120 nurses today graduated from the Sangam College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Nursing Science Degree (Post Graduate) and Post Graduate Diploma in Midwifery where six nurses were awarded special awards for the exceptional performance.
The graduating nurses are already employed by the Ministry of Health.
Losana Vouvou was given the Overall Academic Excellence in Bachelor of Nursing Science Award as well as Academic Excellence in Nursing Inquiry and Spirituality Award and Academic Excellence in Clinical Governance and Patient Safety Awards.
Venisita Misikuka has received the Academic Excellence in Integrated Nursing Practice, Academic Excellence in Nursing Management and Leadership Award was given to Nanise Vakatale, Academic Excellence in Advanced Primary Health Care Award was given to Makarita Rosi, Academic Excellence in Introduction to Nursing Research Award was given to Makarita Rosi and Mereani Kolimadu while Dipti Lata was given the Academic Excellence in the Post Graduate Diploma in Midwifery Award.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony at the Suva Sangam Hall in Samabula, Ministry of Health Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Kavekini Neidiri says the Fiji Nursing Council acknowledge the education institutions including Sangam College of Nursing who have embarked on offering undergraduate bachelor in nursing programmes and also converting those with diploma to bachelor qualifications.
He says this move is significant as the body of evidence is convincing that there is a correlation between higher nursing education levels and better patient outcomes.
Neidiri has also highlighted that in light of the frequent disasters, disease outbreaks, emergencies and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry has embarked on the remodeling of the health service previsions and nursing needs to respond accordingly.
He says whether nursing in Fiji was prepared or not for the COVID-19 pandemic, what is important is what they have learnt from the experience and how they can better prepare for similar disasters and outbreaks in the future.
Neidiri also says that the COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the vital role nurses play and without nurses and other health workers, we will not win the battle against outbreaks and not achieve Sustainable Development Goal of universal health coverage.
He adds that by developing the nursing workforce, Fiji can achieve the triple impact of improving health, promoting gender equality and supporting economic growth.
TISI Sangam President, Sadasivan Naicker says the graduation ceremony was successful and it was great to see families of the graduates come out and support the graduating nurses.
He says it was disappointing that they could not host the graduation of all the nurses today because of COVID-19 restrictions but the certificates will be handed to them.
Meanwhile, a total of 656 nurses have so far graduated from the nursing school since its inception in 2016.