t has been confirmed in Monrovia that the University of Liberia on Capitol Hill will now run a School of Nursing as part of its academic program. According to the President of the University, Dr. Emmett Dennis, the first group of students will be admitted into the UL School of Nursing when the next academic year commences September of this year.
This latest development is in consonance with a partnership between the United States-based Indiana University, University of Liberia and the John F. Kennedy Medical Center initiated by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
The disclosure was made by Dr. Dennis and the Chief Administrator of the JFK Medical Center, Dr. Wannie Scott-McDonald, the collaboration between the two universities and the JFK Hospital led to the near completion of a nursing curriculum to be included in the UL academic program that will lead to the establishment of a School of Nursing.
The curriculum, according to them, is structured in line with the West African College of Medicine program, with assistance from Indiana University, in order to remain on par with the sub-region and the rest of the world since the WACM is internationally recognized.
They told President Sirleaf during a meeting with a visiting 11-man delegation from Indiana University, comprising the IU Schools of Nursing and Business, that the curriculum of the School of Nursing, although taking time to complete, was nearly concluded and would be ready for the September 2014 entry of students, and that the first class is expected to graduate in 2016.
During the meeting, the JFK Chief Administrator welcomed President Sirleaf’s suggestion that the current Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts or TNIMA will serve as a feeder school to the proposed School of Nursing at the University of Liberia.
According to her, this will erase the perception that the government was about to close down the TNIMA, replacing it with the UL School of Nursing. Students graduating from the three-year program at the TNIMA, when enrolled at the University of Liberia’s School of Nursing, will have only two years to obtain a Bachelors of Science or BSc Degrees in their area of specialization.
In separate remarks, UL President, Dr. Dennis and JFK Medical Center Chief Administrator Dr. Wannie Mae Scott-McDonald expressed gratitude to President Sirleaf, whose leadership created the enabling environment for the formation of the partnership between the three institutions.
President Sirleaf, in remarks during her meeting with the U.S delegation and UL and JFK authorities at her Foreign Ministry office, noted that she was happy that the collaboration was moving forward, and was about to bring to fruition, plans to further strengthen government’s efforts to improve health care.
She said although infrastructural development remains a cardinal to Liberia’s post-war recovery, education remains a government’s topmost priority, which was not a quick fix, but required long-term planning and efforts toward realization. The Liberian leader thanked the IU for being part of the solution to rebuild Liberia’s human resource capacity.
The Dean of the Indiana University School of Nursing, Ms. Marion E. Broome, speaking earlier, said she was glad that the partnership was about to realize a long-term dream, and would remain committed to the collaboration to ensure the execution of the program by the UL.
She renewed IU’s unflinching support to the development of the School of Nursing at the State-run University of Liberia as their way of supporting President Sirleaf’s development agenda.
The Head of the IU Kelley School of Business, Mr. Philip Cochran, said he was impressed at the progress made so far, describing it as “breath-taking” since his last visit to Liberia over a year ago. He expressed, on behalf of the IU Kelley School of Business, the hope that the partnership would benefit the three institutions and their respective countries as well.