Career Pathway to Nursing – Where to Start and how to Sustain a Nursing Career

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International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every year on the 12th of May. May 12th is also the birth date of Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale was known through history for writing over 150books, pamphlets and reports on health-related issues. Along with this, she is also known for making hospitals a cleaner and a safer place to be. On the other hand, the theme for International Nurses Day 2022 is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in Nursing and Respect Rights To Secure Global Health. Now, this week’s blog will shine a light in the nursing profession and the pathway to take to be a registered nurse.

Shortage of nurses is a growing factor in the Pacific Healthcare sector and has helped identify the critical roles nurses play in Healthcare. Shortage of nurses in the Pacific is due to nurses leaving for better opportunities abroad as well as ; surprisingly; lack of graduates and lack of funding and training. On the other hand, enrollment for Nursing programs has increased over the past few years. High school graduates also have a strong interest in nursing and career changers are also looking to transition into nursing as it is a lucrative and secure field that offers opportunities beyond the traditional role. Nursing is a profession that can bring many rewards and great potential for career advancements. This article focuses on the pathway you can take to enter the nursing profession and the opportunities available for students to prepare them for the nursing profession.

Entry into Nursing

Entry into the nursing profession in the Pacific recognizes four traditional ways to be enrolled into the Bachelor of Nursing Program either at prominent Pasifika Universities such as  Fiji School of Medicine ,Fiji National University School of Nursing or University of Fiji. A pass in Year 13 Examination with a minimum aggregate mark of 250/400 pass in English and best three science subjects. A pass in Foundation Science programme or equivalent with a minimum GPA of 2.5. A pass in Bridging or Unclassified Foundation programme with a  minimum GPA of 2.5/4.5 including a pass in English and best three science subjects. And Applicants with a certificate or a diploma in enrolled nursing with a minimum GPA of 3.0 . These ways prepare you for the Bachelor of Nursing Program offered at these prominent nursing schools the Pacific.

Bachelor of Nursing Program

Offered at Fiji School of Medicine, Fiji National University School of Nursing and University of Fiji the bachelor of nursing program prepares students to practice across all healthcare settings and prepare them for the role of a Registered Nurse. Bachelor Of Nursing covers all of the course work taught in Certificate Level, Diploma level and in-depth knowledge of the Biology of the Human Body, Social Sciences, nursing research, community health and public health, mental health, nursing management and ethics. The course also covers, professional development, and provides the foundation for progression to advanced practice roles in nursing.

After I Graduate…..What Next?

After you graduate from the Bachelor of Nursing program, you can take a number of pathways. These pathways include post graduate programs, masters degree programs and doctorate programs. Tertiary Institutions also offer bridging courses for Registered Nurses and other medical professionals who want to transition into nursing. Another pathway graduate nurses can take is a Post Graduate Diploma in Midwifery. At the moment there is a shortage of midwives in the Pacific and there is an urgent need for midwives who would be able to address maternal and child health issues.

Nursing is taking big steps in getting new recruits and enhancing the skills of the nurses that are already in the workforce. Encouraging your family members and friends that are already in the Nursing field to further their education is everyone’s responsibility. Medical Schools should prepare a strong and well-educated nursing workforce, which will benefit patients and the health care system. Additionally, framework, policies and educational programs need to be developed to enable midwives, nurses and practice nurses to be deployed across the Pacific region. Nurses play a crucial role to patient safety, reducing mortality rates, preventing medical errors and quality outcomes. So if you are interested in nursing, why not give it a go?

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