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The nursing profession is the largest single health profession in Fiji. The Ministry of Health understands how important nurses are and each year allocates tens of thousands of dollars to provide continuing nursing education. Although it is a costly investment, it is well worth it because it ameliorates nursing standards and practice, which in turn improves patient satisfaction and safety.
Continuing nursing education is an ideal way for nurses to brush up on their knowledge. However paying for continuing professional development can be a costly investment. This being said, there are other ways to learn new skill and knowledge without spending a dollar.
Devina Gaundan, a Nurse Unit Manager, has taken several free online courses through the World Health Organisation (WHO) funded human resource for health development program, Pacific Open Learning Health Net (POLHN).
“The Fiji Nursing Decree 2011 requires a registered nurse to demonstrate evidence of at least 20 hours of continuous professional development every year in order to continue practicing as a nurse,” said Ms Gaundan.
POLHN provides course completion certificates that registered nurses use as evidence toward meeting the requirements for re-licensure. The online platform provides integrated e-learning topics to equip nurses to deliver a broader range of care.
“WHO recognises constraints linked to the management of a competent nursing workforce, hence through POLHN, offers ongoing study opportunities to improve knowledge and enhance clinical practice,” said Mohammed Aruf Yasin, Technical Officer for Pacific Open Learning Health Net (POLHN).
“The objective behind the establishment of POLHN is to improve the health of all people by closing the skill gap in the health sector through innovative mechanism and collaborative partnerships with universities, institutions and ministries of health in the region, he continues.
“Through POLHN’s support, I was able to complete Master of Health Service Management (HSM) from Fiji National University”, said Ms Gaundan. “I have also managed to publish three of my articles. POLHN has opened many doors for me and I encourage all students to grab this opportunity,” she continued.
POLHN provides and sponsors CPD opportunities in the areas of medicine, nursing, health education and public health. To assist with online learning, POLHN in partnership with Fiji’s Ministry of Health has established 24 internet connected e-learning centres within all the sub-divisional and divisional hospitals in Fiji.
“POLHN remains committed to assisting MOHMS to bridge knowledge gaps by providing a flawless supply of professional development and education opportunities to upskill health workers and improve overall health service delivery,” said Mr Yasin.
Online learning through POLHN has now become a quintessential part of continuing professional development for nurses in the Pacific. To enroll for free or to browse the various opportunities available, visit: https://polhn.org/
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