Thiruvananthapuram: Ushering in a groundbreaking endeavour in nursing education, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Thursday inaugurated the swanky campus of the Centre for Excellence in Nursing under the Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence (KASE) at the Kinfra Apparel Park in Thiruvananthapuram.
“This KASE initiative, which is being done in a fitting partnership with UAE’s NMC Healthcare, will provide practical training for nurses in the face of competition and improve their employability globally,” said the chief minister. “The government is proud to fully back this project which will improve job opportunities for many youngsters.”
While nurses from Kerala were widely employed in hospitals in Europe and the US in the 1960s and 70s, the trend started seeing a downturn—though the demand remained—with nurses from the state finding jobs only in the Middle East’s war-ridden areas.
The Nursing Institute for Career Enhancement (NICE), which is training 150 students in its first batch, aims to bridge the gap between nursing education and market demands with world-class training to nurses that will help them to find jobs anywhere in the world. This batch will obtain their certification by September, and the institute assures jobs to the successful candidates in the best hospitals in the Middle East with lucrative pay scales.
Labour and Skills Minister Shibu Baby John first conceived the institute sensing the need for nurses worldwide; South American countries were calling for 20,000 nurses and Singapore was relaxing entry visa norms for this profession.
“We are doing a big service to nursing graduates by bringing them up to international standards,” said the minister. “One of the highlights of this institute is that the global healthcare industry can directly recruit from this institution, undercutting the role of middlemen who demand up to Rs 25 lakh for nursing placements in the Middle East.”
The institution’s targets are ambitious: it aims to train up to 1,000 students in the first year and 2,000 in the second. “After we achieve 100 per cent placement of the first batch, we hope to spread the project to Kochi and Kozhikode,” said the minister.
Norka Minister K C Joseph inaugurated an electronic medical record software at the function.
Health Minister V S Sivakumar gave scholarships to three candidates to the institute.
Attingal MP Dr A Sampath, Chirayinkeezhu MLA V Sasi, Labour and Skills Principal Secretary Tom Jose IAS, Rahul R IRS, Managing Director,KASE Chairman of SUT Hospital and CEO of NMC Healthcare Dr B R Shetty and MD and CEO of SUT Hospital Sudhakar Jayaram spoke at the function.