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Arawa School of Nursing elevates to Bougainville Nursing College

Arawa School of Nursing (ASON) witnessed its sixth graduation on Tuesday this week, in which a total of twenty-three students graduated with Diplomas in Nursing, among them was a lone male student.

It was another milestone achievement for the institution since it was opened seven years ago.

This is according to the founder and Principal of the institution Mrs. Celyn Tusalah, who claimed it was not easy but through perseverance, hard work and determination of both the staff and students with support from the Board of Governors and stakeholders that the institution has progressed.

“Before the outburst of civil war, ASON was one of the best nursing colleges in the country producing the highest quality of nursing professionals who went out to serve the nation and we want to use that standard today and ensure that we are producing the quality of nurses in Bougainville population,” she said.

She added nursing is a noble, reputable profession and involves healing the mind, body and soul of patients with the care they give and urged the graduates to go out and serve with the skills and knowledge that they have received in ASON.

This sixth graduation witnessed the passing out of twenty three students – among them a lone male student and this lot were the first batch of students who had applied through the online selection program that was introduced by the National Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST).

Among the graduates were students from other provinces of PNG including Morobe, East New Britain and West Britain Provinces. The rest were from North, Central and South Bougainville, including Nissan/Atolls and Torokina.

Mrs. Tusalah further stressed that the institution had faced major challenges of accommodation for staff and students as well as teaching facilities, however, this had not deterred their commitment and strive to continue to teach and graduate students with Diploma in Nursing.

National Minister for DHERST Hon. Don Polye was the guest speaker at the ceremony and congratulated both the staff, students and stakeholders for working together to strive for the best despite the challenges that they were faced with.

“Today we gather here to celebrate not only your accomplishments but also your remarkable journey as students of the Arawa School of Nursing,” he said.

Ms. Melisa Kurogai, representing the graduates thanked the teaching staff, BOG and stakeholders including the health staff out in the hospitals and health centers for their tireless efforts and commitment in imparting their knowledge and skills.

She also thanked the PNG Government through the NDHERST and the National Department of Health (NDOH) through the Nursing Council for recognizing the need to establish such an important institution in Bougainville.

Ms. Kurogain also acknowledged the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), the National Minister for ICT and Member for South Bougainville Hon Timothy Masiu and National Member for Central Bougainville Fr. Simon Dumarinu for their funding support and assistance towards ensuring that the Arawa School of Nursing was functional.

Part of the graduation ceremony also included the presentation of accreditation certificate by the Registrar of the Nursing Council, Dr. Joseph Nina, with the National Department of Health, certifying its status as a nursing college in Bougainville.

“ASON has had very humble beginnings and we have been part of that journey from the very beginning to what it is today. I want to congratulate Mrs. Tusalah and your hard working staff for your perseverance and commitment to making it this far,” she said.

Furthermore, it was announced that Arawa School of Nursing will now be known as the Bougainville Nursing College from next year onwards and enrollment will be open to school leavers within Bougainville and around Papua New Guinea as well.

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