Good evening from Jaipur! My husband’s business has called him to India this week, so naturally I jumped on the opportunity to tag along. Fortunately, the tech geniuses that help my husband in his day to day website operations have also given me some tips and tricks for the MidlevelU blog as well. Have you noticed any updates?
Besides taking time to see the Taj Mahal, you can’t go to India without visiting the Taj I am told, and eating the spiciest curry I can find (hello traveler’s GI bug…it will be worth it and I brought Cipro) I’m trying to learn a bit about India’s medical system while I am here. Later this week I will be visiting a hospital or two to observe how medical care in India works. Before my shadowing experience, I decided to learn a little about nursing in India and discovered nurse practitioners have an exciting, emerging role in the country.
When India gained it’s independence from Britain in 1947 and the caste system was abolished, doors opened for nurses in India. Traditionally a male dominated profession, the push for equality allowed women to become involved in nursing. This resulted in an influx of new workers into the field. Community development programs begun trying to improve healthcare across the country. Expansion of hospital and other healthcare services by India’s new government created more and more job opportunities initiating the move toward advanced nursing roles.
About the same time NP programs began in the U.S., in 1960, the first two-year master’s level nursing program began at the Rajkurmari Amrit Kaur College of Nursing in India. Now, 50 years later more than 400 colleges in India offer master’s level nursing courses. Despite this jump in the number of programs, nurse practitioners are still a much needed resource in India. Public health expert Dr. Zeena Johar comments that “With 75% of Indian medical practitioners positioned at urban locations and 72% of the Indian population residing in rural locations, there is an overarching need for human resource innovation for delivering health”.
Nurse practitioners have begun to make their mark in India, overstepping their initial independent role as midwives and branching out into different specializations. In rural communities they fill a much needed gap caring for those without access to medical care.
I will keep you updated on my personal experiences in an Indian hospital later this week…but for now, it’s off to see the Taj Mahal! Namaskar.
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