nurses will now be able to explore key opportunities abroad and some will bring back the knowledge and expertise to support the local health sector.
“Now, the Pearson footprint here offers us a great opportunity to rapidly scale up the licensing and certification of our nurses well beyond these numbers.
We can considerably increase the number of nurses taking these exams, particularly if we align the Pearson test process with our nursing training curriculum.” he added.
Collaboration with Stakeholders
He said his office will work closely with the Ministry of Health, technical and professional institutions in the nursing ecosystem to deepen its engagement with Pearson International, to ensure that the country maximizes the benefits of their presence here.
“We will also work closely with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection to expand opportunities for Kenyans working abroad. This will contribute significantly to our strategy for coordinated labour migration.
Further, it will foster collaboration and knowledge exchange among healthcare professionals, and ultimately enhance the employment prospects abroad for skilled Kenyans in the global healthcare sector,” said Mudavadi.
Kenya Targeting Diaspora Jobs
Mudavadi said the move will be replicated in other sectors of the economy arguing that the country will attract more diaspora remittances when more Kenyans are engaged abroad.
The PCS explained that this will also help create job opportunities in the country.
“Let us all support initiatives that will target the use of diaspora investments, knowledge and skills to enhance shared prosperity among all Kenyans,” said Mudavadi.
He noted it was paramount for key relationships with the diaspora community and host countries to be harnessed, nurtured, developed, protected, and defended at all levels.
Further, Mudavadi said government is ready to empower locals to share their knowledge and skills abroad in line with the governments’ Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BeTA).