Professor Sally CHAN
I am happy to inform Members that Dr. LEONG Che-hung, the Chairman of the Hospital Authority, Hong Kong has become the Patron of the Society. We are indeed grateful for his generous support. With such encouragement, I believe that members of the Executive Committee will be even more motivated to work hard for attaining the Society's goals.
Members of the Society may recollect that the Society has established a position statement in the year 2000. With the on-going changes on nursing education and practice, we believe an update of the position statement is needed. Members of the Executive Committee have developed a new position statement as follows:
The "Hong Kong Society for Nursing Education" is committed to the promotion of the quality of nursing practice and nursing education in Hong Kong. The Society supports:
Basic Nursing Education
Direction for Basic Nursing Education
The Society recognises that, in order to provide Hong Kong people with high quality nursing care, there must be an appropriate education system to prepare and develop nurses. The Society believes that all pre-registration nursing education programmes should be transferred from hospital-based diploma programmes to university undergraduate degree programmes. A four-year programme leading to the award of 'Bachelor of Nursing' is required to prepare competent registered nurses. A comprehensive nursing education programme is essential to prepare registered nurses who can practise in a variety of health care setting and for meeting the diverse needs of the society. With a level of education comparable to that of other health care professionals, nurses could contribute much more to the promotion of health of Hong Kong people. An honours degree level education should be the minimum requirement for registration with the nursing regulatory body.
The projected number of available first-year first-degree places for nursing programmes in 2003 is approximately 338, which is reckoned as inadequate to meet the demands for nursing personnel. It is estimated that, in the foreseeable future, it will require approximately 750 new nursing graduates per year to account for service needs in the Hospital Authority, the Department of Health, the Social and Welfare Sector and the private sector in Hong Kong. The Government should have a long-term policy for the development of nursing education and to commit resources to increase the First-Year First-Degree places for nursing programmes to meet the nursing personnel needs.
Continuing Nursing Education
The Society supports that continuing education should be a life long process for nurses. Nurses have the responsibility for assuring the quality of the service they provide, and they have an obligation to participate in continuing nursing education activities to meet their professional and personal development needs (ICN, 1991, UKCC, 1997). In order that continuing nursing education activities undertaken by nurses contribute significantly to the improvement of their practice, the nursing regulatory body needs to develop a mandatory system of continuing nursing education for ensuring safe and effective nursing practice.
Development of Advanced Nursing Practice
The Society supports the development of advanced nursing practice. Nurses provide an essential contribution to the health care services in Hong Kong. Nurses offer services in the hospital and primary health care settings. With the aging population, there are an increasing number of elderly people experiencing chronic, long-term illnesses. Appropriately prepared nurses functioning at an advanced level of practice could make a major contribution to cost-effective care for such group of individuals. Both international and local research studies indicate that nurses working as advanced nurse practitioners in primary health care settings can provide care which is equivalent to or in some cases better than doctors in terms of client outcome, and the cost-effective use of human and material resources (Horrocks, Anderson & Salisbury, 2002; Moher, et. al, 2001 & Wong, 2002). In this era of health care reform and cost reduction, the care provided by nurses should demonstrate good value for money. Nurses could make a major contribution to improving the quality of health care and reducing future health care costs. The Government should commit sufficient human and financial resources to support the development of advanced nursing practice. The Society will actively contribute to the establishment of a new Nursing Academy in Hong Kong.
The newly developed position statement should guide the Society's future work. Members of the Executive Committee of the Society will be committed to putting what we believe into actions. All Members of the Society are encouraged to participate in this work and express your views. The coming Annual General Meeting with dinner which will be held on 28th March 2003. This should be a valuable opportunity for us to meet you and discuss our work. Please join the AGM and dinner. I am looking forward to meeting you.
Horrocks, S., Anderson, E. & Salisbury, C. (2002). Systematic review of whether nurse practitioners working in primary care can provide equivalent care to doctors. British Medical Journal, 324, 819-823.
International Council of Nurses (ICN) (1991). Guidelines on continuing education for national nurses' associations. Geneva: ICN.
Moher, M., Yudkin, P., Wright, L., Turner, R., Fuller, A., Schofield, T. & Mant, D. (2001). Cluster randomised controlled trial to compare three methods of promoting secondary prevention of coronary heart disease in primary care. British Medical Journal, 322(7298), 1338-1342.
United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (UKCC) (1997). Post registration education and practice. Fact sheet. London: UKCC.
Wong, F. (2001). Senior clinical nurse specialist - pilot position in Hong Kong. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 15(4), 169-176.