The curriculum of the Bachelor of Nursing Programme has been sophisticatedly designed covering strong theoretical and practical components. These components are well integrated across every study year to prepare students to become professional nursing practitioners with a solid foundation in theory and knowledge.
Every year, the School provides sponsorships for students to visit universities and hospitals in mainland China and overseas to enrich their learning experiences and international exposure. Such exchange experiences facilitate students to develop cross-cultural insights to better understand health care systems in different countries, and to learn about international innovations and best practices in nursing. In addition, the School offers a rich array of scholarships to reward students with outstanding achievements in academic performance or community service.
Nursing: A Holistic Education For Holistic Care
The mention of nursing calls to mind Florence Nightingale who tended the sick and the wounded on the battlefields of the Crimean War. Nurses nowadays work in more diverse settings and their training is all the more sophisticated, but the qualities that constitute the making of a nurse have not changed over the decades.
The Nethersole School of Nursing at CUHK has been able to admit students with enthusiasm and commitment to serving in the health care field since its inception in 1991. Each year, around 5,000 applicants compete for 217 places on offer at its Bachelor of Nursing Programme. In the QS World University Rankings 2021, CUHK came first in Nursing locally and in Asia.
CUHK’s nursing programme is known for its professional education and academic rigour. To prepare students for a successful nursing career, the programme provides a comprehensive range of courses including biological and behavioural sciences, health promotion and maintenance, nursing research and information technology.
As with many other disciplines, the first month of university life could be quite ‘tumultuous’ for school leavers.
First-year students participate in a mentorship scheme which helps them settle in. Novel teaching and learning technologies such as Clickers and UReply are used to enhance student interaction in class. Small tutorial classes are conducted to consolidate learning through thorough discussion.
Kevin Yau, a 2019 graduate majoring in nursing, is ready to vouch for the benefits of such tutorial classes to his academic and professional education.
Another unique feature of the CUHK nursing programme is its emphasis on whole-person development. The School sees to it that students are equipped not only with professional skills, but also the cultural competency to see how nursing adapts to different societal conditions.
‘Student Exchange’ is one of the major elective courses of the nursing programme, and nearly half of all final-year students visit an overseas university for two to three weeks. Participants can learn more about other cultures, as well as how nursing education and practices are conducted outside of Hong Kong. With the support of the Nethersole Endowment Fund, the School sponsors 75% of the airfare, accommodation expenses and fees for lectures and clinical visits.
Nurses work in diverse healthcare settings, ranging from general practices and clinics to hospitals and nursing homes. They also work in correctional facilities, schools, and NGOs, or participate in humanitarian aid in war zones and disaster-struck areas. While administering to the needs of patients is the most commonly known duty of nurses, other lesser known roles include management, training, and research. The opportunities available to nurses are as many as the challenges facing them, given the versatility of the profession.
Such a view is echoed by Kevin.
‘A nurse’s job is not only about handling documents or medical tools. Nurses focus on the overall well-being of their clients. People may think that nurses are just assistants to doctors, but I think they do much more than that. Nurses must possess critical thinking and decision-making skills as well as empathy when delivering holistic care to clients,’ he said.
‘The programme provides students with a lot of practical training beneficial to our future career in various healthcare settings. I am sure I can apply what I’ve learnt here to my nursing career, no matter what position I will be posted to.’
Published: Summer 2017
Last Updated: Summer 2021