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An initiative To Empower Indian Nursing Students In New Brunswick

In their final year of college, Indian nursing students Tathagata Konar (left) and Michelle Christien had the chance to travel to Fredericton for a preceptorship, which allowed them to work at a hospital and discover the clinical and cultural variations in the healthcare system. As part of a programme that intends to eventually supply the province with 100 new nurses, a small group of nursing students and teachers visiting India are currently studying in New Brunswick.

For a two-week visit as the first phase of a preceptorship programme, the University of New Brunswick and the province of New Brunswick welcome a delegation of nine nursing students and two faculty members from the nation of India.

The purpose of this tour is to create a thorough preceptorship where students from India’s Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) come to Fredericton to see the clinical and cultural side of nursing in the province.

In order to better understand the variations in healthcare between the province of New Brunswick and her native country, Michelle Christien, who is beginning her last year at MAHE, has been getting practical experience by visiting a Horizon hospital. She claimed that she saw some differences right away. “In India, nursing is a profession shared by all nurses. All of the patient’s needs must be met by a single nurse. You play diverse roles here, in contrast. According to Christien, very carefully considered divisions of roles exist.

“When roles are clearly defined, it is simpler to care for the patient, and there is good interdisciplinary communication and a relationship that helps in promoting the patient’s health.” As part of the cultural aspect of her visit, Christien also had the chance to explore Fredericton, which she described as being “very calm and very peaceful.”

The populace is really pleasant, generous, and amiable. And I enjoy my experience working in long-term care and hospitals, she added, adding that she hopes to return to Fredericton in the future to work. Tathagata Konar is a second student who is staying for two weeks to gain a better understanding of the provincial healthcare system. After his Aug. 9 arrival, he said that by simply seeing and working close to other nurses, he had already learned a great deal about nursing.

The nurses spend a lot of time with the patients here, but they essentially can’t go back there due to their workload, he said. The repercussions of the pandemic convinced Konar to choose MAHE as his school of choice for nursing, even though he had not initially considered it. He intends to return to New Brunswick after this preceptorship to impact the community there.

Students at MAHE can practise both in India and New Brunswick thanks to a dual degree programme offered by UNB. Reducing some of the challenges that registered nurses from other countries must overcome in order to enter New Brunswick is the aim of the dual degree, which would also help to fill the nursing deficit. “This is a way that we can meet two deliverables: one, that we respect [nurses’] knowledge so that there is not de-skilling, and the other is that they are able to support the workforce,” said Lorna Butler, professor of nursing at UNB. She made a point of mentioning the issue of de-skilling, particularly referring to the practise of placing foreign-born nurses in jobs below their educational attainment.

In January, the New Brunswick Nursing Union reported that there are about 1,000 open positions throughout the province. Between 2025 and 2029, 100 registered nurses from India are expected to be recruited according to this programme, and the first cohort has already enjoyed one productive year.

Butler explained that the province is “not transferring any nurses away out of the clinical employment setting in India” because the programme offers 25 seats, a level that the Indian Nursing Council has designated as “supernumerary” to ensure that the same number of nurses are graduating in the nation.

The nursing dean at MAHE, Judith Noronha, was one of the professors who went to Fredericton. She claimed that because it incorporates lessons from both the nursing school systems in New Brunswick and India, the dual programmeme offers distinct courses compared to a typical nursing programmeme.

According to Noronha, “students undergo the educational requirements of both the MAHE curriculum and also fulfil the requirements of the UNB programme, so that they will have the competencies required by both countries.” Nursing students in Thailand must complete Grade 12 with physics, chemistry, biology, and English as their fundamental requirements in order to be eligible for the program.

They also must be included on the Manipal entrance test merit list. She noted that each of the nine pupils who are now enrolled in their preceptorship programme gets the chance to practise healthcare in an entirely new setting because of this. Since these programmes make it easier to earn a living abroad, Christian said she appreciates that the province is interested in them. “I feel like they’re calling us here not just to employment but also to make it our home, to grow and to develop.”

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