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Dubai Nurses Required to Go Back to School

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Dubai Healthy Authority (DHA) has announced that licenses to practice as a Registered Nurse will only be provided to applicants who have a Bachelor of Nursing degree, effective by 2020. This comes after global findings discovered that 80 per cent of current nurses require additional qualifications by the start of the coming year.

A large number of nurses currently working in the UAE healthcare system only have a diploma-based education, and many of them hold significant positions within their organisations. Without the opportunity to upgrade their existing qualifications to a Bachelor’s degree, these nurses will not be able to continue to practice in their existing roles. Instead, they will be licensed as a Practical Nurse.

University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) spearheads the message by being the first and only university in Dubai offering a solution. The Nursing Forum in Dubai, led by Dr Suzanne Robertson-Malt, Associate Professor at UOWD, discussed the importance of bridging programs to help nurses across the country convert their diplomas and to continue practicing as Registered Nurses.

The forum, which was addressed by Dr Jane Griffiths, Director Clinical Informatics, DHA, and Ms Abeer AlBlooshi, Senior Clinical Nurse Director, who reminded the Nurse leadership that by 2020 all those seeking to be licensed by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to practice as a Nurse, must have a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from a Ministry of Education (MOE) accredited University.

Dr Suzanne Malt comments, “With high demand, and a shortage of fully qualified nurses, not only is there a call to action needed, but institutions must listen to nurse leaders and put in place the right courses to cater to the new demand.”

Providing a solution for nurses in the UAE, UOWD is offering a time limited (six to eight years) bridging program that has been accredited by the MOE’s Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA). The program is specifically designed for registered nurses who hold a diploma in the field and need to gain a recognised Bachelor’s degree to retain their professional status. The program focuses on developing the participant’s skill and application of critical thinking.