The Virtual Nightingale Challenge Workshop for 283 nurses and midwives has ended with a task to utilise Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the provision of healthcare to meet modern day nursing and midwifery demands.

Mr Felix Nyante, the Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, at the closing ceremony, said the Council was driving an ICT transformation agenda and would soon digitize its services to clients and stakeholders.

“We have digitized our indexing, registration, checking of results, whilst we will soon introduce the renewal of Personal Identification Number (PIN) and Auxiliary Identification Number (AIN) cards as well as the renewal of license online,” he said.

Mr Nyante said currently Ghana stood as the first country in Africa to have developed and implemented online licensing examination for nursing and midwifery trainees.

He said all those digital platforms would not have been possible without the support of the Netherlands Embassy through its Capacity Development in Higher Education Programme Initiative (NICHE) and the Netherlands University Foundation for International Cooperation.

The Council, he said, was also implementing NICHE projects in the various training institutions in partnership with a consortium comprising CINOP Global and Advocacy Services and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

He thanked the partnering organisations and facilitators for their invaluable contributions and presentations to enhance ICT use.

Mrs Matilda Adams, the Chapter President of the North American Ghana Nurses Foundation, USA, expressed confident that nurses and midwives in Ghana and abroad would lead the way in expanding and diversifying the healthcare delivery system.

“Strong leadership is critical if the vision of a transformed healthcare system is to be realised,” she said, and that the nursing and midwifery profession must produce leaders throughout the system.

Mrs Adams said from the bedside to the boardroom, nurses could serve and be accountable for delivering high-quality care while working collaboratively with leaders from other professions.

The Reverend Veronica Darko, the Chairperson of the 14th Governing Board of the Council, noted that nursing and midwifery research and practice must continue to identify and develop evidence-based improvements to care, and these must be tested and adopted through policy changes in healthcare delivery.

She urged the participants to translate new research findings into nursing education and the practice environment.

Improved regulatory systems, policies, attitudes and habits could increase the innovations those professionals could bring to healthcare at a time of tremendous complexity and change such as managing COVID-19, she said.

Mrs Adams said it was expected that at the end of the Nightingale Challenge in December 2020, participants would be well equipped with leadership skills to excel in the education, bedside, administrative, regulatory and policymaking sectors in the country and abroad.

The four-day sessional programme was organised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in partnership with the University of Ghana Medical Centre, and the Mental Health Authority.

Teaching hospitals, Ghana Health Service, Police and 37 Military hospitals, the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, as well as the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Ghana, participated.

The participants were equipped with leadership and mentoring skills through cross-cutting topics and emerging issues on nursing and midwifery.

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