Are Community Health Workers (CHEWs) Also Nurses? -

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Are Community Health Workers (CHEWs) Also Nurses?

When a prospective admission Seeker asked me this question, I suspected where the confusion s coming from.

The poor lady has been led to believe that if the school of nursing admission was becoming unachievable, she should consider a college of health instead in order to study CHEW - Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWs).

Similarly, some students after trying to chase health-related courses such as Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, etc. could be convinced that college health admission can be easier. Hence, going for CHEW can be the best of all their courses.

With this recommendation, those who truly are after the nursing profession are skeptical about their future. Are going to become a nurse after CHEW? Are graduates of CHEW also qualified to be nurses?

Well, in this post, I will be giving a candid opinion on whether CHEWs are truly nurses.

Though CHEW and Nurses' Works Overlap, They're Not The Same

Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWs) are healthcare professionals who provide primary healthcare services, health education, and preventive care within their communities.

While they may have overlapping roles with nurses in certain aspects of healthcare delivery, CHEWs, and nurses are not the same.

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The Level of Education Exposure Set Them Apart

Nursing is a distinct profession with specific educational requirements and a broader scope of practice. Nurses typically undergo formal education and training to obtain a nursing degree (BSN) Higher National Diploma (HNDn) or Registered Nursing (RN).

Nurses undergo formal training and education, typically in nursing schools or programs, where they acquire a comprehensive understanding of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and patient care techniques.

They are trained to provide direct patient care, administer medications, conduct assessments, and perform various medical procedures.

They are licensed healthcare professionals who provide a wide range of healthcare services, including patient care, medication administration, health assessment, and treatment planning.

On the other hand, Community Health Extension Workers (CHEW) receive specific training in community health and primary healthcare. Their training focuses on delivering healthcare services at the community level, often in rural or underserved areas.

Their training usually focuses on primary healthcare services, health promotion, disease prevention, and community outreach. CHEWs often work in underserved areas, bridging the gap between communities and healthcare facilities.

While they may perform some nursing tasks, their scope of practice usually does not encompass the full range of nursing responsibilities.


It's important to note that the terminology and roles of healthcare professionals may vary across different countries and healthcare systems. The specific qualifications and responsibilities of CHEWs and nurses can differ based on the context and jurisdiction in which they practice.

While CHEWs may share certain responsibilities with nurses, such as health education and basic patient care, their training and scope of practice are not equivalent to that of registered nurses. Nurses have a more extensive knowledge base and are qualified to perform a wider range of clinical tasks and interventions.

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