HOUSTON– The University of Houston College of Nursing and the Indian Nursing Council began a new chapter in academic exchange following the signing of a memorandum of understanding during a trip to New Delhi, India.
Kathryn Tart, professor and founding dean of the college, together with Associate Professor Shainy Varghese, participated in a two-day conference with the Indian Nursing Council this summer. Fifty nursing programs from around India were in attendance, selected to create the Nurse Practitioner Critical Care program (NPCC). The selection process was based on recommendations from the Indian Nursing Council and a willingness from the nursing programs themselves to participate.
“India has begun the process for advanced practice nursing care and has many obstacles to overcome, not least of which is the current salary of nurses, and what those salaries would look like with Nurse Practitioner or Doctorate of Nursing Practice degrees,” Tart said.
The Nurse Practitioner Critical Care programs in India will support hospitals to increase the number of higher educated nurses trained to care for critically ill patients. The nurse practitioners will work closely with physicians to provide treatment and care for patients in intensive care units.
Of those programs participating in the conference, four expressed interest in creating a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Graduates of the Nurse Practitioner Critical Care program will be eligible to pursue the doctoral program. The DNP is a professional graduate degree which focuses on the clinical aspects of a disease process and uses evidenced-based practice to improve patient outcomes. Nurses in India with a DNP will have completed the highest level of training in nursing practice.
Conference attendees learned about programs at the UH College of Nursing, and about nursing leadership, advocacy and philanthropy in a presentation by Tart on “Nurses at the Table.” Varghese gave a presentation on “Nurse Practitioner and Doctorate of Nursing Practice Programs in the USA.”
The UH Nursing officials met with nursing leadership from two New Delhi hospitals, Apollo and AIMS, and toured both facilities.
“The hospital tours and meetings with nursing leadership helped us to understand the Indian aspects of patient care and how the NPCC nurses could be utilized in the intensive care units of the hospitals,” Varghese said.
Officials at the college and the Indian Nursing Council will further this new relationship by developing opportunities for nursing education in India and the University of Houston College of Nursing through academic and leadership exchange.