Fiji Time: 7:31 PM on Wednesday 21 February

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Program to boost skills and competencies of nurses

Luke Rawalai
Tuesday, June 14, 2016

FIJI's first Bachelor of Nursing Bridging Program, launched yesterday at the TISI Sangam College of Nursing in Labasa, is expected to boost the skills and competencies of nurses.

Officiating at the launching yesterday, Minister for Health and Medical Services Jone Usamate said the program would serve registered nurses in Fiji who had practised with a minimum of three years in the field and had completed the diploma in nursing program.

Mr Usamate said the new program would give nurses extra competency that would equip them with the knowledge to excel in their nursing career.

"In line with upgrading the skills and competencies of nurses, the ministry has been looking at developing specialised nurses to address this issue," he said

"There have been problems in the past where nurses spent too much time in the various departments within hospitals.

"We are trying to change the previous practice where nurses were promoted because of administrative positions they took, but rather to base that on developing a career path for them like we have done for doctors."

Mr Usamate said even though Government's policy of reducing the retirement age to 55 years had a lot of advantages, it certainly challenged the ministry in terms of retirements, resignations, and massive migrations among senior nurses.

"We have a lot of our nurses serving in Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and many other places across the globe which shows the calibre of our training and education system," he said.

"However, there is a challenge in terms of skills and competencies and I am glad that this program is in place and it will address some of the problems that we have in these areas."

Meanwhile, college director Eleni Kata said more than 60 nurses had already enrolled for the program and were expected to graduate next year.

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