Temasek Foundation, Singapore has awarded the School of Nursing of The University of Hong Kong a grant of S$896,000 (about HK$5million) to conduct the “Training-of-Trainers Programme for Advancement in Nursing for Nurse Managers, Nurse Educators, and Community Nurse Leaders in Guangdong Province, China” (the TOT project) for a period of two years. This is the first time Temasek Foundation, Singapore, has awarded a grant to a university in Hong Kong, and this project also marks the foundation’s first joint partnership with HKU.
HKU School of Nursing aims to train 180 nurse managers and educators in Guangdong who will then serve as trainers and transfer their knowledge and skills to at least 6,300 nurses in the Province which is about 5% of the 128,043 nurse population in the Province. The project includes 6 tailored training programmes with contents such as nurse teaching, health services management, tobacco control and a series of study visits to Hong Kong and Singapore hospitals. The programme has just commenced in March 2010.
“The strategic partnership between HKU and Temasek Foundation, Singapore demonstrates a shared objective to build capacities and capabilities of nursing professionals in Asia through cross-cultural collaboration and knowledge exchange,” said Mr Goh Geok Khim, Chairman of Temasek Foundation, Singapore.
Professor Sophia Chan, Director of School of Nursing, HKU and Director of the TOT project, said, “This is the first programme of its kind in Guangdong Province, and it aims to improve the management skills of nurse managers, advance the teaching skills of nurse educators, and promote community nursing, in particular the awareness of chronic disease prevention and the skills in tobacco dependency treatment”.
The Guangdong Province is the most populated province in China and there is a shortage of nurses. At the same time, China is undergoing health care reform to enhance the overall standard of the nursing profession should be one the major focuses. Professor Sophia Chan added, “With the successful implementation of the programme, we hope to build a model of nurse management training which may eventually be applied to other parts of China and contribute to enhance the overall standards of health care in China.”
To kick start the programme, the School of Nursing conducted a study on the learning needs of Chinese hospital nurse managers in Guangzhou in November and December 2009. Findings of the study showed a strong need for management training among nurses in Guangzhou. While some nurse managers had received management training in China, their standards varied, and training that offered practical management skills applicable to daily practice was found lacking. Furthermore, nurses expressed a need for greater exposure outside mainland China, which would help enhance their development, especially in improving their communication skills, team building techniques and quality assurance models.
With the grant from Temasek Foundation, Singapore, the HKU School of Nursing will be able to strengthen its mission in knowledge transfer locally, nationally, and internationally. The transfer of nursing expertise from Hong Kong to China will also lead to increased collaboration between HKU and mainland nursing partners in future.