Nursing is lifelong learning
By Amie PDH Ishak

HRH Princess Hjh Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah has called on nurses to participate in and maintain a variety of partnerships, just like other service professionals, in order to successfully pursue their careers and ensure that their patients receive the best of care.

Her Royal Highness delivered a sabda during the opening ceremony of the 8th Biennial International Nursing Conference 2008, The Rizqun International Hotel.

Also in attendance during the opening ceremony was HRH Princess Hjh Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah.

The conference, themed Collaboration In Care Through Partnership, examined the role that partnerships play in enhancing the quality of healthcare provided by nursing professionals.

"The relationship between nurses and their patients is, I believe, the primary form of partnership the profession has to manage successfully on a daily basis. Every nurse will have to strike balances with both their patients and their patients' families, and it is here that training and professionalism, must come together in a spirit of compassion and dedication, to provide the best processes of recovery for the patient.

"However, in order to truly appreciate the complexity of the partnerships formed during the career of a nursing professional, we must look at the wider context of other medical professionals and organisations that are involved in the education and decision-making process of patient treatment," HRH said.

"Nursing is a profession that embraces the principle of lifelong learning and this is where I see many prospects for further professional partnerships and cooperation in both the classroom and workplace. In this regard, collaboration between institutes of higher education and healthcare providers is naturally a synergistic partnership.

"I understand that all around the world, there is a drive to better integrate the use of evidence-based practice into patient care, through close collaboration between research oriented bodies and nursing institutions.

"In terms of developments in Brunei, we are already in the midst of a move to merge the Institute of Medicine in the University of Brunei Darussalam with the College of Nursing. I view this initiative as an evolutionary process for Brunei's nursing profession and I am confident that it will be able to offer a variety of nursing degrees in terms of both Pre- and Post-Registration programmes, which would involve foreign and local lecturers and ensure that the qualifications will be competitive and marketable internationally," HRH added.

"In terms of regional partnerships, I am pleased to note that the College of Nursing has been able to establish a working relationship with Hospital Kuala Lumpur that enables our local post-registration students to experience an overseas clinical placement programme.

"This form of experience and exposure is vital for the professional and personal development of our nursing graduates.

"I believe that it would be most worthwhile for the College to pursue further similar collaborative initiatives with other overseas medical institutions," HRH added.

The Princess also touched on the many forms of global challenges that the world is facing since the start of the new millennium.

"For the medical and nursing profession, the threat of global pandemics has become a reality since the outbreak of SARS and Avian Influenza. We also face continuing challenges in managing the spread of drug-resistant pathogens and preparing for the effects of climate change on the health of our communities.

"In facing these challenges, the global community of nursing professionals will have to work even closer in sharing hard-earned experience and medical knowledge that could prove vital in saving lives.

"The use of information communication technology is also of fundamental importance in being able to react more rapidly to health situations with global implications. In this regard, I am heartened to see all the medical professionals, nurses, doctors and academics have come together for this conference to share their knowledge and experience.

"I urge all the participants to actively join in the discussions of the topics for the conference and to contribute to the various discussion sessions planned over the next few days. I am confident that the spirit of collaboration I see and feel here today bodes well for the outcome of this conference." - Borneo Bulletin (26th Nov 2008)