Nurses from Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, CNMI, Hawaii, the US Mainland, American Samoa, Japan, and RMI flocked to the International Conference Center in Delap starting Monday for the 38th Annual American Pacific Nursing Leaders Council (APNLC). The week-long conference is hosted by the Marshall Islands Nursing Association and was officially opened by RMI President Hilda Heine Monday.
Heine asked the audience for a moment of silence in commemoration of Ruth Harris, one of the first trained nurses in the RMI, who passed away last Friday.
She praised nurses for their dedication and compassion, and said worldwide, nurses are contributors to country development, they are clinicians, health care providers, leaders, and policymakers. However, in the Pacific, nurses have been excluded from policy making. This has put nurses at a disadvantage and weakened our healthcare system, she said. “I’m calling for a transformation of our current policy-making process within our healthcare systems that would involve active participation of the nursing professionals.”
She quoted World Health Organization’s Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan: “It is said that a person who saves a life is a hero. A person who saves hundreds of lives is obviously a nurse. That person is likely to be overworked, underpaid, and vastly under-appreciated, especially at the policy-making level.”
APNLC President Rosa Tudela said in her remarks that the conference will focus on best practices and also look for solutions.
Read more about this in the June 24, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.