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University of Calgary in Qatar becomes the first institution in the Middle East to join a consortium of International Academic Best Practice Spotlight Organizations

Jul 01, 2021 by University Of Calgary

The University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ) has officially become the first institution in the Middle East to join a consortium of international Academic Best Practice Spotlight Organizations (AcBPSOs) coordinated by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO). AcBPSOs use best practice guidelines (BPGs) to help nursing students learn about how to identify, assess, select, apply, and evaluate evidence in nursing. The deliberate integration of BPGs into all theoretical and practice-based courses at the University of Calgary in Qatar has been used to successfully prepare students to learn about how to make evidence-informed decisions for their nursing practice and achieve better patient outcomes.


The RNAO officially announced the designation of the University of Calgary at Qatar as an Academic BPSO during their Annual General Meeting (AGM) opening ceremonies on Thursday. UCQ is  proud to celebrate this monementous milestone and its incredible future impact on  the medical field in Qatar and the Middle East region as a whole.


UCQ’s application journey was formally accepted in March 2018, making history  as they became the first institution in the Middle East to start the journey as an AcBPSO candidate. After a 3-year candidacy in which they achieved all the requirements for this presitigious designation, UCQ earned their well-deserved AcBPSO accreditation on June 24th 2021.


Dr. Deborah White, Dean of UCQ commented “Having UCQ join the consortium of International Academic Best Practice Spotlight Organizations is a privilege we do not take lightly. We have worked tirelessly to integrate BPGs into our cirriuclum to earn this recognition.” She continued “In fact, UCQ faculty mentors used RNAO’s train-the-trainer learning approach to prepare a group of our undergraduate students to become BPSO Champions to further support the uptake of BPGs and we have seen firsthand how effectively it has enhanced their clinical decision making skills. I am extremely proud of our faculty and our BPSO champions whose hard work and commitment helped us accomplish this remarkable achievement.”


UCQ’s application of the RNAO’s  hands-on training approach enhanced students’ confidence, leadership skills, and capacity to engage others in the uptake of best practices. Over the 3-year candidacy period, Student BPSO Champions co-facilitated workshops for other nursing students and faculty, engaged in innovative strategies to raise awareness among nurses and nursing students about BPGs, and strengthened academic-health service partnerships for the uptake of BPGs. They also established and scaled-up a network of Student BPSO Champions, that included international connections. The work of the Student Champions immensely contributed to the successful achievement of BPSO designate status for UCQ.


Dr. Doris Grinspun, CEO of the RNOA stated “Congratulations to our newly designated BPSO’s, it is an absolute privilege to welcome you and recognize the heavy lifting you have done in the past 3 years of the program to receive your designations, this is especially commendable as you had to do it throughout the pandemic.”


The partnership between UCQ and RNAO has enhanced nursing education and practices in Qatar in inumerable ways. Fostering strong parternships with presitigious nursing associations has encriched UCQ’s services and educational offerings. The gold standard Canadian curriculum and program encourage students to become theoretical, conceptual, critical, and clinical thinkers.


Established in 2007, the University of Calgary in Qatar is the only Canadian university in Qatar and the country’s exclusive provider of Bachelor degrees in Nursing. Accredited in Canada and adapted to the local culture, the University’s curriculum provides its nursing students with the knowledge and expertise to become fully-integrated leaders in Qatar’s healthcare sector.


The University of Calgary in Qatar offers a four-year Bachelor of Nursing degree program for qualified high school graduates. More information about the nursing program, the admission processes, and criteria, is available at www.ucalgary.edu.qa

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