Nursing Science Referent, MSF Academy for Healthcare (m/v/x)

Omschrijving van de vacature

Voor deze functie is een goede kennis van het Engels vereist. De functiebeschrijving wordt daarom enkel in het Engels gepubliceerd.


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides assistance in more than 60 countries to populations in distress, to victims of natural or manmade disasters and to victims of armed conflicts, without discrimination and irrespective of origin, religion, creed or political affiliation. To develop this work, the MSF Academy for Healthcare is looking for a: Nursing Science Referent (m/f/x)


The MSF Academy for Healthcare is an initiative that has been created with the aim to increase the quality of healthcare provided by our staff to the patients we assist in the missions. The MSF Academy has a growing portfolio of projects addressing specific learning objectives of different categories of healthcare staff in MSF. All these projects are chosen in line with overall MSF operational and medical priorities.

A large focus is on MSF’s national staff, especially in the countries with the largest gaps in human resources for health (HRH) capacity. Presently, a lot of effort goes to nursing staff of MSF hospitals in Africa. More recently we added skills in out-patient departments as a new program. The MSF Academy develops adapted curricula and invests a great deal in clinical mentorship in the wards. Presently the nursing training programme has projects in CAR, South Sudan and Sierra Leone and it is planned to be expanded to other countries in the coming years. We hope to install a much stronger learning culture within the MSF operations. Beyond MSF projects, the Academy connects also to health authorities to work on accreditation of its learning and punctual support to governmental programs.

The MSF Academy works also on two projects to develop longer term, academic courses. The first is a Post-Graduate Diploma in Infectious diseases (called “PGDip ID”), the other a two-year course on Medical Humanitarian Action (MHA) for medical managers in the organisation. These courses are developed in collaboration with existing universities. Finally, there are also a couple of scholarship programs that send MSF staff to high quality schools in Africa, either to become certified nurses or specialist nurses in anaesthesia-reanimation. The portfolio of the MSF Academy is planned to develop further, so new projects can be added in the coming years.

The MSF Academy aims to maintain the same overall educational approach in all its projects: competency-based learning; as much as possible on-the-job training with the presence of strong tutors or clinical mentors; and seeking to achieve appropriate accreditation for all trainings, often in collaboration with partner teaching institutes.

More information on the MSF Academy and its activities can be found on .

Gewenst profiel

The portfolio of project of the MSF Academy is growing, and projects are increasing in scope and complexity. Also, the 2 larger diploma courses (PGDip ID and MHA) are reaching the stage of detailed development and later on the deployment.

For this reason, the workload of the overall team has increased, and we recognise the need to reinforce the capacity of the ‘global team’ of the MSF Academy.

Overall, the main tasks of the Global team can be divided in 4 categories:

  • Leadership and project initiation.
  • Project management of existing projects.
  • Administrative follow up and support of existing projects or the overall structure.
  • Technical expertise, guidance and support for the different programs (nursing, learning, curriculum development, mentorship, etc.).

It was a choice to invest strongly in a technical team. Otherwise, as a relatively small team, all members agree to join in the all 3 first tasks.

The Nursing programme constitutes the biggest pillar of the MSF Academy portfolio, and will continue to in the coming years. At present, we are currently active on a few fronts:

  • Creation of various learning programmes, such as the basic nursing care curriculum (called “BCNC” composed of40 learning units), the nursing OT and the midwifery modules, and relevant learning tools, to be recognised by all 5 OCs.
  • Adapt the BCNC module’s content into e-learning, to be uploaded onto Tembo, the MSF e-learning platform.
  • Implementing BCNC learning activities in various mission countries, with teams based in the field. Today we have started the programme with nursing staff working, whether MSF or MOH contracted, in hospitals in.
    • Sierre Leone: OCB’s Kenema project.
    • Central African Republic (CAR): more specifically in Carnot and Paoua for OCP, in Bossangoa and Bambari for OCA, in Kabo for OCBA and Bangassou for OCB.
    • South Sudan: in Agok for OCG.
    • For 2021, the programme will be expanded to other projects in both CAR and South Sudan, and we intend to start activities in project in DRC and potentially in the Sahel.

The current Nursing Science referent has decided to take a professional break. We are therefore looking to replace her in this position. The number one emphasis of this replacement will first be put on the implementation of the programmes in the field, also supporting and guiding our teams there.

Position within the organisation: While the Nursing Science Referent responds to the Deputy Director of the MSF Academy.


In order of prioritisation:

  • Garant of the quality of the implementation of the learning strategy for the Nursing programme.
  • Provide technical guidance and support the field teams in the daily implementation of the activities in the field, and make sure that the theoretical and practical learnings are always coupled with bedside clinical mentoring, seeing that this is the determinant element to ensure application of learnings and improvement of the quality of care. In general, but most specifically for clinical mentoring, we need to support the teams to identify creative solution to identify the best approach.
  • Responsible for the follow-up and analysis of the nursing field activities, together with the pedagogical manager, the project manager and the pedagocial referent of the global team.
  • Assists the project managers in defining and designing the right strategy and starting new projects in 2021.
  • Coordinate vision, strategy and content on nursing with the Nursing Contact groups and other intersectional groups as required.
  • Active guidance and if possible contribution to the development of the content and learning tools for the various modules currently in the pipe.
  • Responsible to develop a professional network in the field of nursing for the MSF Academy.
  • As the MSF Academy is a small team, participate and contribute to various team tasks and bring support to colleagues when needed.


Required qualifications and experiences :

  • At minimum an A1 bachelor’s level in nursing sciences.
  • Proven experience of minimum 5 years practicing nursing techniques, and 2 years as a nurse supervisor, preferably with previous MSF field experience.
  • Proven experience in hands-on clinical mentorship / preceptorship.
  • Experience of working in an African context.
  • Proficiency in English and French.
  • A sound experience in the field of learning or curriculum development is a plus.
  • Available for frequent field visits potentially lasting over 3 weeks; approximately 4 months of field-presence per year

Personal characteristics/interpersonal skills :

  • Excellent communication skills, eager to transmit in an intercultural environment.
  • Ability to work autonomously.
  • Very organised and solution-oriented.
  • Being pragmatic is a must.
  • Adherence to MSF principles and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust, Empowerment.
  • Adherence to the MSF Behavioural Commitments.
Ons aanbod


  • Contract type: open-ended – full-time – Location: Brussels or Abidjan
  • Hospital insurance (DKV) - Pension plan - 100% reimbursement for public transportation costs
  • Starting date: From November 2020

Deadline for applications: 12/11/2020

CV + cover letter to be sent to mentioning “Nursing Science Referent, MSF Academy” in the title.

Please name your application documents with your LAST NAME. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

The protection of your personal data is important to MSF. By submitting your application, you consent to MSF using your personal data. For more information, consult our privacy notice to job applicants.



Online sinds 28 oktober 2020
Indiensttreding: November 2020
Jongeren hand inhand © Sumy Sadurni

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