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UST CON Reawakens Thomasian Nursing Spirit with International Conference

By Ma. Kristel M. Nadlang

The University of Santo Tomas College of Nursing (UST CON), in cooperation with the UST Nursing Alumni Association, Inc. (USTNAAI), continued its Quadricentennial celebrations with the 4th Thomasian International Nursing Conference last January 21 and 22 at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel.

The two-day intellectual affair was participated in by the senior students, alumni and faculty members of the college as well as guests from other institutions.

With the theme, Thomasian Nurse: Building the Church, the Nation and the Family: Our Birthright and Destiny, the conference sought to create the perfect venue for exploring the portals of the nursing profession—practice, education, leadership and research. Furthermore, the aforementioned event underpinned the trends, challenges and issues affecting nurses in the present and the key role they play towards the country’s development.

Renowned personalities in the nursing profession graced the conference as they delivered their speech in the plenary sessions outlined for the two-day event. Among the speakers was the former dean of UST CON, Sor Paz T. Marfori, who delineated the very essence of the Thomasian nurse in her talk entitled, The Professional Nurse according to Mind and Heart of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Highlighting UST-CoN’s culture of excellence was the college’s very own Dr. Divina Sanchez-Grossman, Vice President for Engagement of the Florida International University who shared how the institution helped her in her professional career abroad.

Also present in the event was Ms. Kathleen Fritsch, the Nursing adviser of the World Health Organization (WHO), who delved deeper into the status of global health care in the region including the Philippines in her talk, Global Health Care: Impact on Nursing Employment and Professional Demands and Initiatives.
Another known personality in the event was Dr. Jude Guiang who is a faculty member of the UST CON. He delivered a lecture-discussion in one of the concurrent sessions that transpired in the conference. In his talk, Smoking: To Quit or Not to Quit....That is the question, Dr. Guiang stressed the health hazards brought about by smoking and the withdrawal symptoms to be experienced by people who would like to quit the habit.
Out of all the sessions, the prime highlight was the Kapihang Tomasino Nars wherein a panel of notable Nursing personalities imparted their thoughts and opinions on the theme, BEYOND 2011: The Challenges to Thomasian Nursing Leadership and Excellence. The highly distinguished panel was composed of the following speakers: Sor Paz Marfori, former dean of the UST-CoN; Dr. Teresita Barcelo, Philippine Nurses’ Association (PNA) President; Dr. Amelia B. Rosales, member of the Professional Regulation Commission Board of Nursing (PRC-BON); Dean Glenda Vargas, dean of the UST CON; Mr. Pete Reuben Calixto, executive director of the Philippine Nurses’ Association of America (PNAA) Foundation; Mr. Ferdie Luyun, UST Nurses Association of America (USTNAA) President and Mrs. Inocencia Ida S. Tionko, USTNAAI President.

“The 4th International Nursing Conference was one of the most educational and interactive conferences that I have attended as the speakers were able to tackle the current trends and issues in the field of Nursing and even discussed them in a manner that was understandable to all, especially to us students,” beamed Nursing Central Board of Students (NCBS) President Royce Jasper Ong.

Mr. Ong also commended the outstanding attendance of the alumni from all over the world who participated in the conference. He said, “But what made the conference memorable were the alumni of our college who attended the conference. Their reception and excitement were the cherries on top on what was a successful conference.”


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