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The Top 7 Most Influential Kenyan Nurses

In Kenya, the nursing profession plays a pivotal role in provision of quality  healthcare through research, education, advocacy and general nursing care. It is through such critical roles that the value of this profession can never be underestimated.

In this article, WoK takes a look at the most influential Kenyan nurses who have succeeded in various disciplines ranging from academia, politics and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Mary Nandili

Dr. Mary Nandili [Photo: Patrick Meinhardt: https://www.intrahealth.org/vital/dr-mary-nandili-voice-and-vision-nursing-leadership]
Dr. Mary Nandili holds the topmost nursing  position in Kenya: she is the Director of Nursing Services at the Ministry of Health.

Growing up, she always aspired to be a nurse and started working in a rural dispensary then to a district hospital and also worked at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

I’ve worked in Kenyatta National Hospital. I’ve worked in district hospitals. So I’ve experienced working all through different facilities and levels,” she told Intrahealth.

She has also consulted as a nurse in different countries like Rwanda, Phillipines and Thailand. Additionally, she has provided consultancy services for international bodies such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) on various healthcare concepts.

Dr. Mary Nandili holds a PhD in Public Health and a Masters in Public Health from Kenyatta University. She also has a Bachelor’s of Arts and Sciences in Research and Health from Nairobi University.

Dr. Eunice Ndirangu-Mugo 

Prof. Eunice Ndirangu-Mugo [Photo: Nursing Council of Kenya]
At her mid 40s, she has achieved quite a lot and is a lady who wears many hats. She is the Board Chair of the Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK) and the Dean, Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery.

She is also a board member of One Girl Can Initiative besides being the chair of the Technical Working Group for the National Nursing and Midwifery Policy.

She holds a BSc. in Nursing from University of Eastern Africa, Baraton (UEAB) and did her Advanced Nursing Practice at the University of Nottingham where she also matriculated for her PhD in Nursing Studies.

Dr. Edna Tallam 

She is the current CEO of the Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK) which is the regulatory body of the nursing profession in the country. Through her leadership, she steered the NCK into winning the Statutory Sector Award at the Champions of Governance Awards in 2023.

Dr. Edna Tallam during the Statutory Bodies Sector Award. [Photo: MoH]
Tallam holds a BSc. Nursing from University of East Africa Baraton (UEAB), a Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Kenyatta University and PhD in Nursing Education from the University of Stellenbosch.

Collins Otieno Ajwang

Collins Otieno Ajwang is the president of the National Nursing Association of Kenya (NNAK), an organisation that promotes professional development among nurses. The NNAK has been instrumental in offering training courses such as Basic Life Support (BLS) for nurses.

Anna Qabale Duba

In May 2022, Kenyan nurse, Anna Qabale who hails from the humble village of Torbi in Marsabit won the prestigious Aster Guardian Global Nursing Award in Dubai. This was as a result of her efforts in education advocacy and campaigning against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Anna Qabale Duba is the proverbial pauper to princess. [Photos: Qabale Duba]
This saw her walk away with a whooping USD 250000 (Ksh 36 Million) after emerging victorious in a contest that saw over 24000 nurses across the globe participate. As a sequel to her huge win, Qabale was also feted during the 2022 Mashujaa Day celebrations as a national heroine.

Simiyu Paul 

Photo: Simiyu Paul

Simiyu Paul is the founder of KenyanNurse, a consultancy firm that helps nurses intending to seek greener pastures abroad. It is his entrepreneurial spirit that has made him one of the most popular nurses in Kenya.

KenyanNurse offers various services such as training for English tests (OET & IELTS), curriculum vitae alignment among others.

Read: Simiyu Paul: Meet The Man Securing Jobs For Kenyan Nurses In The UK

Seth Panyako

No nurse has made it to the Kenyan headlines more than Seth Panyako, the Secretary General of the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN).

Seth Panyako [Photo: Citizen Digital]
A graduate of University of Eastern Africa Baraton, Panyako has been at the forefront in campaigning for better working conditions and remuneration for nurses. It is this role that has seen him call for nurses’ strikes, a matter that irks various county and national governments.