This article is adapted from "Nicaragua National Tour", which appeared in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44 (Suppl. 1).
In Nicaragua the first school of psychology was founded in 1969 at the Universidad Nacional de Nicaragua and also at the Catholic University. At first, psychologists had very little opportunity and a few of them started to work in government institutions; others went abroad to continue post-graduate studies, and others stayed teaching at the school. Up to the revolution the professional development of psychologists was very limited, mainly toward counseling, psychodiagnostics, and personnel. Although substantial advances have not been achieved, some foundations have been established for the development of a higher scientific level through short courses, exchange of experiences with psychologists of other countries, and scholarships for graduate studies abroad. In 1983 the membership of professional psychologists was 550 with a distribution in major fields as follows: 12% health (community, clinic), 15% education (special education, counseling, pre-school, adult education), 15% organizational, 10 % training programs, 12 % social programs, 8% private institutions, 10% political organizations, 10% academic teachers, and 8% various.
Research in psychology has had very little development in Nicaragua due mainly to the economic underdevelopment of the country, which is clearly reflected in the lack of graduate studies within the country. Presently, the permanent aggression does not allow advancement in this area; however, some research is being conducted in several government programs such as health, education, organizational and also in the school of psychology.
In Nicaragua only a bachelor's degree can be obtained. Graduate studies and doctorates have to be obtained abroad. Presently there is demand for psychologists in government and private institutions. A few psychologists are in private practice. Currently there are no unemployed psychologists.
Academic studies take five years and after six months of social service and the presentation of a research paper a diploma is issued that permits the psychologist to work after registering it.