The Indian Nursing Council has introduced regulations for “Post Basic Diploma in Paediatric Specialty Nursing – Residency Program”. The regulations will come into effect from December 5, 2023.
The regulations explain that paediatric nursing is a specialized field. It focuses on delivering comprehensive nursing care to children, adolescents, and their families across the health continuum. This encompasses health promotion, illness management, and health restoration. It addresses the unique needs of this demographic group from infancy to adolescence.
Recognizing the distinctive nature of pediatric nursing, the National Health Policy (NHP, 2017) underscores the importance of expanding tertiary care services, preparing specialist nurses, and standardizing clinical training. In response to this directive, the Indian Nursing Council has revamped existing specialty nursing programs, introducing a one-year post basic diploma residency program with a competency-based training approach.
The Post Basic Diploma in Paediatric Specialty Nursing aims to provide graduates from nursing fields with an opportunity to study global issues in child health. The program builds awareness of current and future developments in pediatric medicine, equipping nurses with the skills to critically appraise practice and policy, and undertake independent research.
Emphasizing the need for super-specialty nurses in tertiary care institutions, the Council asserts that registered nurses must undergo further training to function effectively in emerging specialty areas, with a focus on competency-based training. One such critical area is pediatric nursing, given the evolving roles of nurses and advancements in the field alongside technological progress.
The one-year residency program is designed to strengthen the education and training of nurses in pediatric specialty nursing. The curriculum encompasses foundational short courses and major specialty courses, addressing essential aspects of pediatric nursing practice. Foundational courses cover professionalism, communication, patient education and counseling, clinical leadership and resource management, and evidence-based and applied research.
Major specialty courses are organized into Paediatric Specialty Nursing I and Paediatric Specialty Nursing II. The former includes an introduction to pediatric nursing and the application of basic sciences in the diagnosis and treatment of clinical conditions. The latter focuses on nursing management of children with specific clinical conditions, encompassing assessment, diagnosis, treatment, specialized interventions, and safety considerations.
The program aims to prepare nurses with specialized skills, knowledge, and attitudes to provide comprehensive care to children with acute, chronic, and congenital disorders. Graduates are expected to play a crucial role in pediatric care units of tertiary/quaternary hospitals, maintaining high standards of care and contributing to the overall improvement of clinical outcomes for pediatric patients.