Abu Dhabi: With only 74 registered nurses across the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the first Midwifery Training Programme is now available to help encourage more Emiratis and GCC students to enter the field.

According to the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (Haad), approximately 1,800 nurses need to be recruited annually across Abu Dhabi in order to keep up with the growing demand. It is also estimated that by 2019 an additional 6,500 nurses will be required.

Corniche Hospital, managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine International, a Seha health system facility, and Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), will offer the 18-month Bachelor of Applied Science in Midwifery, to ten students a year, with the opportunity of expansion in the next three years.

The first class of students will begin studies in February 2011, with several Emirati students already registered for the inaugural class. GCC residents and expatriates with more than two years of nursing experience within the Seha Health System are encouraged to apply for the programme.

Each course will be benchmarked against international midwifery institutions such as the Royal College of Midwives in the UK.

During their studies, students enrolled in the midwifery training programme will be employed by Corniche Hospital, and placed in nursing roles suitable to their desired licence and experience level.

Easing the pressure

"There is support from the Haad in the provision of programmes that will address the needs of the women and babies of Abu Dhabi in the years to come," explained Lynda Mikalauskas, Chief Clinical Officer at Corniche Hospital. The Haad is also currently working on re-visiting licensing and recruitment regulations in an effort to help ease the pressure from the shortage in hospitals, Gulf News during the recent Haad audit workshop.

The UAE Ministry of Health also offers a two-year Bachelor of Science degree in nursing to registered nurses who wish to upgrade their qualifications.

"We recognise that cooperative education programmes with the public sector are integral to providing employers with career-ready graduates; those with the theory and clinical education to enter the health care system, and most importantly, to meet the needs of families with whom the graduate midwife will work," said Pamela Cawley, Associate Academic Dean of Health Sciences at the HCT.


Those interested in enrolment can schedule a counselling session at the Higher Colleges of Technology before January, with numerous scholarship opportunities available through the programme's wide network of supporters.