Supporting nurses into the future: Fundi sponsors Nursing and Midwifery Research Conference

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The critical role of nurses and midwives in caring for our communities and driving their advancement was in the spotlight last week at the Nursing and Midwifery Research Conference. Hosted by the Forum of University Nursing Deans of South Africa (FUNDISA), the event was held at the CSIR International Convention Centre. Fundi sponsored the conference this year – an extension of the support already provided to nurses across the country who rely on the company for funding assistance.

With nursing and midwifery both vocations as opposed to “careers”, nurses and midwives are active and consistent investors in their own education. “This is something we see time and again in our funding data,” notes Mala Suriah, the CMO of Fundi. “As such, sponsoring last week’s Nursing and Midwifery Research Conference was a natural fit and extension for us as an organisation committed to student success. Given that so many researchers are presenting their findings and showcasing the results of their studies, we wanted to ensure as many nurses as possible could benefit from the conference and are exposed to future-forward thinking and best practice.”

Speakers at the conference included national and international experts – most of whom shared their completed research. “Many of the sessions showcased evidence-based direction that demonstrated how sector-specific research can be applied to improve health outcomes for communities, as well as shape current and future best practice.” Policy making and its role in informing clinical practice was also discussed, as well as the on-the-ground impact this can have.

Suriah adds that Fundi is particularly proud of its role in enabling thousands of nursing students across South Africa to pursue their vocational dreams and destinies. “Nurses fall into one of our top categories of ‘life-long students’ who remain dedicated to their own betterment and continuous improvement. We see them consistently invest in further qualifications for themselves and/ or short courses on specialist subject matter. This is something we all benefit from as South Africans. We must encourage and support this ‘teachable’ mindset wherever possible.”

With the conference focusing on “Resilience in nursing: Reimagining research scholarship to inform education, practice and policy”, attendees enjoyed a collaborative and engaging three days of plenary and panel sessions, as well as interactive workshops. One of the highlights included a Masters and Doctoral Forum, where Masters and Doctoral/PhD students discussed and received constructive feedback on their research from a panel of experts in nursing and health research.

Fundi has partnered with FUNDISA to help sponsor the conference:  “Given the model of healthcare on our continent and our acute shortage of doctors, many nurses and midwives often find themselves the first and/or only port of call for healthcare emergencies and treatment. This makes it critical for all of us to support and enable them wherever we can. As Fundi, this means sponsoring events of this nature, and playing an active role in enabling their ongoing development and professionalism through our various services and solutions.”