|Published||May 8, 2022|
|Job Type||Full Time|
Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) is a nonprofit, non-partisan, non-religious medical relief organization, with a mission to provide lifesaving healthcare services and to revitalize health systems for underprivileged Syrian refugees, internally displaced persons, and vulnerable host community members in zones of conflict and displacement. This is done by implementing an integrated model of essential services that emphasizes priority needs, including the delivery of medical education, training, and financial support to physicians and other healthcare workers in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, and Iraq. Along with the provision of healthcare services and medical training, SAMS Foundation also implements mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programs, as well as protection against gender-based violence (GBV).
With support from a donor, SAMS is exploring opportunities to provide advanced quality learning initiatives for a range of mental health cadres in northern Syria. This project will begin with a large-scale assessment of the MHPSS workforce and education needs across Syria, followed by the delivery of accredited master’s degrees and professional diplomas in fields that are most in need of qualified practitioners. Among other cadres, the project is expected to include programming in Psychiatric Nursing. The overall goal of this initiative is to provide local, long-term solutions for reducing barriers to MHPSS services while also providing individuals with improved access to professional education, employment and career advancement in a context where these opportunities have been disrupted.
- Purpose and specifications:
SAMS is currently looking for a specialist in Psychiatric Nursing who can provide technical support on this project. While the geographic scope of this project is northern Syria, a solid understanding of the national framework (including the role of the Nursing Association in Damascus) will be critical. The specialist is expected to contribute to the initial needs assessment, review the proposed nursing curricula, and assist in the project’s midline and end-line evaluations.
Needs Assessment: SAMS will first conduct a scoping study in order to gauge the feasibility of implementing the proposed academic programs in northern Syria. Among other things, this study aims to inform the development of nursing education, address the equivalence of qualifications and portability of skills inside Syria, and identify points of complementarity with other programs as a means of enhancing sustainability and solidifying education partnerships. During this phase, the Psychiatric Nursing Specialist will work to (a) Review relevant training programs throughout Syria - both academic and non-academic; (b) Evaluate the curricula that are currently being used; (c) Work with the consulting firm to identify local standards, regulations, and required qualifications in Psychiatric Nursing; and (d) Produce a strategic guidelines document that outlines suggestions and future directions for education and practice. The study questions are as follows:
- What are the salary expectations, training pathways (e.g., diploma, bachelor, master), and specializations for nurses in Syria?
- Which specializations are not included in the Syrian Ministry of Health organigram? What is the reason? How might the absence of these specializations create a barrier to the portability of skills across regions of Syria?
- What nursing degrees or training programs already exist in northern Syria? How widely accepted are credentials from these programs? What is the quality of these programs? What foundational elements of nursing should be included in a training or education program?
- How well do the existing programs meet the needs of nurses? What are the training imbalances and barriers to progression in the field? What are the motivators and barriers for individuals entering the nursing field? What are the attrition risks in nursing programs?
- What are the existing regulations and standards in nursing, and how are they monitored? What are the best practices from other contexts insofar as promoting nursing leadership, retaining students, and combatting stigma and bias attached to MHPSS services?
- What is the typical workload for nursing? What are the possibilities and challenges of task shifting?
Review of Program Curriculum. After the needs assessment, SAMS will partner with regional universities to develop a culturally and contextually relevant curriculum in Psychiatric Nursing that will be delivered in Arabic. During this phase, the Specialist will work with the university coordinator and instructors to review the curriculum and suggest adaptations as needed.
Midline/End-line Evaluations: After the academic programs have been launched, the Specialist will also contribute to midline and end-line evaluations in order to determine the quality of instruction and adherence to the curricula. During this phase, the Specialist will meet with students enrolled in the Psychiatric Nursing program(s) to assess their opinions, experiences, and progress, and will also with program instructors to discuss any challenges with the course material or supervision process. After the midline evaluation, the Specialist will recommend adaptations that could strengthen the quality of the program, as needed.
- Suggested Timeframe and Deliverables
Review of the nursing field in Syria, including education programs, specialized trainings, career pathways, regulatory mechanisms, and best practices. (The Specialist will work closely with the project team and consultancy firm during the initial scoping study phase)
Inception report summarizing methods for reviewing sources and collecting data
Estimated # of Days
Write a strategic guidelines document that outlines needs and suggestions for development of Psychiatric Nursing training and practice in northern Syria
Strategic guidelines in Psychiatric Nursing, submitted in English
Estimated # of Days
Review the curricula developed by partner universities and suggest any technical, cultural, and contextual adaptations
Convene meeting with SAMS and university coordinators to discuss adaptations
Estimated # of Days
Work closely with SAMS M&E team to complete a technical evaluation of the Psychiatric Nursing program(s) at the project’s midpoint, including meetings with students and instructors to gauge progress and quality of instruction.
Submission of midline evaluation report and recommended adaptations (together with M&E team)
Estimated # of Days
Work closely with SAMS M&E team to complete a technical evaluation of the Psychiatric Nursing program(s) at the project’s endpoint, including meetings with students and instructors to gauge progress and quality of instruction
Submission of end-line evaluation report (together with M&E team)
Estimated # of Days
The Specialist is expected to work closely with the lead consultant for the needs assessment, SAMS MHPSS Specialist, and relevant Programs and Operations staff, who will oversee implementation of the evaluation from the beginning through to completion. All deliverables will be submitted to the MHPSS Specialist.
- Payment Policy
The payment will be delivered in three phases:
First payment after submission of the Psychiatric Nursing guidelines (50%)
Second payment after midline evaluation (25%)
Third payment after end-line evaluation (25%)
- Required Qualifications
Knowledge, skills, and experience:
Advanced background in Psychiatric or Mental Health Nursing
Extensive knowledge of the MHPSS sector and education system in Syria
Fluent in English and Arabic
Highly organized; able to plan, implement and monitor work with attention to detail
Tolerance for operating in an environment characterized by uncertainty and ambiguity
Ability to take initiative within clearly defined parameters
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Adherence to agreed-upon deadlines and SAMS protection policies
- Application Materials
Interested applicants should submit the following in PDF format:
Budget, including the applicant’s daily rate
How to apply
Please send resume, writing sample and budget by email.