National Nurses Skilling Program (NNSP)

India, along with more than 150 countries of the world, is committed to ensure healthy lives and to promote well-being for all at all ages (sustainable development goal-3). This basically translates into a healthcare system that provides high quality care not only for the advantaged populations (men, upper caste, affluent, living in urban areas), but also those living in remote rural areas, under privileged castes, poor and women, across all age groups. It is clear that a healthcare system dependent on doctors who are less available and insufficiently skilled to provide primary healthcare in far-off areas cannot achieve this goal. Thus there is an urgent need to identify and engage alternate care providers to meet this huge responsibility. There is now reasonable global evidence that nurses can manage patients at the primary healthcare level as effectively as doctors. In fact, they often are better than physicians in terms of communicating with marginalized families and providing outreach services.

Skilling nurses to become Primary Health Care Nurses: Skilling the nurses for assessment and management of common illnesses(for eg., Malaria, Typhoid) or conditions(such as Diabetes, Hypertension) and use of standard protocols helps significantly in ensuring quality of care, and minimises chances of error. In addition, the PHC Nurse needs to be well versed in communication techniques and effective social interactions, so as to instil the necessary behaviour change, promote compliance specially for difficult conditions, and ensure greater community participation.

National Nurses Skilling Program (NNSP) is supporting the Nurses to provide primary health care: Use of technology for point-of-care diagnostics and tele-consultation can enable the PHC Nurses to provide high quality healthcare. Availability of smart phone helps them transmit pictures or videos, depending on the patients illness, to physicians for advise regarding patients diagnosis or treatment. Having a physician for tele-consultation and regular training helps the PHC nurses to discuss the cases as well as maintain a professional affiliation. Responsive and alert referral systems can help transfer sick patients to higher facilities without wasting time.

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