POLHN is proud to announce a new partnership with James Cook University, Australia (JCU). The WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing & Midwifery Education and Research Capacity Building at JCU Cairns will be teaming up with POLHN to review and draft the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) nursing standards.
The overall aim of this project is to improve the quality of nursing services in Pacific Island Countries. This will involve conducting deep research and to develop fit-for-purpose standards of practice for different levels of nursing professionals, guidelines for competence assessment and a framework for the registration of new graduates and return to practice of overseas graduates.
By working alongside the WHO Division of Pacific Technical Support (DPS), the efforts of these regulatory and ministerial bodies in country help to develop the relevant policies. This not only ensures that the professional workforce meets population needs and protects the public, but contributes to healthcare that is of a sustained high quality.
The importance of standards in nursing and midwifery
Following the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2011, the World Health Organisation (WHO) commissioned a Progress Report on Nursing and Midwifery (2013). This highlighted the importance of nursing and midwifery services in achieving the universal health coverage.
The document underlined key practical steps that are required to strengthen the nursing and midwifery services based on current best practices globally:
1) primary health care and people-centred care;
2) policy and practice development;
3) education and career development;
4) workforce management;
5) partnerships; and
6) monitoring and evaluation.
In the Pacific region, nurses represent the largest group of health care workers, making up over 50% of a country’s health workforce. The quality of healthcare delivery is directly dependent upon the adequate supply of appropriately qualified nursing and midwifery personnel. Crucial to this success is ensuring the availability of current, clearly defined standards of practice, guidelines for competence assessment and a framework for registration.
The potential benefits of this activity include:
- Realignment of nursing education, competencies and skills to optimise workforce performance in a redesigned health care system;
- Demonstration of evidence-based core competencies to deliver safe client care in response to changing healthcare needs and advancement in technology;
- Controlling the registration eligibility of individuals who have undertaken and graduated with nursing from an institution within the country of practice;
- Regulating the eligibility for registration of individuals who have undertaken and graduated in nursing from an institution outside thire country of practice;
- Foundation of criteria for nurses who wish to return to practice after a period of absence; and
- Establishment of the criteria for registration nurses awaiting disciplinary action or competency breach.
The JCU project team includes: Associate Professor Caryn West (Director), Professor Melanie Birks, Professor Cate Nagle, Associate Professor David Lindsay, Ms Andrea Grimes and Mr Christopher Rouen. Together they bring a wealth of experience in regulatory design and review and a long and successful track record working with Pacific Island partners and the WHO.
POLHN Technical Officer Mohammed Aruf Yasin and WHO country liaison officer for FSM, Palau and the Marshall Islands Dr Eunyoung Ko will be overseeing, monitoring and facilitating the roll-out of this activity. It will kick-off in September with the health partners meeting in FSM. The revised standards will reflect current, relevant, useful and contemporary nursing practices.