Building the foundation of care: renovation of the College of Nursing in Bangladesh News

12 May, 2024

On this International Nurses Day (IND), we celebrate the frontline heroes of healthcare systems – our nurses – and their pivotal role in shaping healthier and more productive societies. The work of nurses extends far beyond the hospital walls, as they engage in research, education, management, and policy advocacy, shaping the trajectory of healthcare innovation and sustainability. Their expertise and people-centered role fosters a culture of wellness that promotes prevention and encourages healthy behaviors.

The state of nursing in Bangladesh

The Empowering Women through the Professionalization of the Nursing Sector in Bangladesh (ProNurse) Project is an initiative funded by Global Affairs Canada and implemented by Cowater International in association with Université de Montréal, via the International Health Unit and the Faculty of Nursing, the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, and working closely with the Directorate General of Nursing and Midwifery (DGNM), the Bangladesh Nursing and Midwifery Council (BNMC) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). ProNurse was designed to respond to Bangladesh’s challenges in the nursing sector by enhancing the quality of nursing services, improving nursing education, performance, and strengthening the overall professional status of nurses in society.

The project supports training, leadership development and investments in nursing infrastructure. As part of its focus, ProNurse has recently completed the renovation of the Mohakhali College of Nursing (CoN), to create a conducive learning environment and support the professional development of nurses.

Recognizing the need for change

CoN faced significant challenges, grappling with infrastructural deficiencies and resource limitations. The CoN auditorium, teacher-student common rooms, conference rooms, academic rooms, library and washrooms, all required extensive repairs. ProNurse supported the repair of key learning facilities at CoN to improve learning delivery.

“The working environment is very important to keep our body and mind sound and productive. After the renovation work at CoN, now we have a standard workplace to provide quality services”, said Modina Khatun, Principal at the College of Nursing.

The expansion and modernization of the College of Nursing is an important improvement for the nursing profession in Bangladesh. The renovations include new spaces – an auditorium, a digital library, teachers’ cubicles, gender-sensitive teaching and learning materials, an entrance ramp to improve accessibility, a common room for teachers and students, as well as separate washrooms for male and female nurses. Bright colors, modern technology, new furniture, give the place a lively and comfortable look, making it easier for nurses to learn and work together.

“The e-library is mandatory for us to access the study materials and to be connected to the wider world; for searching and exchanging knowledge to be a nurse meeting a global standard”, said Rahima Khatun, a second-year nursing student.

Empowering the future nurses

The renovated CoN symbolizes more than just a physical transformation. It embodies a commitment to empowering future generations of nurses. By creating accessible resources and opportunities for growth, promoting health and well-being through enhanced facilities like the digital library, and encouraging collaboration and innovation among students and faculty, the CoN sets a new standard for nursing education in Bangladesh.

The new digital library has opened a window into global knowledge, available only one click away. The renovation of teachers’ rooms allows for meaningful discussions with instructors. These improvements are cultivating a culture of academic excellence and collaboration and positioning CoN as a golden standard for nursing education.

Sustaining the Legacy of Care

Investments in the next generation of nurses will ensure that healthcare provision in Bangladesh will shape a healthier, more equitable future for all. The renovation of CoN is an indication of the transformative power of collective vision and dedication. As we celebrate this year’s IND theme – Our Nurses. Our Future. The economic power of care – we are reminded of the critical role that investments in nursing services and knowledge play in strengthening the overall quality and accessibility of healthcare systems. In Bangladesh, similarly to many countries around the world, investing in nurses is investing in a better future.

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