Aga Khan Development Network

AKU home

Medical College

School of Nursing


Institute for Educational Development

AKU in Pakistan

AKU in Afghanistan

AKU in East Africa

AKU in Middle East

AKU in the United Kingdom

Board of Trustees

AKU website

Other AKDN agencies

Other AKDN focus areas


Aga Khan University School of Nursing

Aga Khan University School of Nursing (AKU-SON) shares the Faculty of Health Sciences goals of delivering high quality care in both hospital and community settings. It also aims to establish new standards and a higher status for the nursing profession in Pakistan.

AKU School of NursingThe Masters programme is broad-based and comprehensive and includes theoretical foundations from nursing, and the natural and behavioural sciences.Masters of Science in Nursing - the First-Ever in Pakistan
AKU-SON started its Masters in Nursing programme in 2001. The first-ever such programme in Pakistan, the Masters programme is broad-based and comprehensive and includes theoretical foundations from nursing, and the natural and behavioural sciences. Participation in a variety of educational experiences that involve research, professional issues and advanced clinical nursing practice are integral to the programme. Health promotion, illness prevention, rehabilitation, and curative care in primary, secondary and tertiary settings are given great emphasis. There is also a focus on the management of patient care and development of leadership skills for promoting high standards of nursing care in both the theoretical and clinical components of coursework.

To become familiar with resources and expertise needed for initiating the MScN programme, AKU-SON developed a three-year linkage with the University of Sheffield, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) Higher Education Link Programme and executed through the British Council, Karachi. The linkage has promoted further expertise of faculty in the areas of graduate programme development, distance education and research.

Advanced Nursing Studies Programme
In response to requests from senior nursing leadership as well as health officials from public and private institutions in East Africa, AKU-SON established an Advanced Nursing Studies programme in the region.

This programme focuses on the development of nursing professionals. It seeks to increase the expertise of nurses in health care delivery at all levels, enhance clinical skills, provide post-basic training in management and teaching, and improve the quality of care throughout the region (Kenya, mainland Tanzania/Zanzibar and Uganda). The Advanced Nursing Studies programme provides continuing and higher education programmes for working nurses through a combination of on site and distance learning strategies using a modular curriculum approach. It also aims to utilise innovative curricular and programme delivery strategies and develop an international level capacity to conduct relevant nursing and health related research.

AKU reached a milestone in July 2002, when it received accreditation instruments in Kenya and Tanzania, enabling the University to implement its academic programmes in these countries.

Degree Programmes, Number of Students Enrolled,
and Geographical Distribution

Year students
first admitted
to date
of residence
Registered Nurse
Diploma Programme
BScN Degree (Post RN)
Generic BScN Degree

Research Activities
Some of the activities undertaken by AKU-SON to promote nursing research include a research forum for the nurses at AKU for capacity building in research. This is done by encouraging and supporting them to conduct research and assisting them through various stages of the research process. The School enjoys close affiliation with Sigma Theta Tau International in order to access human and material research and scholarly resources from the broader professional community.

AKU-SON’s Centre for Nursing Research provides opportunities and assistance for nursing research in Pakistan and the region.

Collaborations and Linkages
McMaster University of Canada has assisted the development of nurse leaders and strengthened the programmes of the School of Nursing. In recent years, Aga Khan University and McMaster have collaborated in a programme for development of women health professionals to enhance the professional skills of nurses and Lady Health Visitors in the public sector of Pakistan.

Return to top