127 newly Registered Nurses (RN) who have completed three years of studies and 12 months Nurses Supervised Practice program since March 2020 had graduated on Thursday at the Holy Cross Cathedral.
The graduation ceremony was attended by Ministry of Health & Medical Services (MHMS) Officials, Solomon Islands Nursing Council reps, and the parents and friends of the new graduates.
In his keynote address, the MHMS’s National Head of Nursing, Mr. Michael Larui congratulated the newly registered nurses and welcomed them into the health workers family.
Mr. Larui said the theme for this year’s International Nurses Day (IND) ‘A Voice to Lead, A Vision for Future Healthcare,’ reflects to COVID-19 demonstrated the importance of the nursing profession as a significant component on the entire team providing health service delivery to Solomon Islanders.
He explained, Covid-19 has brought health systems across the world to the brink of collapse. In activating its response, the government clearly demonstrated that mitigating the impact of the virus is not solely the responsibility of health professionals.
However, he said the formation of the oversight committee (OSC) in the prime minister’s office (PMO) consisting of accountable officers of line ministries. Partnership between the health system, other sectors (e.g. education, transport, etc.), government and the public to work together to build a “healthy and health creating society”.
“This is one of the key results areas (KRA) of the current National Health Strategic Plan: “Building strong partnerships”. The nursing in the role delineation policy (RDP), Community Health was added as a category of health facility. This where nurses as members of the health workforce works together with the communities.
“ For the newly registered nurses, my challenge to you is to ensure that you are ready and committed to increase outreach services as part of this partnership and collaboration,” Mr. Larui said.
He added DCGA government acknowledged the importance of investments for economic and community prosperity by better preparing for the pandemics.
This is currently addressed in the development of the Public Health emergency Bill that is now before the Bills and Legislation Committee.
“The government through the MHMS places high regard to RDP by investing in the health workforce- particularly nurses. Nursing care accounts for approximately 80% of the contacts between patients and healthcare providers. In this regard the government continues to support the nurses supervised practice program by allocating 4 million dollars in this year’s budget,” Larui said.
Larui said the ministry of health acknowledges the need to strengthen its support to the nursing workforce through incentivizing performance of nurses, rentals for accommodation and facilitating posting allowances for nurses deploying to provinces and remotely locations.
“As frontline health workers, nurses are frequently exposed to infectious diseases. IPC is the nurse’s greatest weapon in protecting their health, their patients’ health and the health of the entire communities.
“Covid-19 placed nurses directly under the spotlight of the public attention. Nurses has been elevated from ‘essential health workers’ to the position of heroes’ by the public. MHMS has supported nurses in the area of education. We ensure that nurses are educated, skilled professionals with exceptional critical thinking and reasoning, working with and for individuals and communities so that can achieve optimal health.
“I wish to challenge you the newly resgistered nurses to practice professionally using your wisdom, knowledge and insights into matters of health.
Meanwhile, Dean of Faculty of Nursing Medicine and Health Sciences and Member of Solomon Islands Nursing Council Board, Ms Verzilyn Isom said the graduation ceremony marks another milestone in the Nurses Supervised Program.
Ms. Isom said these registered nurses have satisfied the requirements of the program and will officially be awarded part two registration which is the full registration for a Registered Nurse to Practice in the Solomon Islands.
Ms. Isom congratulated and reminded the newly registered nurses that “Nurses have a unique perspective an understanding of how precious life is. Always remember that you are making a difference every day in someone’s life, no matter how big or small.”
“You will give your patients the ability to live their lives in the fullest .You will be a light in their lives during the darkness. You will be their hope and guide .You will be there to comfort them when they have pain and when they have sorrow.
“This is a great privilege you will have .Please don’t take it lightly .Believe in yourself always and ability to make an impact and to create change. I know each of you will make a differences and do great things and we will be here cheering you along the way, grateful you have chosen to be our next generation of nurses,” Ms Isom said.