“There is an urgent need to bridge the gap between theory and practice in nursing education in India. We must create opportunities for the nursing students to learn by doing”, said Prof. Rafat Razia, Rtd. Deputy Director Nursing, Government College of Nursing, Hyderabad, while emphasising the importance of an industry-integrated curriculum in nursing.
The alignment of the nursing curriculum with that of industry requirements is no longer an option, but a necessity. An increasing number of diseases, epidemics around the world and the advancements in medical technology are only increasing the existing pressure on the healthcare sector and its professionals. Emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), telemedicine, electronic health records, robotics in the medical field, etc. are going to change the way nursing is practiced. And nurses across the country must undergo skilling, upskilling and reskilling to keep up with the pace of advancements.
So, how do we ensure that the nurses are sufficiently trained to handle existing and emerging critical situations? One of the crucial steps to take is to enrich the current nursing curriculum by aligning it with the industry requirements.
Enriching the nursing curriculum
As nurses play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention and delivering primary and community care, it is important to recognise their concerns and train them to meet the demands of the industry.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) notes that “Achieving health for all will depend on there being sufficient numbers of well-trained and educated, regulated and well-supported nurses and midwives, who receive pay and recognition commensurate with the services and quality of care that they provide”.
“Only when nurses are well-trained as per the industry requirements, they will be able to make informed decisions and demand the wages they deserve”, said Dr. Rajeshwari, Dean, CARE Group of Colleges and President, Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI), Telangana.
One of the ways to address this gap is through a collaborative effort from industry, academia, and government. All the stakeholders must take into account the changing nature of healthcare, disease patterns, development of specialities and super-specialities, and increasing demand for home healthcare and must periodically redesign the curriculum as per the industry needs.
A curriculum sets the goals, outcomes, standards, philosophy, and content that each nursing student will learn. For that reason, a high-quality, industry-integrated nursing curriculum plays an important role in preparing effective nurses for the current and future healthcare system. One of the crucial components of the nursing curriculum is clinical exposure or clinical training.
Dr. Rajeshwari expressed concern saying, “Even though we teach the clinical skills to our students, it is generally not sufficient and usually not on par with what industry expects. This is because of lack of sufficiently trained, industry-experienced faculty and because of lack of skill labs for practicing”.
Addressing the gaps in the nursing curriculum
In the 21st century, it is critical for nurses to have the ability to use the technology that facilitates mobility, build trust and relationships with the patients and their families, and operational processes in the hospital/ homecare.
Along with this, the skillset of communication skills, right attitude and empathy, professionalism, etc. are going to become even more critical in the approaching decade. Therefore, the industry and academia must work together to solve the real-world challenge of the skill gap that exists in the nursing curriculum. One of the crucial interventions in equipping the nurses with the right skills periodically is through digital solutions.
One such digital solution to the challenge of preparing the nurses for current and future challenges in healthcare is the FINE programme. The FINE (Finishing Skills for Nursing Excellence) programme is developed by Apollo Medskills and digitally delivered by TCS iON through a phygital model. The programme aims to transform nursing education by providing finishing touches to the academically acquired skills of the nurses by upskilling them as per the industry requirements.
“The nurses must be well-trained, well-educated, and well-equipped to handle critical situations both at the hospital and at home in case of home care. Therefore, there is a need for an intervention to upgrade the skills of the nurses and upgrade the curriculum as per the needs of the industry”, said Dr. Ratna Newar, Director HR, Admin & Quality, PHPL.
Also read: Top 5 Challenges faced by nurses and how to address them – https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/top-5-challenges-faced-by-nurses-and-how-to-address-them/
Welcoming the much-need digital intervention in healthcare and nurses’ training, Dr. Ratna Newar expressed, “The FINE Programme by Apollo MedSkills and TCS iON would do wonders for our nurses. Even though we say the curriculum is changing, there are a lot of other factors we must consider. Therefore, when a private sector like TCS iON joins hands with Apollo Medskills, it is surely going to benefits not only the nurses but the healthcare industry on the whole”.
The FINE programme not only addresses the challenge of sufficient clinical practice and experience but also the issue of lack of industry-experienced faculty. Through the FINE programme, nursing students and graduates can learn:
- Clinical skills of patient care
- Quality and patient safety standards
- Digital skills in healthcare
- Clinical Communication
Healthcare cannot be imagined without the healthcare workers, especially the nurses who occupy the largest share of the global healthcare workforce. Thus, training the nurses as per the industry needs, and periodically upgrading the curriculum to meet the industry demands is essential in meeting the current and future healthcare challenges.
Click here to know more about programs offered by TCS iON in technical and vocational education – https://learning.tcsionhub.in/hub/ve/
For more information about TCS iON phygital model for vocational education, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org