Advancing nursing practice in India with Baba Farid University of Health Sciences and the UBC School of Nursing
Between 2011 and 2014, the Canada India Education Society (CIES) facilitated a partnership with Baba Farid University of Health Sciences in India and the UBC School of Nursing in Canada.
Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) is the health sciences degree-granting institution for all of Punjab. It is located in Faridkot, Punjab.
UBC hosts the longest running nursing school among Commonwealth countries, having started in 1919. It is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The goal of this partnership was to use the strengths of UBC’s School of Nursing to enhance the capacity and curriculum of nursing education in India at a state level. This could then have an impact on all affiliated colleges – and even hospitals – in the area.
It is important to note that within the field of nursing, there can be a shortage of nursing educators, not just nursing students or practitioners. To become a nursing educator, nurses need to complete their master’s and PhD degrees. This involves the ability to conduct academic research, which is a skill to learn in itself. Without nursing educators, nursing as a whole suffers. Moreover, nursing educators need to be equipped with international standards of practice and teaching, in order to be effective.
Therefore, a large effort of this partnership was aimed at consulting on nursing thesis’s, as well as the standards of nursing education in India.
Another goal of the partnership was to advocate for the enhanced role and function of nurses in healthcare systems in India.
Activities that took place to advance nursing education capacity in India
CIES funded exchange trips between the two universities to conduct collaborative meetings and research.
BFUHS faculty visit UBC School of Nursing
Between June 3 – July 3, 2012, the BFUHS principal and a faculty member visited the UBC School of Nursing. They attended a Canadian nursing leadership conference and met with UBC Nursing faculty to gain insight into the way nursing is taught and performed in Canada.
UBC School of Nursing faculty consult at BFUHS and Guru Gobind Singh Hospital
Later, UBC Nursing professors visited India on four occasions for roughly two weeks per visit, between 2012 – 2014 (starting in mid-November, 2012).
Recommending academic changes at BFUHS and Guru Gobind Singh Hospital, Faridkot took a significant amount of initial analysis and reporting.
UBC faculty members visited BFUHS to:
- Consult on graduate and faculty research proposals.
- Explore ways to better the quality of nursing practice at Guru Gobind Singh Hospital in Faridkot (such as through continuing education, and by implementing new procedures).
- Find opportunities to collaborate with India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS).
- Conduct an informatics competency and leadership attitudes survey, with the hopes of introducing more technological tools to the school and hospital.
- Host educational sessions on nursing informatics.
- Teach in a 4-day, doctoral-level Research Methods course for doctoral students from all health sciences disciplines at BFUHS (including medicine, dentistry, physiotherapy, pharmacy, and nursing).
- Begin assessments and planning reports to launch a Clinical Teaching Centre, which would offer continuing education to practicing nurses.
Outcomes of the partnership
The partnership supported and developed undergraduate nursing education and graduate research opportunities to improve health care in Punjab.
During these trips, BFUHS was able to glean insight from UBC’s faculty, to be able to understand the scope of international nursing standards.
Hospital practice improvements
A World Health Organization (WHO) audit tool for low-resource countries was used at Guru Gobind Singh Hospital to assess charting and infection control measures. This helped to define training needs.
The UBC nursing faculty stimulated change among nursing practitioners at the Guru Gobind Singh Hospital.
Study and presentation on informatics competency
349 faculty and students were recruited to take part in a study on informatics (i.e. technology) competency and leadership attitudes. This would then help with future education planning at BFUHS.
A presentation of an abstract was accepted by the Vancouver e-Health Conference in June of 2014. It was titled, “Development of Nursing Informatics Competencies among Nursing Care Professionals in India and Canada: A Comparative Analysis.” It was put together by Dr. Leanne Currie (UBC) and Dr. Rajeev Manhas (BFUHS).
Learn more about Baba Farid University here: http://www.bfuhs.ac.in/
Learn more about the UBC School of Nursing here: https://nursing.ubc.ca/