National Conference on Nurse-led Developments for Sustainable Healthcare in India

January 19, 2024

Manipal College of Nursing (MCON), Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal organized the National Conference on ‘Nurse-led Development for Sustainable Healthcare in India’ on January 18 and 19, 2024, to mark the 125th birth anniversary of the great visionary and founder, Late Dr TMA Pai.

The inauguration of the conference was held on January 18, 2024, at the Dr. TMA Pai Auditorium, KMC, MAHE, Manipal. Dr Judith A. Noronha, Dean and organizing chairperson of the conference, MCON, MAHE, Manipal, introduced the chief guest, Dr. Sharath K. Rao, Pro Vice-Chancellor– Health Sciences, MAHE, Manipal, and the Guest of Honor, Dr. Kaveri M. Roy, Distinguished Teaching Assistant Professor, Nursing, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, USA and welcomed the gathering.

The Chief Guest, Dr. Sharath K. Rao, addressed the importance of preventive care and said that nurses need to take the lead to reduce the healthcare burden through proper nursing care. He emphasized that nurses have a pivotal role in underserved areas, identify challenges, and bring about sustainable changes in health care by implementing policies. He also highlighted that higher education should be inclusive of education, research, and innovation.

The Guest of Honor, Dr Kaveri M. Roy, highlighted the essence of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and stressed the importance of an interdisciplinary approach rather than an individualistic one to reach the collective goals of sustainable healthcare. Dr. Elsa Sanatombi Devi, Professor, MCON, and convenor of the conference, gave an overview of the conference.

A floral tribute to the founder, Dr TMA Pai, followed by the traditional lamp lighting was performed by the dignitaries, and Mrs. Sweety J. Fernandes, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecological Nursing, MCON, Manipal, and co-convener of the conference, proposed the vote of thanks.

The inauguration of the conference was followed by plenary sessions by leading speakers nationwide, including paper and poster presentations. A total of 200 participants from across the country’s different states have registered for the conference.

The conference was preceded by pre-conference workshops held on January 17, 2024, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on three areas, namely, “Mentoring Skills for Mentors and Leaders,” “Interprofessional Advanced Wound Care,” and “Simulation in Clinical Obstetrics.”

The conference was in line with the third and fourth Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) proposed by the United Nations, which are “Good Health and Well-being” and “Quality Education”, respectively.

Day 1: January 18, 2024

Day 1 of the conference started with an Oration on “Leadership for Effective Organization” in memory of Prof. (Late) PP Bhanumathi by Mrs. Saroja Jayakumar, Nursing Manager, Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru, on January 18, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Mrs. Jayakumar highlighted that strategy is the plan that allows the company to accomplish a mission and is crucial for the effective functioning and success of any organization. She elaborated on the four levels of strategy, which included operational, functional, business, and corporate strategy, and advised creating a vision for the future, making strategies, implementing them, and seeing the changes. She stressed the four types of strategic leaders, which include transactional leadership, transformational leadership, visionary leadership, and collaborative leadership. She emphasized that leaders should have strategic thinking skills like analytical skills, communication skills, problem-solving and decision-making skills. She also highlighted the importance of proper coordination between teams and working professionals for effective leadership in an organization. The session was moderated by Dr. Tessy Treesa Jose, Professor and Associate Dean of Manipal College of Nursing, MAHE, Manipal.

Following the inauguration, the first plenary session for the conference was on “Capacity Building for Evidence-Based Healthcare” by Prof. Filiz OGCE AKTAS, International Faculty, MCON, MAHE, Professor and Dean, Izmir University of Economics, Faculty of Health Science, President, Turkish Surgical & Operating Room Nurses Association, at 11 a.m. She emphasized how important education and research are in nursing and how capacity building is essential to improving nursing care standards globally. She highlighted the key components like training and education, access to information, enhancing critical thinking, and guideline development for evidence-based healthcare. She stressed the capacity-building strategies, which include top-down and bottom-up approaches, and the barriers to capacity-building in evidence-based healthcare. She also spoke about how critical thinking must be enhanced among nurses and the need for developing cohesive and updated nursing care guidelines. The session was moderated by Dr. Kaveri M. Roy, Distinguished Teaching Assistant Professor in Nursing, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, USA.

The second plenary session was on “Framework for a Sustainable Model of Healthcare” by Prof. Gracy Mathai, CEO of Baby Memorial Hospital, Calicut, Kerala, and the session was moderated by Dr. Christopher Sudhakar, Director - Quality, MAHE, Manipal, & Professor, Manipal College of Nursing, MAHE, Manipal. In her session, Prof. Mathai elaborated on implementing a “sustainable model” for healthcare, which includes economic, environmental, and social coordination. She emphasized that balancing economic, social, and environmental factors and meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generation is vital for sustainable healthcare. Prof. Mathai highlighted the pillars of the sustainable developmental model, which incorporates economic sustainability like cost control efficiency, value-based care, innovation and technology, payment and reimbursement reform, collaboration and integration, strategic partnership and financial sustainability planning; social sustainability like equitable access, universal health coverage, community engagement, preventive care and health promotion, social determinants of health, cultural competence and inclusivity, mental health integration, workforce diversity and training, patient-centred care and technology and innovation; and environmental sustainability like energy efficiency, waste management, green building design, water conservation, sustainable procurement, transportation and logistics, chemical management, sustainable practices in healthcare operations, biodiversity conservation, and education and advocacy. She also spoke about the challenges faced by the healthcare sector and opportunities to overcome them. She also stressed that overcoming the challenges in the healthcare industry is possible only through cooperation between patients and healthcare workers. This session enlightened the participants directly on the strategies that can be implemented in their healthcare system to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), 3, 4, and overcome the barriers.

The plenary session was followed by a sponsor session on “Ensuring Research Confidence in Nurses-Led Development with CINAHL & Dynamic Health” by Mr. Roby Mathew G, Regional Manager, India & South Asia, EBSCO Information Services. He took the participants through the new, updated search model through the CINAHL database. Also, he informed them regarding the EBSCO app, which can be very useful in literature searches and reviews.

The third plenary session was on “Nurse-led Change Framework and Policies” by Prof. Roopa Rawat Singhvi, Consultant with WHO, Collaborating Centre for Emergency & Trauma Care, JPNATC AIIMS, New Delhi. It was moderated by Dr. Elsa Sanatombi Devi, Professor, MCON, & convener for the conference. Prof. Singhvi gave a brief overview of nurse-led initiatives, bringing about change in management frameworks, nurses’ status, and their role in formulating healthcare policies. She provided a glimpse of her “nurse-led call centre” during the COVID-19 pandemic, wherein tele-counselling and guidance were provided to callers, and home care for COVID patients was provided to them. She also discussed how nurses, as an exclusive part of the healthcare team, can lead change in management and play an essential role in making policies, as well as the responsibilities of a nurse in paving a way to move forward concerning management and policies in the healthcare sector.

The plenary session was followed by a sponsor session by CBS Publications, where they launched their new textbook on Adult Health Nursing. They showed a video demonstration of their app, “Nursing Next Live,” which can be used by participants and students to prepare for various competitive exams in the field of nursing, such as the NORCET, NCLEX, and many more. They also mentioned their upcoming Faculty Development Plan and encouraged purchasing and using their services.

­­­­­­­­            The final program of the day was arranged for scientific paper presentations by the conference’s scientific committee. Forty-two posters were received for the poster presentation competition, and 19 oral presentations were held from 3:15 to 5 p.m. The day was concluded following the oral and poster presentations, and interested participants were taken on a campus tour by the Accommodation Committee members of the conference to experience the vibrant life at the MAHE campus, Manipal.

Day 2: January 19, 2024

Day 2 of the conference started with an oration on “Researcher’s Visibility through Sustainable Development Goals” in memory of (Late) Dr. PP Bhanumathi, by Dr. Suja Karkada, Principal, CSI Lombard Memorial College of Nursing, Udupi. She spoke about the importance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and why they matter to nurse researchers. She elaborated on the advantages of the SDGs and why it is important to align nursing research with the SDGs. She also emphasized that SDGs are important for solving global-level problems and stated that communication and accessibility are key factors in the successful realization of SDGs. The session was moderated by Dr. Baby S Nayak, Professor and Head, Department of Child Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing, MAHE, Manipal. The session was delivered from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at the Auditorium of Dr. TMA Pai Halls, MAHE, Manipal.

The fourth plenary session was on “Empowerment of Nursing Leadership for Change in Healthcare” by Dr. Mamatha S Pai, Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing, MAHE, Manipal. She stressed how important the empowerment of nurses is, to improve job satisfaction and enhance nursing skills. She spoke about the sources of motivation and elaborated on Kanter’s theory of empowerment as well as the Strength-Based Nursing and Healthcare Leadership (SBNH-L) model. She concluded by stating that the key qualities of an inclusive leader are authenticity, proper definition of roles, active learning, and ensuring equal opportunities. The session was moderated by Dr Binil V, Additional Professor, Department of Mental Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing, MAHE, Manipal.

The fifth plenary session was on “Higher Education Mentoring: Impact on Healthcare and Society” by Dr. K Ramnarayan, Pro-Chancellor, Sikkim Manipal University, Sikkim, and the session was moderated by Dr. Judith Angelitta Noronha, Dean, Manipal College of Nursing, MAHE, Manipal. In his session, Dr. Ramnarayan elaborated on the meaning of the term 'mentor'' and the historical account of the term. He spoke about the four most important qualities of a good mentor: competence, confidence, commitment, and care/compassion. He emphasized the difference between a role model and a mentor. He engaged the participants in reading a motivational paragraph regarding mentoring and engaged in discussions with them. Finally, he outlined the phases of the mentoring process and the warning signs of dysfunctional mentoring, and he gave valuable insight into the fact that mentoring is not an autocratic decision but instead a two-way process between the mentor and the mentee.

The sixth plenary session was on the topic of “Public Health Updates & Initiatives to Achieve SDGs” by Dr. Prashant Bhat, Vector Borne Disease Control, Officer, Udupi District &, Senior Consultant, PMDT at the Union, Dept. of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka. It was moderated by Dr. Shashidhara Y N, Professor & Head, Department of Community Health Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing, MAHE, Manipal. Dr. Bhat gave a brief overview of the public health updates, mainly in terms of the differences in morbidity and mortality rates of the most common problems in our country. He stressed the importance of adhering to the SDGs and shared his views on how to strengthen the health system to achieve overall health goals. He spoke in depth regarding the National Health Programme 2017 and focused on the importance of digital platforms to reach the general public and aid them in facing their healthcare challenges. He emphasized the role of nurses in achieving the SDGs and in carrying forward the various National Health Programmes planned and implemented by the Government of India.

The seventh plenary session was on “Healthcare Policies and Health Equity” by Dr. Suba Sooria, Head of Nursing Services, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal, and the session was moderated by Dr. Sonia R.B. Dsouza, Professor and Head, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecological Nursing, Manipal College of Nursing, MAHE, Manipal. In her session, Dr. Sooria elaborated on the National Health Policy (NHP) 2017, which focuses on health priorities, the emergence of a robust healthcare industry, rising economic growth, and the growing incidence of catastrophic expenditure. She also spoke about the primary aim of the NHP, which is to strengthen the system by harnessing the power of technology and developing human resources. She stressed the importance of comprehensive care and nurses’ role in health equity by adapting culturally competent care, advocating for policies and changes, addressing implicit bias, investing in telehealth and mHealth facilities, and taking up the role of nursing advocates.

The eighth and final plenary session of the conference was on the topic of “Challenges and Facilitators for Nurse-led clinics” by Mrs. Dorathy Devakirubai, Professor, Department of Maternity Nursing, CMC, Vellore. It was moderated by Dr. Leena Sequeira, Principal, Manipal School of Nursing, MAHE, Manipal. Mrs. Dorathy provided an insight into the world of nurse-led clinics, and how they can be a game changer to tackle the increasing burden on the existing healthcare system in the country. Some of the challenges of establishing and running nurse-led clinics in our country are the lack of autonomy, the lack of acceptance and recognition, and the handling of administrative tasks. She mentioned that to successfully manage a solo practice, there needs to be a well-planned referral system, and it has to be a team approach, not one person alone. She also mentioned that continuous updating of one’s education and knowledge is key to the successful running of nurse-led clinics.

Feedback was taken from the participants regarding their experience of the conference. Sr. Sumy, from Jubilee Mission College, Kerala, provided positive feedback regarding the hospitality and organization of the conference and congratulated the entire organizing committee. Mr. Arpan Pandya and Ms. Shalini Joshi, participants from Charotar University of Science and Technology, Gujarat, both praised the conference for being highly innovative and informative.

Feedback was also obtained from the KNC observer allocated for the conference, who praised the hard work and organization of the conference greatly. A valedictory session was held and the best oral and poster presentations were awarded. Dr. Toni Brewley and Dr. Judith A. Noronha won the award for the best oral presentation, from Hall 1, while Ms. Shalini Joshi and Ms. Vijayalakshmi won the award for the best oral presentation from Hall 2. Awards for best poster presentation were won by Ms. Henita Josna Menezes with Dr. Sonia R.B. Dsouza, Ms. Meena Konsam with Dr. Sonia R.B. Dsouza, Ms. Ngangom Karorpati Chanu with Ms. Sarah H, and Dr. Pratibha Kamath with Dr. Judith A. Noronha. Words of thanks and gratitude were exchanged between the organizers and the participants.

The conference was sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Government of India, EBSCO, CBS Publications, Nursing Next Live, Jaypee Publications, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), State Bank of India (SBI), Manipal Dental and Surgicals, Manipal Campus Store, and Bharath Bookmark.

Dr. Judith A Noronha, Professor & Dean, MCON, Manipal, was the organizing chairperson of the conference. Dr Elsa Sanatombi Devi, Professor, MCON & Director, M-FIILIPE, MAHE, Manipal was the Convenor and Organizing Secretary and Mrs. Sweety J Fernandes, Assistant Professor, MCON, Manipal was the Co-convenor of the conference.

Mrs. Reshma R Kotian, PhD Scholar, MCON, Manipal was the Master of Ceremony for Day 1 of the conference and Ms. Soumya Liz Jacob, PhD Scholar, MCON, Manipal was the Master of Ceremony for Day 2 of the conference.