“The government through the Ministry of Health has made substantive investments into the nursing profession to date, to enhance quality care in nursing practice and health system strengthening for improved health service delivery to the people”.
This statement was made by Mr. Michael Larui, National Director of Nursing (NDoN) when opening the 2022 supervising practice program (internship program) for 83 newly graduated nurses who have commenced their internship Monday this week.
Mr Larui said that the government has invested in the following strategic areas as highlighted in the International Nurses Day Package and the global strategic directions for nursing and midwifery, 2021 to 2025.
First, in nursing education where Larui said that the Faculty of Nursing, Medicine and Health Services of the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) is the second-largest faculty and nursing school the largest.
“This is to ensure that more nurses are produced to support health service delivery. In professional development, SINU also provides the post-registration bachelor of nursing with various streams namely acute care, primary health, child health, and midwifery. MHMS, NRH and the provinces have been sending nurses to SINU to train for this qualification”,
“Ministry of Health also supports Atoifi campus of the Pacific Adventist University (PAU), with health grants to meet operational costs. PAU Offers pre-registration bachelor of nursing after being accredited by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development and the Nursing Council Board in 2015”, explained Mr. Larui.
With Nursing Jobs, the NDoN highlighted that the government through the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Service created jobs for nurses every year. “In this pandemic alone, the government has created 500 plus nursing positions for the newly registered nurses to fill in 2021 including for this year. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the government has ensured that nurses are rapidly recruited to be part of the response work”.
In the strategic area of leadership, Mr. Larui also informed that the Ministry continues to support nursing leadership positions ranging from level 7 to super scale 1 in the government structure. “The Ministry also opened up senior health positions for nurses and other health workers. For instance, few of the senior nurses have so far filled the provincial health director’s position, which are traditionally doctors posts. The post-graduate diploma on health leadership offered at SINU has been attended by a number of nurses since its inception to support them in their current leadership positions”, stated Mr. Larui.
Finally, on service delivery, Mr. Larui explained that in a country with nurse-led activities, nurses are given the privilege to practice to their full scope of practice and for career progression.
He added that the current nursing council act is undergoing a desktop review that will ultimately result in strengthening the regulatory process that will reflect the expanding roles of nurses. In the current response, nurses were supported with personal protective equipment, increased staff numbers, facilitate trainings for responders and remuneration to frontlines and support staff which also includes nurses.
“Overall, the government has invested hugely in the nursing profession to ensure that there is quality care in nursing practice, and health system strengthening for improved health service delivery to the people”, said Michael Larui.