Dr. Deborah White presents during the Nursing & Midwifery Workforce Development session at WISH 2020

November 23rd, 2020

The Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Development policy briefing at the World Innovation Summit for Health 2020 provided an overview of the progress in the key area of nursing workforce development, with a strong focus on Qatar-specific context.

Held on November 17th, the session and policy paper highlighted the current evidence about nurses’ and midwives’ contribution to health and wellbeing, both globally and nationally. It addressed key issues and achievements in terms of leadership, education, and training; and collaborative partnerships and initiatives. In-depth policy recommendations to achieve better workforce outcomes and effective health service delivery were also addressed.

“Globally, educators have made concerted efforts and have been successful in structuring curricula that is competency based, and that uses enhanced pedagogical approaches and robust practice settings to enhance application of theory to practice. Increasingly, educators are strengthening interprofessional education and practice opportunities as well as expanding opportunities for specialized areas of study (e.g, trauma care, global health, cardiac). It is critical that programs are flexibly designed to respond to changing population and health trends, with application to local context,” says Dr. White.

In discussing the importance of pedagogy, Dr. White highlighted curricular changes in the undergraduate nursing program at the University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ). We have implemented an integrated concept-based and competency based undergraduate nursing curriculum. The curriculum is a pedagogical shift from an emphasis on content organized with a medical model, with focus on groups and settings, to a shift on concepts. Concepts are learned by using exemplars across the wellness-health and illness curriculum, the life course and health practice settings with emphasis on Qatar exemplars.

At the undergraduate level, there are often gaps or a lack of depth of knowledge and skills in nursing courses in the 21st century, such as chronic disease, use of data and evidence, and management of non-communicable disease. UCQ is addressing these gaps.

Dr. Deborah White

Dr. White noted that while UCQ does not have a midwifery program; however, health organizations are progressing to assure midwifery education in Qatar.

 “A strong workforce requires political will and collaboration across multiple sectors including ministries, health organizations, regulatory bodies and education,” says Dr. White. “Nurse leaders must be at the table with ministries and decision makers contributing to national workforce planning, influencing the development and implementation of national education standards, and regulatory as well as organizational policy that supports the full scope of practice." 

Her Royal Highness Princess Muna Al-Hussein of Jordan, in her address to the General Assembly, called for an investment in health, the health system and the health care workers. Her Highness called upon the audience stating: “Now is the time to lead.” This is a fertile time for Nurses and educators in collaboration with their partners to lead and make a difference for the community and the health system, both in Qatar and globally.

Policy briefing


Dr Sanaa Al- Harahsheh, Senior Associate of Research and Policy, World Innovation Summit for Health, Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar

Dr Deborah White, Dean and Professor, University of Calgary in Qatar, Doha, Qatar

Ms Afrah Moosa Ali, Assistant Director of Nursing, Primary Health Care Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Ms Dina Schnurman, Executive Director, Nursing Education and Practice Development, Sidra Medicine, Doha, Qatar

Ms Claudine El Araybi, Director of Nursing, Al-Ahli Hospital, Doha, Qatar

Ms Mariam Nooh Al-Mutawa, Executive Director of Nursing – Rumailah Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

The World Innovation Summit for Health is a global initiative whose aim is to ‘promote and facilitate innovation in healthcare delivery around the world. WISH was launched at the Global Health Policy Summit held in London on 1 August 2012. The inaugural WISH Summit was held in Doha in December 2013.