University of Calgary in Qatar hosts an international online event with nurse leaders and nursing students to discuss the crucial role of nursing in the current healthcare climate

Nov 18, 2020 by University Of Calgary

The University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ) hosted an online event this week focused on the importance of nursing in the current healthcare climate. With the continued challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, nursing holds an integral role in healthcare, in Qatar and globally.

UCQ is proud to celebrate their third year as a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) Academic pre-designate with the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO). To mark this milestone, UCQ’s BPSO Student Champions organized a panel discussion with nurse leaders, UCQ nursing alumni, and nursing students in partnership with RNAO and with the support of Hamad Medical Corporation.

The online panel consisted of Dr. Doris Grinspun, Chief Executive Officer of RNAO, Dr. JoAnne MacDonald, Associate Dean (Academic) of UCQ, UCQ alumna Noof Al Kuwari, Clinical Nurse in Pediatric Pain Management with Sidra Medicine, UCQ alumna Zeinab Mohamed Idris, Clinical Nurse Specialist (Palliative-Care) with HMC, and several others. With 70 people in attendance from all over the world, the speakers discussed evidence-based practice and how UCQ’s BPSO initiative is advancing nursing education and can help Qatar achieve key national health goals in the country.  

The partnership between UCQ and RNAO has enhanced nursing education and practice in Qatar in many ways. “Partners are committed. You have shown beyond reasonable doubt your commitment, not only with the implementation of the best practice guidelines, but even beyond that,” said Dr. Doris Grinspun, Chief Executive Officer of RNAO in addressing the UCQ leadership and participants.

Dr. Grinspun also applauded the BPSO student champions for their leadership in creating a “maskathon” initiative to promote wearing masks in accordance with the Ministry of Public Health’s COVID-19 guidelines. The maskathon is one of many outcomes of integrating BPSO guidelines into the UCQ curriculum and has become an insipring example of student nurse leadership internationally.

The panel discussion provided both nursing students and current nurses indepth insight into how UCQ is advancing a culture of evidence-based practice as the only nursing university in Qatar.

“The single most important accomplishment UCQ can hope to achieve by integrating BPGs into the curriculum and becoming a BPSO, is helping scale up the BPSO initiative into health services across the country,” says Dr. JoAnne MacDonald, Associate Dean (Academic) at UCQ. “We are calling on a commitment from the most senior health leaders in Qatar, to join UCQ in its efforts and take a serious look at the sustained success – globally – of RNAO’s approach to implementing nursing best practice guidelines.”

UCQ’s curriculum is uniquely tailored to meet the health needs of Qatar. The gold standard Canadian curriculum and program foster students to become theoretical, conceptual, critical, and clinical thinkers.

“As a Qatari Nurse, I had faced so many challenges,” says Noof Al Kuwari, UCQ alumna and Clinical Nurse in Pediatric Pain Management with Sidra Medicine. In addressing the attendees, Noof asserted “We need you all, we cannot work by ourselves. There’s a saying in Arabic, that you cannot clap with one hand, so you need to clap with two hands. Therefore, in order to succeed, we need to be working together to enhance the healthcare standards here in Qatar.”

The World Health Organization says there is a global shortage of nurses and Qatar is no exception. Zeinab Mohamed Idris, UCQ alumna and Clinical Nurse Specialist (Palliative Care) with HMC, stated, “I believe that nursing education is extremely important for the success and development of our healthcare system here in Qatar and, like my fellow alumna Noof, I am proud to be among Qatar’s nurse leaders.”

According to WHO, the world needs 18 million more health workers to achieve and sustain universal health coverage by 2030. Approximately half of that shortfall – 9 million health workers – are nurses and midwives.

With the ongoing struggles amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, UCQ continues to empower its student nurses and its BPSO student champions to incorporate the use of RNAO’s Best Practice Guidelines in their theory, lab and clinical courses as they become the future nurse leaders of Qatar.

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. Applications to UCQ’s program are open to Qatari nationals and residents of Qatar through April 1, 2021. More information about the nursing program, the admission processes, and criteria, is available at www.ucalgary.edu.qa



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