INCREASING the number of nurses in the country was among other top priorities that the government has responded positively to in the last five years.
This was revealed by director of nursing Silina Waqa-Ledua at the aamp lighting ceremony to commemorate the birthday of Florence Nightingale at the Labasa Sangam College of Nursing yesterday.
Mrs Waqa-Ledua said nurses made up the largest numbers in terms of human resource in the health sector in Fiji and other parts of the world.
"Nurses play a pivotal role in the overall response to the ever- changing health needs of any given population," she said.
"Increasing our nursing numbers has been the top priority in the last five years which government has responded well to.
"The Ministry of Health's initiative to rationalise and supply the right level of drugs, consumables and other medical supplies to support the delivery of nursing services is also high on agenda. Changes in nursing education to meet the demands of improving nursing practices and support capacity-building have also continued to gain momentum."
Mrs Waqa-Ledua said the paradigm shift towards nursing specialisation had also placed a great pressure on nursing faculties in the quest to develop corresponding specialist nursing qualifications.
"The country's two nursing education providers, The Fiji National University and the Labasa Sangam College of Nursing, have continued to pursue curriculum review and upgrade in both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications.
"The bid to improve nursing academic standards and practice competencies has also seen significant changes.
"We continue to emphasise and solicit greater investment in nursing by securing all opportunities and efforts to provide a conducive, well-resourced work environment that allow nurses to deliver their service with its right-sized well educated workforce."