The theme of the forum that will be held from October 15 to 18 is “Transforming Leadership – Nurses as Change Agents for Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the Pacific.”
Cook Islands Nurses Association present Nga Manea said theme would encourage nurses to take the lead and lead by example to be full partners with other health professionals in redesigning and advancing health care to address the challenge of NCDs.
NCDs are the greatest challenge to our Pacific people in this 21st century, she said adding nurses need to lead the way in the prevention and management of these conditions to improve the health and reduce the mortality and morbidity of its Pacific people.
“The forum will provide a regional platform for nurses to exchange knowledge and innovation from the different cultures, countries and territories from across the South Pacific,” Manea said in a statement.
“Nurses will also bring together evidence, experience and innovations highlighting nursing contribution to Universal Health Coverage and demonstrating how their roles are important to ensuring access and quality of health care for all.”
The forum will feature some well-known international speakers including Annette Kennedy, the president of the International Council of Nurses, Mary Kirk, the vice president of International Confederation of Midwifery, Debbie Sorrenson, chief executive office Pacific Futures Limited New Zealand, and Matafanua Hilda Fa’asalele, chief advisor Pacific Health New Zealand.
Renowned local experts Elizabeth Iro, the World Health Organisation chief nurse, Nikki Rattle, the reappointed Speaker of Parliament and Dr Neti Herman will also be speaking at the forum.
Manea said the speakers would bring inspiration and the latest information on leadership, management, development and regulation of the nursing/midwifery workforce, innovation in nursing education and advances in nursing practice.
The South Pacific Nurses Forum (SPNF) was formed in 1982 by South Pacific Nurses who were attending the 1980 International Council of Nurses in Los Angeles, USA and has met in different locations in the South Pacific every two years since then. They last meet in the Cook Islands in 2004.
“We expecting at least 400 nurses to attend to this very important event. Countries that have confirmed attendance include Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Niue, Nauru, Australia and New Zealand,” Manea said.
Alongside the SPNF, a concurrent meeting will also hold its 8th Government Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers Alliance (SPCNMOA).
This is a meeting for the government chief nursing and midwifery officers, nursing and midwifery regulators and the principal nurse educator from each country.
“This group will discuss the alliance action plans and strengthening the nursing profession to support health strategies of countries and territories in the region. They will also join the SPNF for a number of joint sessions during the week,” Manea said.
“The Cook Islands Nurses Association as a non-governmental organisation with the support of the Cook Islands Ministry of Health will endeavour to run a successful forum.”