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UCQ launches Nursing Diploma Program

The University of Calgary - Qatar (UCQ) is now accepting applications for a nursing diploma program that it will be offering in its fall semester. The diploma program is being offered through a partnership with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

"We want to provide every opportunity possible for aspiring nurses to gain entry to a profession that is highly regarded and very fulfilling from a personal and professional viewpoint," explains Dr Carolyn Byrne, Dean and CEO. "The State of Qatar has a dire need for nurses to fulfill its National Health Strategy of creating a world-class, patient-centered health care system. The diploma program provides another stepping stone toward that goal," Byrne added.

HMC will sponsor students entering the diploma program. Upon completion, they will be placed in the Qatar health system. They will be allowed and encouraged to complete their studies and obtain a Bachelor of Nursing degree. "The diploma program will be the first step of a professional career ladder that can take nurses to a baccalaureate degree and beyond," stated Byrne.

The diploma program will consist of 25 courses that will enable the nurses to provide care in a hospital setting. Degree nurses must complete 40 courses with studies that go beyond hospital care and cover leadership, research and community health.

The entrance requirements and achievement levels will remain the same as degree studies. "The National Health Strategy calls for a skilled national workforce capable of providing high-quality health services. We hope to contribute greatly to that endeavor. The bottom line is the people of Qatar will benefit from this both as nursing students and as patients in the healthcare system. It helps fulfill the goals of the National Health Strategy which is aligned with the Qatar National Vision 2030." stated Byrne.

"HMC will sponsor Qatari and long term resident students through the program. We will also work to provide structured work placements and other real-life experience for these students and graduates. The graduates of this program will be able to enter the workforce and take up a valued and crucial position within HMC," Dr Nabila Al Meer, Executive Director of Nursing at HMC, told the gathering.

"Each and every day we see our nurses at HMC making a difference to the lives of our patients," said Hanan Al Kuwari PhD, Managing Director of HMC. "This diploma program and our unique partnership will ensure the delivery and quality of education at same high standards. Clinical practice and highly evolved clinical skills will also be the focus so that graduates can make a real difference to the lives of our patients and their families."

"We have been working to establish a patient centered nursing care model based on patient needs, which reflects the cultural needs of patients and staff in Qatar. It is therefore important that we continue to support programs and initiatives that enable us to train nurses here in Qatar."

Dr Fathy Saoud, Chairman of the UCQ Joint Oversight Board and President of Qatar Foundation characterized the Nursing Diploma Program as a prime example of His Highness the Emir's plan to deliver quality education and research programs. "Our strategic objective is to build on what we have achieved, so far, to reach a higher number of students, without compromising quality. Because this is a very important pillar of everything we have done in Qatar during the last t 10 years. I'm not just talking about quality of programs but quality of faculty and quality of facilities," he said.

The deadline for application to the Diploma Program is May 1st.

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