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Tata Trusts launches nursing fellowship prog in State
 GUWAHATI, Oct 23 - Tata Trusts has launched a nursing fellowship programme to upskill Registered Nurses (RNs) as Oncology Specialist Nurses (OSNs). Nurses who join Tata Trusts’ Cancer Care programme, depending on their competencies, will be eligible for the fellowship.

 RNs, who are already a part of the cancer care programme, are presently being covered by the fellowship. This is being provided free of cost with the aim of giving an opportunity to professional nurses under the cancer care programme to develop specialised knowledge, skills and experience in oncology nursing. The 11-month long programme will comprise 144 hours of classroom training and 2,160 hours of clinical training along with concurrent assessments.

The nursing fellowship has been introduced in Assam, where the Assam Cancer Care Foundation (ACCF), an initiative of the Government of Assam and Tata Trusts, is presently developing a network of 10 cancer care hospitals. Going forward, the programme will be introduced at the Tata Trusts’ cancer care programme centres across India.

“Assam has one of the highest incidences of cancer in India. We are already working on developing cancer care infrastructure. The nursing fellowship programme will meet our need for skilled oncology nurses, who are the mainstay for any successful healthcare programme. The first batch has already begun at the Assam Cancer Care Foundation in Guwahati and has 11 incumbents,” added Dr Sajal Sen, HOCS, ACCF.

The fellowship will enable the programme’s RNs to develop holistic skills in caring for patients undergoing treatments such as anti-cancer drug therapies, surgery, radiation therapy and palliative care. Each module has been designed to provide the RNs with specific competencies, enabling them to deliver evidence-based high-quality nursing care to patients diagnosed with various types of cancer.

A WHO report suggests that there is a need for human resources for healthcare in India, especially nurses, with the deficit being nearly 2 million.

“Nursing staff have maximum interface with the patients and caregivers during their visits and stays at the hospital. Nurses who are adept in handling patient queries can immediately put the patient and the family at ease... We are positive that the NFP will make our nurses proficient in delivering quality care consistently,” said Dr Sanjiv Chopra, chief executive of the programme.

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