Nurses may often remain in the background but the rich experience they have is a vital part of the collective knowledge of the medical community. While there is no better teacher than experience, the first step for a trainee nurse is learning from books that are rich in practical information. On Monday, as a precursor to celebration of 100 years of nursing education, two books were released - one deals with community nursing and the other is a handbook for nurses..

Modern nursing as a profession began in India a century ago, when foreign missionary nurses sowed the seeds of formal, structured education and training programme for aspirants. In 1913, the Central Board for Nurses Training School in South India was constituted. Four years later in 1917, male nursing students appeared for exams conducted by the board. And nine years later, In 1922, enriched by experience in treating the native and British population, the Board published its first nursing textbook. Hundred years later, the board has 22 books to its credit in addition to learning materials and CDs. Thousands of auxiliary nurse midwives, general nurses and speciality nurses have benefitted from the books

At a special meeting held at CSI Kalyani Hospital, two new editions of nursing handbooks were released. An Introduction to Community Health Nursing was written in 1974 by Kasturi Sundar Rao Since then, the book has been revised five times. The fifth edition was launched by Sudhir Joseph, president of Christian Medical Association of India. The third edition of Nursing Student Diary, a guidebook for nursing students, was launched by Bimal Charles, general secretary of the Association.. “Our problem is quality of education, particularly skill-based training. Anybody can learn theory but it is practical and skill based training that a nurse needs,” said George M. Chandy, editor of CMAI.

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