Compliance of state registered nurses to nursing standards during practice in tertiary facilities in Malawi


The aim of this study was to describe the quality of practice offered by nurses to patients who underwent surgical incision into the abdomen (post-laparotomy) at tertiary hospitals (Kamuzu, Mzuzu, Queen Elizabeth and Zomba) in Malawi. The study design was descriptively cross sectional and utilized a quantitative data collection and analysis method. All available 48 registered nurses in the surgical ward of four central hospitals and 100 patients that were admitted in the ward during the time of study were recruited. A 3-point scale rating consisting of compliance (C = 1), partial compliance (C < 1.0-0.5) and non compliance (C < 0.5-0.0) was used to describe the nurse midwives compliance with the process standards of care. Results show that nurses in all the 4 central hospitals partially complied with assessment and planning standards. During assessment, the nurses assessed the physical aspects of care but did not assess the psychological, spiritual and cultural aspects of care. At planning the nurses assigned and delegated tasks based on the knowledge and skills of the provider selected but did not comply with factors related to safety, effectiveness and cost of care. All the facilities fully complied with implementation standard because they implemented care in a safe and appropriate manner and communicated with patients/ significant others and other health care providers. However, regarding systematic and ongoing evaluation of patients’ condition only Mzuzu Central hospital partially complied while the rest of the facilities were not compliant. All the facilities did not comply with documentation standard of care because the patient records were not legible and did not precisely depict comprehensiveness of care nor bore signatures of the implementers of the care. Results are discussed by relating the level of compliance to standards and the quality of patient care. 

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Lengu, E. , Gundo, R. , Maluwa, A. and Mbirimtengerenji, N. (2013) Compliance of state registered nurses to nursing standards during practice in tertiary facilities in Malawi. Open Journal of Nursing, 3, 395-399. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2013.35053.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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