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Revista Brasileira de Enfermagem

Print version ISSN 0034-7167

Rev. bras. enferm. vol.65 no.3 Brasília May/June 2012 



Expansion of courses/places for Nursing Graduation and the quality of nurse's education process



Josicelia Dumêt Fernandes

Federal University of Bahia, School of Nursing, Studies and Research Group on Nursing Education, Ethics and Practice. Salvador-BA, Brasil. Brazilian Journal of Nursing, Associate Editor, Term 2010-2013. Brasilia-DF, Brazil



The public education policies have evidenced an expressive expansion of higher education, through the increase in the number of teaching institutions and, consequently, of the courses and openings offered by these institutions. This understanding is expressed in the Law of Guidelines and Bases of National Education (LGB) which, in 1996, ensured the quantitative expansion of Higher Education Institutions, through the strategy of the decentralization and increase in courses/openings in the large metropolis. On the other hand, the Brazilian Educational Plan presented a State policy for the decade 2001-2010, establishing, among other goals, an increase in the offer of openings in higher education courses compatible with 30% of youngsters between 18 and 24 years of age. Among the legal provisions after the LGB, emphasis must be made to the Decree 2.306/97, which defined the requirement of indissolubility between teaching, research and extension, only for universities. The remaining teaching institutions would not have the need to dedicate to research, which evidenced a dislocated formation of the perspective of the indissolubility of teaching with research and extension, restricting higher education to the function of teaching, without focusing on quality.

At the same time in which a quantitative expansion of teaching institutions was enabled and an increase in the number of courses/openings, the formation of professionals was favored without the support of research and extension and, consequently, without the stimuli towards the creation of new thinking, towards the construction of new knowledge, as well as the proliferation of courses and institutions, many of which are distant from the idea of a university and with minimum standards of quality.

It should be observed that in accordance with the information from the INEP/MEC, in 2004, the nursing area had 415 schools/courses. This number increased to 838, in 2012, of which 80.19% in private institutions and 46.30% in the southeastern region. This evidences that the expansion occurred, in order of importance, in the private network and in the Southeast. Further, it should be noted that this expansion is occurring in a disarticulated manner with the health practice scenarios, that is to say, with the spaces for learning that involve the production of care, especially in relation to the difficulties of opportunities of practical procedures due to the excessive number of students in these learning spaces that do not seem to have expanded in the same proportion as the institutions/courses/openings, causing an unbalance between the spaces for development of the health/nursing practices and the number of students in these spaces.

The expansion policy of courses/openings in the heal/nursing area, disconnected from the scenarios of practices, could have damaging implications in the accomplishment of an efficient and qualitative learning process, limiting the opportunities for the formation guided towards the healthcare dimensions and relationship of the professionals with their clients, in the construction of a global attention in the scope of the health units.

It is important to point out that the requirement for new nursing professionals is a reality. Nevertheless, at the same time that it is necessary to increase the number of nurses in the country, it is also necessary for these professionals to be prepared within a process of quality, guided towards attending to the multiple and growing socio-sanitary demands. It is not sufficient to recognize the importance of increasing the number of nurses for the market, if these professionals are not prepared within a standard of quality that fulfills the necessary requisites for quality attendance to the health of the population. It does not suffice to grow at any cost, it is important to grow with the guarantee of a criterion of quality and pertinence of the formation. It is necessary to expand, but guaranteeing the standards of quality compatible with the contemporary world and with closer bonds between the worlds of work and of formation.

In view of this reality, ABEn, as it has been doing since its creation, leads a struggle towards the quality of the formation of nursing professionals, involving partnerships, alliances, and discussions in innumerous forums, commissions and events, such as the SENADEn, spaces for discussion and directing propositions for the development of Nursing Education. In this sense, emphasis is given to the construction of the "Movement in defense of quality in the formation of nursing professionals", begun in 2010.

It is necessary that the individuals in the formation process (teaching staff, learning society, nurses and managers of educational and health institutions) commit themselves to this movement, strengthening the struggle towards a formation with quality, based on Curricular Guidelines, in the principles of the SUS (Brazilian Unified Health System) and the social/health requirements of the population.

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