Back from China Mrs Grace A. Jaccarini, Coordinator Nursing /Midwifery Studies, Dr Donia Baldacchino, Coordinator for the Masters Nursing Programme and Nursing Research and Ms Victoria Sultana BSc Nursing Coordinator have come back from a professional visit to China and Taiwan.  They first visited the Peking Union Medical College in Beijing and were welcomed by the Associate Dean and Professor of Nursing, Huaping Liu, and discussed current developments in nursing that are taking place in their Universities.

 The group then went on to attend the International Council of Nurses 23rd Quadrennial Congress, in Taipei Taiwan from 21st to 27th. May 2005.  The Conference entitled "Nursing on the move: knowledge, innovation and vitality" took place in the Taiwan International Convention Centre (TICC) close to the highest building in the world, the 101 Building.  There were 4000 delegates attending from 148 countries. As well as learning about future trends, this was an opportunity to meet nurses from all corners of the world.  The opening and closing sessions as well as the plenary sessions were transmitted in the Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French and English languages.  Dr Baldacchino presented her professional practice paper on "Culture and Spiritual Coping in the recovery of Maltese patients from myocardial infarction".  While Grace Jaccarini together with Dr. Mary Gobbi from the University of Southampton UK and Inger-Margretha Jensen from the Aarhus Schools for Nursing in Denmark presented a paper on the "TUNING Educational Structures in Europe".  This is a Project by and for Universities, supported by the European Commission that is being developed by Higher Institutional Education representatives of nursing from 14 different countries.  Leaflets with a list of the nursing competences being proposed for European countries were distributed for discussion and dissemination.

The Maltese delegation also had the opportunity of spending a day visiting the Buddhist Tzu Chi University and General Hospital sited in a stunningly beautiful area in Hualien between the central mountains and the Pacific Ocean.  These institutions are funded by a Foundation that was set up in 1966 by Master Cheng Yen, a Buddhist nun.  The College of Medicine and Humanities opened its doors to students in 1994.  The 1000 bedded Hospital received ISO certification as a medical centre in 2002 and domestic and international patients suffering from rare diseases are cared for by interdisciplinary medical teams.  In 2003 the conjoined twins from the Philippines were successfully separated from each other.  Another nursing area of excellence is Palliative Care.

The three Institute of Health Care Nursing staff members were sponsored by the University of Malta for this learning experience as part of their professional development.