Abu Dhabi: Nine Emirati nurses took part in a five-day nursing programme organised by the Ministry of Health (MoH).

The action-learning programme, dubbed The Leadership for Change (LFC), started yesterday and is running for the third time in the UAE, with the aim of creating effective Emirati leadership and clinical managers in a constantly changing health environment. Twenty-eight nurses are taking part.

The UAE, among 60 other countries, is the first in the Eastern Mediterranean Region to implement the programme, which is developed by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The MoH introduced the programme in 2002-04 with 29 participating nurses, and again in 2005-07 with 18 nurses and now from 2008-10 with 29 nurses.

Five components

"Till today a total of 47 Emirati nurses from different parts of the UAE have taken part in this programme and a total of 12 trainers have been ICN certified," said Masia Maay'a, Head of Continuing Education Section, Federal Department of Nursing at the MoH.

"We have nurses from the MoH, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Police, Zayed Military Hospital and many more," he added.

Maay'a also told Gulf News that the programme has five components, a workshop, mentors, an individual development plan, activities and team projects.

"A team of nurses work on a health related project. This year we have six groups whose participants will submit their project findings by 2010, before being certified by the ICN at the 7th Nursing Initiative Conference," she explained.

Zainab Al Khanjari is one of the mentors for the 2008-10 programme. She currently works in Zayed Military Hospital as Head Nurse in Staff Training Development and has been certified by the ICN in 2005-07. She teamed up with a group of four nurses and conducted a two year project on child abuse.

"We wanted to show that nurses can be involved in general health care issues and can be educators. Even though our topic was sensitive, the challenges we faced taught us leadership skills, perseverance and team spirit," said Zainab.