On the occasion of International Nurses Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan, President of India Pranab Mukherjee in addition to presenting the National Florence Nightingale Awards to nursing personnel highlighted that the contribution of nurses in India is at the forefront of India’s national healthcare system and at the same time central to its success. “Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century, thanks to the improving quality of nursing services, significant gains have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing child and maternal mortality in both urban as well as rural India… In a developing economy such as ours, nurses and midwives are crucial in delivering cost-effective and, at the same time, good quality healthcare. Our nation is proud of their services,” said Mukherjee.
Further, the President said that the need to adapt our standards to the evolving demands of healthcare and update our capacities is self-evident. “Our country needs to respond swiftly to healthcare challenges that keep coming up. The National Health Policy, 2017 envisages a new momentum in innovation and nursing,” added Mukherjee. He stated that as Indian nurses take on greater local, national and international roles, there is need to ensure appropriate professional development and human resource policies in the country – and increased involvement of nurses in policy development.
No doubts, the complexity of medical and healthcare practices today demands that nurses are fully involved in the planning, implementation, research and evaluation that goes into the successful delivery of patient care. These functions come with responsibilities and accountability. The legal and policy framework of nursing protocols and standards of practice must facilitate optimal utilisation of competencies.
“It is, nevertheless necessary to be conscious that while most countries have a shortage of nurses, the situation continues to be quite acute in India, primarily due to the migration of the large number of nurses we produce from our institutions. India’s low nurse to population ratio reminds us that much more capacity needs to be built with closer co-between States and the Central Government. I am glad that Government of India is addressing these concerns to strengthen the nursing sector in our country and that there has been a positive rate of growth in our training capacity over the past decade,” said Mukherjee.
“I call upon nurse educators to inculcate – if not surpass – the world’s best, professional, nursing and midwifery educational standards. This endeavour will raise the quality of nursing education in India and also create paths for professional advancement in line with national, regional and global health needs,” he added.
As we recognise and honour the meritorious nursing professionals of India, the nation is grateful for your services and compassionate selfless care said the President. “I am confident that the Florence Nightingale Awardees-2017 will inspire the entire nursing fraternity to rededicate themselves to quality healthcare. I take this opportunity to also extend my best wishes to the Hon’ble Union Health Minister, Ministers of State for Health and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the success of their efforts towards improvement of healthcare services in the country,” he added.
Speaking at function, the Health Minister stated the Government is determined for making improvements in nursing and midwifery education and services in a comprehensive way that encompasses health promotion, disease prevention, treatment and rehabilitation and attainment of global mandates of SDGs and Universal Healthcare. Nadda also informed that the Ministry has undertaken number of initiatives for strengthening the nursing cadre. Some of them are setting up of 128 ANM & 137 GNM schools.
The Health Minister further stated that in order to increase the availability of graduate Nurses in the country, 17 Schools of Nursing have also been provided funds for upgradation into Colleges of Nursing. “Roll out of Nurse Practitioner course for Critical Care and has been launched to meet the challenges and demands of tertiary health care services in India. The course will be commencing from the academic session 2017-18. 75 Colleges have applied for the conduction of the course for 2017-18. 15 Colleges have been inspected & permitted inspection & inspection for remaining Colleges is being carried out. Nurses Registration and Tracking System (NRTS) was rolled out in June last year, Shri Nadda added.
The Florence Nightingale awards are given to the outstanding nursing personnel employed in Central, State/UTs. Nurses working in Government, Voluntary Organizations, Mission institutions and the private institutions can apply with the due recommendation of concerned State Government. The Florence Nightingale Awards carries Rs.50,000/- cash, a certificate, a citation certificate and a Medal. Also present at the award ceremony were C K Mishra, Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) and senior officers from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with invitees. International Council of Nurses commemorates this day annually around the world on 12th of May as the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. The theme of this year is “Nurses: A Voice to lead, achieving the sustainable development goals.”
Likewise, Army Hospital (Research & Referral), Delhi Cantonment, celebrated International Nurses Day, here today, to honour and respect the nurses for their incredible and selfless dedication towards patient care. On the occasion, a special event was organised where Additional DGMNS Maj Gen Sushila Shahi, addressed the gathering. Commandant AH (R&R) Lt Gen A K Das and Maj Gen Shahi, distributed ‘Certificates of Excellence’ to the deserving nursing officers from various departments. Principal Matron of AH (R&R) Maj Gen Elizabeth John, addressing the gathering, emphasised on the spirit of nursing among nursing staff. The event was marked by the presence of veteran nurses of the military nursing service and nurses from the civil hospitals.