The Vanuatu Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Vanuatu College of Nursing Education (VCNE), with support from the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), are working with a team of education experts from the WHO Collaborating Centre at the University of Technology Sydney (WHO CC UTS), to develop and upgrade the national nursing curriculum for accreditation and implementation.
This improvement in nursing education with the introduction of a Bachelor of Nursing qualification, aims to improve health outcomes to promote equitable access to affordable, quality health care as part of the Government National Sustainable Development Plan.
WHO CC UTS is working closely with staff from the VCNE as the primary provider of health care educational services in Vanuatu, along with MoH staff and other stakeholders, to provide technical support and advice to facilitate the development of the Bachelor of Nursing (Advance Practice) that builds on an already completed Diploma of Nursing and a new three year Bachelor of Nursing.
The project aims to build the capacity and qualifications of the current tutors at VCNE to Bachelor level (and possibly to post-graduate levels in the future), establishing a professional development plan for the continued professional development of tutors and previous diploma graduates alike that will also serve to strengthen nursing education and nursing workforce capacity.
In the first week of the March in-country visit, Professor Diane Brown, Professor Lin Lock and Ms Lisa Townsend from WHO CC UTS delivered the Improving Clinical Teaching and Learning Workshop over two days to 22 VCNE female and male tutors and clinicians.
Fourteen participants from VCNE undertook a further three day course focusing on classroom teaching and learning that was developed and delivered by WHO CC UTS team.
Project Manager Ms Amanda Neill joined Lin and Lisa, meeting with key stakeholders from MoH – including Mr Scott Monteiro (Team Leader-Vanuatu Health Resource Mechanism) and colleagues, Ms Bertha Tarileo (Principal Nursing Officer), Ms Evelyne Emile (Director, VCNE).
A project Steering Committee Meeting was held at VCNE on 19th March to address issues that included progress and processes involved with development and preparation for accreditation for the Bachelor of Nursing (Advanced Practice) and Bachelor of Nursing courses, and project monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Amanda also undertook initial data collection for project M&E whilst in-country, and met with and interviewed a variety of key stakeholders.
This visit is the first of a series of in-country visits planned in 2019 for provision of technical support by the WHO CC UTS Team to strengthen the quality of nursing education in Vanuatu.
It is hoped that the collaborative relationships established will continue to be strengthened and productive, to benefit the nursing profession and the people of Vanuatu.