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UST CON Pioneered Research Conference for Nursing Students

By: Charmaine M. Parado and Maria M. Katreena Eslava

In line with its 65th founding anniversary, the University of Santo Tomas - College of Nursing (UST-CON) organized and hosted the 1st International Research Conference for Nursing Students (IRCoNS) in the country last March 9 to 10, 2011 with the theme Stimulating Creative Minds towards New Frontiers in Nursing Research.

The two-day international research conference, attended by 765 national and international delegates from 29 local and international institutions, was formed with an aim to “heighten the awareness of its participants on the significance of research in the practice of nursing as a profession”. It paved the way to showcase different research works conducted by nursing students around the country.

It was started with Fr. Pablo Tiong’s welcome remarks where he encouraged the Nursing researchers to “...research about what we are going to do with so many nurses.” He also mentioned that section 10 of the RH bill is insulting for the Nursing profession as it is the part that says contraceptives will be considered as “essential” medicines – drugs which manufacturing and distribution must be funded by the government. He added, “Aside from the physical beauty, I appreciate the nurses and the nursing profession.”



Afterwards, Hon. Carmencita Abaquin, Chairman of Board of Nursing (BON), gave her keynote speech, entitled The State of the Nursing Profession in the Philippines, discussing the functions of the BON.


Thereafter, Professor Wendy Michele Cross, the Head of Australia’s Monash University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, started the series of plenary sessions with a discussion entitled, Collaborative Investigation: Research beyond Borders.

On the same day, Prof. Allan de Guzman of UST CON and UST Graduate School enlightened everyone with his Critical Appraisal of Qualitative-Quantitative Researches where he clarified that one is not better than the other. According to him, the approach would depend on the researcher and the blindspots or blankspots to be explored. As he said, “Life at times is deceiving. Research at times is deceiving.”

Gracing the event was the Philippine Nurses’ Association President Teresita Irigo-Barcelo who gave a talk entitled Nursing Research and Nursing Practice: Bridging Gaps, Building Links. She tackled the importance of nursing research not only as a mere paper work that has to be submitted as part of the curriculum requirement but an important factor in improving the profession.

The last speaker for the first day of the conference was Prof. Roger Watson, the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Nursing. He shared some pointers and tips on how to get research works published in various research journals with his talk, Writing for Publication.

The second day began with Qualitative Research: Looking through the Lens of Humanity by Prof. Erlinda C. Palaganas the President of the Philippine Nursing Research Society.

Then, Professor Lourdes Marie S. Tejero, currently the head of the Research and Creative Writing Program and Assistant Dean of the University of the Philippines College of Nursing, explicated on using theory development in nursing with her talk Theory Development in Nursing and Application in Nursing Practice.

Thereafter, various concurrent sessions including Evidenced-based Practice in Nursing by Prof. Roger Watson and The Leadership Journey by Prof. Carol Jorgensen Huston were held. The different sessions showcased the studies of both graduate and undergraduate researchers who tackled nursing therapeutics, health promotion, maternal and child nursing, nursing administration, nursing education, oncologic and gerontologic nursing, and care for special population and chronically ill patients. A total of 112 researches about the aforementioned topics were disseminated in the conference either through an oral presentation or a poster presentation.


“The presentations during the conference have proven that undergraduates can come up with a comprehensive and quality research,” said UST College of Nursing Dean Glenda A. Vargas.
“I was very impressed by the sort of projects being done at undergraduate level,”said Journal of Clinical Nursing Editor-in-Chief Roger Watson. “I think the students need to think about trying to get published,” he suggested.

Dean Vargas, who was also the over-all chairperson of the event, said that she feels happy that the event happened in UST as the College celebrates its 65th year and the Quadricentennial anniversary of the University.

“Research will always challenge students to exceed [what we usually expect from them],” Dean Vargas said. “It has been a fruitful gathering that underscored the research development and creative efforts of both students and faculty,” she concluded.

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