Nurses meet in Nadi, Fiji to discuss Nursing Specialisation
1-2 April, 2019
Senior health leaders from 14 Pacific Island countries and territories, along with regional and international health professionals, met in Nadi, Fiji recently for the 9th Directors of Clinical Services (DCS) Meeting (1-2 April). This meeting preceded the Pacific Heads of Health (PHoH) Meeting held on 3rd and 4th April, also in Nadi, Fiji and organized by the South Pacific Community (SPC) and World Health Organization (WHO) with support from the Government of Australia, Government of New Zealand, World Bank. The meetings provide a forum to review issues and contribute towards decisions that impact regional health policy.
The DCS Meeting covered updates on regional clinical services, and focused on key issues impacting the delivery of clinical services in the region, followed by open discussion of related country perspectives and challenges. Partners provided updates on services to the PICs and plans for 2019, and presentations followed covering a range of issues including regional palliative care, aging in Pacific, and strengthening supply chains in the Pacific.
This year’s nursing and midwifery attendance was significant including (pictured at right): SPCNMOA Acting Chair Ms Debra Thoms CNMO Australia, Ms Margaret Leong CNO Fiji, Ms Bertha Tarileo Director of Nursing Vanuatu, Mr Russel Tamata – Director of Clinical Services Vanuatu, Ms Filoiala Sakaio – Acting Director Clinical Services Tuvalu, Ms Antonnette Merur – Director Nursing Palau American Pacific Nursing Leaders Council (APNLC), Ms Michele Rumsey Director WHO CC UTS.
Several presentations and recommendations on issues for nursing in the region included:
- Nursing specialisation – SPCNMOA meeting recommendations, Ms Debra Thoms
- Nursing specialisation – Fiji’s experience, Ms Margaret Leong
- Paediatric nursing – development of PGC in child health, Ms Michelle Nicholson-Burr
- Perioperative Nursing – Pacific perioperative mentoring program, Ms Sally Sutherland-Fraser
The following recommendations were prioritised to address ongoing challenges for Pacific Nursing and Midwifery and passed on to the Heads of Health for approval. Pacific Nursing and Midwifery Leaders1 in attendance from South Pacific Chief Nursing Officers Alliance (SPCNMOA) and American Pacific Nurse Leaders Council (APNLC), requested the following recommendations at the DCS meeting:
- That all countries offering nursing programs:
- Work towards bachelor level as minimum requirement for registered nurses.
- Continue support for upgrading of curriculum, teaching facilities and resources.
- Develop programs that align with country service needs, and
- Ensure strategies are in place to build the appropriate skilled educators.
- Continued support to the SPCNMOA/APNLC in their work to develop regional standards for nursing practice, to ensure workforce flexibility and regional reciprocity.
- Support of specialist practice programs for nursing in Fiji and another regional site.
- That a review of Pacific Nurse Practitioner or relevant programs is carried out to improve consistency and move towards Masters Level.
"The purpose of our framework is really to look at what does clinical specialisation look like in Fiji. It looks also at the career pathway for clinical specialisation which we have started in a small way." Margerate Leong Acting Chair for SPCNMOA, discussed nursing specialisation status in Fiji at the Directors of Clinical Services Meeting. #DCS2019
- South Pacific Chief Nursing Officers’ Alliance (SPCNMOA), American Pacific Nurse Leaders Council (APNLC) Directors of Clinical Services Meetings Brief April 2018
- World Health Organization Global standards for the initial education of professional nurses and midwives, 2009.
- World Health Organisation, Western Pacific Regional Office, Universal Health Coverage, Moving towards Better Health: Action framework for the Western Pacific Region 2016.
- World Health Organization, Global Strategy on human resources for health: Workforce 2030, Geneva: WHO 2015.
- South Pacific Chief Nursing Officers’ Alliance (SPCNMOA), American Pacific Nurse Leaders Council (APNLC), Specialist Practice Brief, University of Technology Sydney 2018.
- Maier CB, Barnes H, Aiken LH, Busse R. Descriptive, cross country analysis of the nurse practitioner workforce in six countries: size, growth, physician substitution potential. BMJ Open 2016; 6(9): e011901