Nickcy Mbuthia


Nickcy Mbuthia

Nickcy Mbuthia, PhD, BScN, was selected to receive the Sigma/Alpha Eta Chapter Research Grant recipient in 2020 for her study Clinical Deterioration Recognition and Response by General Ward Nurses in Coastal Kenya. Currently, Nickcy serves as the Chair of the Department of Nursing Sciences in the School of Health and Human Sciences at Pwani University in Kilifi, Kenya.

Why did you become a nurse?

The funny thing is I did not choose to be a nurse—nursing chose me! I had a different career plan. However, with the way the education system is in Kenya, I was selected to join the BScN program at the university. I planned to change to something different after I got my practice license, but all this changed when I started working in an ICU after my internship at one of the major hospitals in Kenya, and I fell in love with nursing. I have never looked back.

What inspired you to join Sigma?

Sigma provides an opportunity for international networking. Nursing is a global profession, and it is crucial for me to extend my networks outside my region, and I get this with Sigma. Beyond that, Sigma also supports my career growth in education, research, and leadership by providing resources that I would otherwise not have available.

What do you enjoy most about what you are doing professionally today?

I am an educator, researcher, and leader, and each gives me a different kind of joy. As an educator, one of my joys is transmitting my knowledge and experiences to my students and seeing them grow to love nursing. I feel great pleasure when the students return after graduation and tell me that I made an impact on them. As a researcher, I delight in seeing a project I envisioned coming to fruition, collaborating with others, and being in the field. Being a leader is one of the most challenging things in my life but being able to inspire and lead others brings me great joy.

What led you to focus your research study  on nurses caring for acutely ill patients in the general wards?

My research interests are in critical care nursing and patient safety and the role of the nurse. I have worked as a clinical nurse in an ICU, and I am an educator in medical surgical nursing. In  low-resource settings, there is a limitation on the availability of critical care services, therefore most acutely ill patients are cared for in the general ward. This study shall help us understand the challenges of the nurses’ experiences and the issues surrounding recognition and response to clinical deterioration.

Do you have plans to expand this study based on your findings?

Yes, I do. First, I would like to expand the study to a larger setting (the current study is based on the Kenyan coastal region only). Secondly, based on the findings, I would be interested in developing an interventional study, possibly to test some patient safety interventions and evaluate their impact.

 Is there anything else you’d like to share about your study?

I am grateful and humbled to receive the funding for my first project after my PhD (I completed in 2018) from Sigma. As an early career researcher, this funding will greatly support the project and grow my research career.

Funds for this grant were provided by Alpha Eta Chapter in collaboration with the Sigma Foundation for Nursing. Donate today to make more of these grants possible.