Need to develop nursing programmes for IR4.0
Published on: Monday, March 09, 2020
By: Neil Chan
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Poon visiting the nursing exhibition booths after opening the conference.
Kota Kinabalu: Educational programmes including for nursing graduates need to be developed to better prepare for and meet the changing demands in the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0). 

Sabah Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon said under IR4.0, the educational manifesto emphasises the acquisition of new and specific skills and that jobs under IR4.0 also require creativity, irrespective of discipline. 

“Educators then must be capable of producing highly competent nursing graduates imbued with critical thinking, creativity and entrepreneurial skills. 

“In the clinical arena, the need for nurses to have better communication and collaborative skills will be more important than ever. IR4.0 requires the workforce to have digital and data literacy.” 

He said consequently, nurses across disciplines need to acquire this literacy during their studies. 

“The convergence of man and machine in IR4.0 means the disciplinary distance between science and technology, and humanities and social sciences is likely to be reduced.”  

Poon said today nurses have proven their ability to work together collaboratively and judiciously on preparing for Industrial Revolution 4.0.  

“In this context, I think it is vitally important to impart the appropriate education to the future workforce as IR4.0 would necessitate profound changes in major aspects of educational content, delivery, structure and management.

He said overcoming the challenges posed by the need for interdisciplinary collaboration should be one of the key objectives of the Conference.

Poon said this when officiating the opening of the 1st Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) International Nursing Conference in conjunction with the 11th International Nursing Students Forum 2020 at the UMS faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

He said Malaysian nurses have been and remain the very foundation of the healthcare delivery system in this country, and for this all should be profoundly grateful.

“Year after year, nursing is rated as the most trusted profession in terms of honesty and ethical standards. However, despite this enduring vote of confidence from the public, the nursing profession continues to struggle with its professional image.

“The challenges today are different in many ways, but the task of communicating the considerable contribution made by nurses to the realm of public health remains a primary objective. The profession has experienced dramatic changes in the last few decades. 

Poon said nursing has become more complex and sophisticated whereby the relationship between nurses and physicians has evolved into a collaborative model. 

“The recent years have also witnessed more men choosing the profession as their preferred vocation.

“In the past, nurses simply followed commands and performed their tasks to the best of their ability; today however they are professionals with a diverse skillset whose thoughts and insights are for the betterment and well-being of society as a whole. The nursing profession in the modern era has become the sturdy backbone of the national healthcare delivery system.”

He said although the nursing profession has undergone many changes since the middle 20th century, there has been one significant constant - the profession continues to offer challenging, fulfilling opportunities for both men and women. 

“Nurses make up the largest percentage of the workforce in healthcare; the profession is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country with more men now entering the workforce. In a changing and uncertain world, nurses have but one common purpose: to provide the highest quality care possible.”

Also present were Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Datuk ChM Dr Taufiq Yap Yun Hin, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UMS; Professor Dr Mohd Saffree Jeffree and Organising Chairman Dr Norkiah Arsat.


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