International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Challenges in Nursing Education in Fiji: Case of SSN
Ranasinghe M.W. Amaradasa,  Narendra Reddy

Though the Fiji Islands confronted with limitations in socio-economic, technological and economical capabilities, it contains a vast potential to offer products/ services to the world market. Nursing profession in Fiji has a fare level of competitive advantage attributed by professional, cultural and personal parameters. Culturally shined caring nature together with English language proficiency coming from colonial influence seems to have created the base for the competitive advantage. However, it is hypothesized that weaknesses in professionalism and up to datedness in access to know how in education providers in nursing education limits the exploitation of their competitive advantage despite their strategic intent to upgrade the level of education offerings. The case conducted around Sangam School of Nursing (SSN) revealed the weaknesses to be addressed to establish better performance in nursing education in Fiji. The retention of academic staff is challenged by opportunities for migration and joining other similar education providers locally. SSN has managed to tackle this issue strategically by recruiting retired nurses from the public service who brings a vast amount of tacit knowledge on nursing practices at all branches of nursing. This allows the student nurses receive two fold benefits namely better mentors and access to accumulated local knowledge of well trained staff. However, the requirements imposed by regulatory bodies demand the academic staff to upgrade their qualifications in the process of upgrading course offerings from diploma level to degree level. Sense of unwilling conformation could be observed which might challenge efforts on HRD. The evidences indicate that the technical services provided at the SSN lack service quality and standards in terms of access, adequacy and completeness. In conclusion, despite having an in built strong basic foundation and strategic intentions, the weaknesses shown in professionalism and technological services need immediate attention to gain better competitive advantage in nursing education.

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