HYDERABAD: One hundred and twenty-seven prospective nursing students from Hyderabad, Matiari and Tando Muhammad Khan districts were awarded certificates Tuesday for completing a course that would improve their chances of entering a university programme.
This opportunity was through Youth Development Programme – An Opportunity for Entering the Nursing Profession, a public-private initiative between the Aga Khan University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, and the Sindh government’s Community Development Programme (CDP) under the Planning and Development Department.
Addressing the closing ceremony at a local hotel, Dr Keith Cash, Dean, AKU-SONAM pointed out some of the substantial national barriers to young people entering the professional work force. “One of these is the level of science, English and mathematics that they can achieve in the schooling system. AKU has a tried and tested programme to enhance applicants’ chances of success in entering its nursing and midwifery courses by giving intensive tuition in the three subjects. This partnership was developed to extend that opportunity to the wider community,” he said.
Dr Cash explained that nursing offers exciting career opportunities as there is a worldwide shortage of graduate nurses, and modern and effective healthcare needs highly qualified nurses if it is to be successful.
Programme Coordinator CDP Aijaz Ahmed Mahesar informed the audience that the Planning and Development Department introduced CDP in 2008 as a public-private partnership – funded from the Annual Development Programme – with a view to assist the Government of Sindh in its social and economic activities.
“Since then, this programme has undertaken social sector development in the areas of health, education, water and sanitation, legal aid, women’s empowerment, and skills development. This initiative is just another addition to the list,” he said.
The participants are expected to sit in an admission test for the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) programme at a university. At AKU, this academic programme has a mandatory one-year internship to provide students with working experience; they are provided a stipend during this period. At the conclusion of the five years, students are eligible to licensure as a Registered Nurse. This qualifies them to undertake nursing practice and education in healthcare nationally and internationally.
On the occasion, mementos were presented to college principals, and other officials for their contribution.