Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq – July 11th, 2021 – The First International Nursing Conference in Kurdistan Region was launched online on July 7th and 8th, 2021, with great success. In the two-day online conference, more than 120 participants worldwide, including international keynote speakers, local representatives, and nurses, participated.
As a co-organizer and host, AUK’s College of Nursing and supporting departments such as Communication and IT worked diligently to transition from an on-campus to an online event possible. The conference was initiated by the Nursing & Midwifery Development Centre in Erbil in 2019. Due to the pandemic, the conference was postponed from 2020 to this year with an online format.
The conference’s theme was “The future of nursing and healthcare in Kurdistan” and besides speeches from keynote speakers, eight additional topics were shared by academic and clinical nursing experts from Kurdistan Region and the world. Twenty research/projects/papers were also presented at this conference.
The keynote speakers were from the USA and Canada, including AUK Dean of Nursing, Dr. Susie Chen, who presented two important topics: Core Measures, a must-know in nursing practice and education, and High-Fidelity Simulation for nursing technology and innovation. Dr. Chen also introduced the conceptual frameworks in developing the AUK nursing bachelor’s degree curriculum from the Core Measures and the concepts of simulation-based education and a high-fidelity simulation lab in AUK.
“This conference provided an opportunity for nurses from academic, clinical, and regulatory settings to come together, present and discuss their work, and identify challenges they face in their efforts to advance nursing in their countries,” stated Dr. Susie Chen, Dean of AUK’s College of Nursing. “Based on their research and work experience, these nurses will produce recommendations for the Health Committee of the KRG Parliament to consider when developing health and nursing policy in the Kurdistan Region,” she added.
In his opening remarks of the conference, the Minister of Health in the Kurdistan Region, Dr. Saman Barzanji, also highlighted the importance of advancing the Nursing Profession for the betterment of Health Services in Kurdistan.
“The first International Nursing Conference was a successful experience for us and our newly-opened College of Nursing, with a total of 25 fresher AUK Nursing students attending this conference”, stated Dr. Nazar Numan, AUK Provost.”.
Under the motto of “Nursing is a life-long learning profession,” the International Nursing Conference in Kurdistan Region is planned to be held yearly.
“We would like to thank all the participants of the 1st International Nursing Conference in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq for joining us and presenting their work at this important event. We look forward to working together to develop the nursing profession in the region and meet again in Autumn 2022.” Said Eva Said, Director of the Nursing and Midwifery Development Centre (NMDC) based in Erbil.
In 2020, the World Health Organization designated the year as the ‘Year of the Nurse and the Midwife,’ which confirmed its commitment to nursing and midwifery professions worldwide. The Covid pandemic prevented celebrating this critical time as planned at AUK but also highlighted the vital importance of nurses and midwives for the health care systems around the world. This year, to recognize the dedication and sacrifice of millions of health workers during the pandemic, the WHO decided to assign 2021 as The International Year of Health and Care Workers.
For more information, visit the conference’s official website.