AAU School of Nursing and Midwifery

By |

Addis Ababa University AAU School of Nursing and Midwifery

AAU School of Nursing and Midwifery – Check Below:



The School of Nursing and Midwifery  comprises two academic departments, namely, the Department of Nursing and Midwifery (formerly the Centralized School of Nursing) and the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences (formerly the School of Laboratory Technology). Until May 2012, they were managed by the Faculty of Medicine (currently, the School of Medicine).  These two schools were brought together as two departments to be managed under one School – the School of Nursing and Midwifery of the College of Health Sciences (CHS) following the recent structural reform of Addis Ababa University. A Dean was appointed to the SAHS in June 2012 and it started functioning fully since then.

Historical Development of Nursing Education in Ethiopia

Certain sources indicate that the first Ethiopian nurses were trained abroad in 1944. Nursing training in Ethiopia began in 1949 in Addis Ababa by the Red Cross Society at the then Haile-Selassie I Hospital (currently Yekatit 12 Hospital), which produced  the first graduates in 1953. Later, other schools of nursing in Addis Ababa: Empress Zewditu Memorial, Princess Tsehay Memorial (Armed Forces), Duke of Harar (Tikur Anbessa), St Paul’s School of Nursing were established in 1950, 1951, 1969 and 1970, respectively. Nursing was the first regularly schooled medical profession in Ethiopia. At the beginning, nurses were recruited from grade eight and graduated after three and a half years of training. This was later changed to entry level of 11th grade and with training period of two and a half years. Since 1977, nursing training curriculum was modified to include additional courses in midwifery, public health nursing and medical care with nurses graduating since then expected to function in these capacities as well.
The Centralized School of Nursing (CSN) was established in 1977 by amalgamating the Princess Tsehay Memorial, Duke of Harar, St Paul’s School of Nursing and Empress Zewditu Memorial School of Nursing. The intention of the centralization was to optimize utilization of resources, increase the number of trainees, and to standardize and maintain the uniformity of training. The Princess Tsehay Memorial School of Nursing was separated from the Centralized School of Nursing to be managed by the Medical Department of the Ministry of Defense since 1985. Hence, the current Centralized School of Nursing is comprised of only the three Schools: Tikur Anbessa, St Paul’s, and Empress Zewditu Memorial Schools of Nursing, which were named after the hospitals where they are hosted.
Starting from its establishment till 1990, the Centralized School of Nursing remained under the management of the Ministry of Health. From 1991 till its affiliation to the Addis Ababa University, in September 1998, Addis Ababa City Government Health Bureau had managed the Centralized School of Nursing.
The Centralized School of Nursing has been tremendously working to catch up with the fast moving development of nursing science and to take part in such progress. To realize this, the School started the undergraduate degree education program in nursing. The main aim of this program is to meet the observed need of the society and the stakeholders demand for professional nurses trained at degree level through upgrading the existing education and research programs of the School. The culminating effect will be the improvement of the quality and coverage of nursing services in the country. Strengthening the undergraduate Baccalaureate program, the School also launched Master of Science (MSc) Program in Nursing since 2006/07 in order to fulfill the human capacity of the country consistent with the need of the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia. In line with this, the Department is planning to start PhD-level training in the coming year.

Historical Development of Midwifery Education in Ethiopia

From its beginning until the present day midwifery training in Ethiopia has been closely associated with nursing training. Even today, it can be said that midwifery training and practice has yet to achieve an independent status from nursing as can be seen from the training programs/curricula and practice admixture between the two professions in the country. According to the Health Manpower Study of the Ministry of Health in 1980, there were 1514 nurses in Ethiopia out of which 495 (33%) were specialized nurses. The largest nursing specialty then was midwifery, accounting for 294 midwives at the time. This makes the nursing-midwifery model of training to be the first midwifery training model for Ethiopia. This training consisted of graduation as a nurse after three years of training to be followed by a further six months to one year of training in midwifery. The first such trained three midwives graduated in 1953.
Later, midwives were mainly trained in Asmara Nursing School, for one year after completing the nursing course and at Gondar Public Health College as post-basic midwifery training for nurses with work experience. The training was discontinued for about 10 years, until the Addis Ababa Midwifery School was established.
The first Midwifery School, which provided full-fledged midwifery training, was opened at Addis Ababa as a post basic training program by the Ministry of Health along with material and financial support of Radda Barnen in the former house of Ras Emiru. Additional midwifery schools were opened at Gondar, Harar and Awasa respectively, in later times. The Addis Ababa Midwifery School joined Addis Ababa University in 1998 and merged with the Centralized School of Nursing in 2005. Since then the Centralized School of Nursing is shouldering the responsibility for the management of the midwifery program.
The first two groups of students in the former Addis Ababa Midwifery School were senior Nurses who had worked for more than five years in labor and delivery.  For them tailored program of 6-8 months training was designed taking three months credit for long time service they had in the labor ward. When the tailored program phased out the curriculum was revised and replaced by a one-year training program. The requirements to join this training were a diploma in Nursing with a minimum of two years’ service and passing the entrance examination. The School continued to train Nurse-Midwives till 1996 and had graduated 320 Nurse Midwives.
In 1996 G.C, based on the health policy of the Government of Ethiopia, a new curriculum was designed by the Ministry of Health. Then the former Addis Ababa Midwifery School started to train generic midwives for two years. In this program, since the students were not nurses and had no background in nursing, they were obliged to take general education courses, supportive courses and major courses. These situations gave less emphasis to the major course both in theory and practice within the given time frame.  This, in turn, had great impact on the profession’s service quality.  Nevertheless, this diploma program was phased out of the Addis Ababa University programs in 2004. Until 2004, the Addis Ababa Midwifery School had trained 320 Nurse-Midwives and 434 Midwives at a diploma level.
After the merger of the Addis Ababa Midwifery School with the Addis Ababa University to be managed by the Centralized School of Nursing in 2005, the latter embarked on providing midwifery education at the Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree level. The School graduated 53 midwives with the Bachelor of Science degree in the academic year 2007 and continued running the program by accepting more students.
The Department of Nursing and Midwifery is currently located on four campuses of Addis Ababa University, namely: Tikur Anbessa Specialized Referral and Teaching Hospital campus (head office), Saint Paul’s Specialized Hospital campus, Zewditu Memorial Hospital campus and Sefere Selam campus.

Historical Development of Medical Laboratory Sciences Education in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, the training program in Medical Laboratory Technology/Sciences began in 1954, at the then Institute de Pasteur, currently named as the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI). It is the first training center to offer Medical Laboratory Technology education in the country.
After passing through different phases of maturation, this training center was entrusted to the Ministry of Health and later to the Ministry of Education to become an independent School. Since its establishment, it has been considered a center of excellence for other universities in the country.
Over the years, the Department has trained many laboratory personnel through various levels of study programs like diploma (2-3 years of training, medical laboratory technician) and BSc degree (4 years, medical laboratory technologist). These graduates have been serving at various capacities throughout the country as academic staff at public and private higher institutions, sales agents and application specialists and providing services at public and private health institutions.
Due to the rapid growth of the country’s population, now estimated to be more than 80 million, and the increased life expectancy of people living with HIV, the need to monitor the efficacy of drugs and the need for population based research on different chronic diseases, the demand for advanced and qualified laboratory professionals in clinical services and research centers has increased significantly. In 2009, to fill the gap, the Department  launched a graduate program in clinical laboratory sciences (Master of Science Degree) on four specialty units/programs; Clinical Chemistry, Hematology & Immunohematology, Diagnostic & Public Health Microbiology, and Laboratory Management & Quality assurance.
The Department of Medical Laboratory is located on the Gullelle Road near St. Paul’s Hospital in the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI) compound.


The SAHS envisages to be a regional center of excellence in biomedical training, research and health services and to become a hub and build a mutually and beneficial inter-institution partnerships.

Mission of the SAHS

The missions of the  School of Nursing and Midwifery are:

  • To train competent nurses and midwives who have the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to address societal health problems through health promotion as well as preventive, curative and rehabilitative services; and
  • To produce laboratory professionals and clinical laboratory scientists who are equipped with basic and advanced diagnostic techniques, who after successfully completing their training, would be able to teach effectively in higher institutions, undertake problem-oriented research, and manage health service laboratories, thereby, promoting the innovation and utilization of new assays for diagnosis, monitoring and prevention of diseases.

Plans of the SAHS

The SAHS has plans

  • To open a new PhD program in Nursing (in various disciplines)
  • To open a new MSc program in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nursing (Intake = 10)
  • To open a new MSc program in Community Health Nursing (Intake = 10)
  • To open a new MSc program  in Nursing Management (Intake = 10)
  • To open a new MSc program in Cytotechnology (Intake=12)
  • To open a new MSc program in Public Health Laboratory and Emergency Management (Intake=15)
  • To open a new PhD program in Clinical Laboratory Sciences (in various disciplines).

Current Dean: Tekebash Araya (MPH, PhD)
See Also:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *