Nurse-patient ratio improves

WITH the increase in nursing recruitment, the current ratio of 36 to 38 nurses per 10,000 population is a significant achievement for Fiji, says Health Ministry chief nursing and midwifery officer Silina Waqa.

Ms Waqa said before the ratio was only 22 nurses per 10,000 population, with the ratio improving significantly.

During the recent fourth annual national nursing scientific symposium, Ms Waqa said nursing specialisation was a key strategy to enhance the workforce in Fiji.

“This symposium is a great opportunity to equip our nurses with information and knowledge about nursing specialisation from a broader perspective. We have experts who will be speaking on their various areas of nursing specialisation, be it intensive care, pediatric, accident and emergency midwifery and advance practice of a particular specialisation,” Ms Waqa said.

“We will also look at strategies to develop competency and criteria of recognition and qualification associated with nursing specialisation. One of the areas we will be focusing on is customer care service.”

She said nursing was a profession that continuously evolved and as such, they needed to respond to the population’s health needs through continued education and professional development.

Currently, there were 3360 nurses in Fiji and Mrs Waqa said she was proud that Fiji had made significant achievements in terms of improving the nurse to population ratio.

“With nursing specialisation we are also looking at workforce development and Fiji is progressing in that direction,” she said.

“It is also about nurses having soft skills, customer care, being compassionate and passionate about the role and with that we would conquer half of the battle.”