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Community Wellbeing Nurses Training
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Strengthening Community Wellbeing Through Professional Development of Nurses 

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YEREVAN, Armenia — The Community Wellbeing Project and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program of the American University of Armenia’s (AUA) Turpanjian College of Health Sciences (CHS) have launched a series of continuous professional development training sessions for nurses from Artsakh and Ararat region. The training sessions aim to enhance and strengthen nurses’ knowledge, skills, and competencies in specific clinical areas aligning with the latest evidence-based practices.

The training sessions focused on different topics, including enhancing clinical skills in newborn resuscitation care activities through the correct application of evidence-based practices; utilizing ethical principles in selecting appropriate interventions of care to newborns and their families; acquiring knowledge and skills of intravenous, intramuscular, and subcutaneous injections; recognizing and responding to post-intravenous catheter placement complications; applying aseptic methods during the preparation and administration of medicines; and performing effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and effective responses to emergencies.

As part of promoting self-reliance and fostering integration, The Community Wellbeing Project provides ongoing education and skills development workshops to different professional groups. In line with this objective, a collaboration was established with the BSN program to deliver continuous professional development training sessions tailored for nurses. The training program was offered and designed based on a rapid training needs assessment conducted among the forcibly displaced nurses from Artsakh. The training sessions are accredited by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia, and the participants receive 14 continuous professional development credits after completing the series. 

The training sessions are conducted by two BSN faculty members, Talin Gulgulian, R.N., MSN and Vicky Herkelian, R.N., M.A. They developed the training curriculum and materials around evidence-based guidelines and international best practices in the field. The sessions include both theoretical and practical components. In the practical component, the participants are actively engaged in hands-on practice, using mannequins across different nursing stations. This allows them to enhance and reinforce the information acquired during the theoretical component. The training sessions take place at the BSN program’s practice lab in the AUA Najarian building. BSN program students Narine Sultanyan (BSN ’25) and Anahit Arakelyan (BSN ’25) actively contribute to the training by moderating various practice sessions. 

The participants’ knowledge and skills are assessed through nursing competency checklists and objective specific clinical examinations. About 35 nurses have already successfully completed the courses, and more will participate in additional sessions to be offered in the fall. 

In general, the participants expressed their satisfaction regarding the training content and organization. They highlighted that the training sessions were very informative, interesting, and motivating. Moreover, they emphasized the positive environment, which made the learning process enjoyable and productive. As one of the participants noted, “These training sessions not only helped us refresh our knowledge and skills, but also provided an opportunity to meet new colleagues and create a new professional network.”

The Community Wellbeing Project is co-led by Dr. Varduhi Petrosyan, dean of CHS and director of the Zvart Avedisian Onanian Center for Health Service Research and Development, and Dr. Alina Dorian, associate dean for Public Health Practice at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Fielding School of Public Health (FSPH). It was launched in Masis, Armenia in December 2023. The Project aims to address the immediate and long-term needs of the forcibly displaced Artsakh population residing in Armenia, assist with their integration, and ensure community resilience. The Community Wellbeing Project is funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, with matching funds through a generous donation made to UCLA FSPH.

The AUA Turpanjian College of Health Sciences works actively to improve population health and health services in Armenia and the region through interdisciplinary education and development of health professionals to be leaders in public health, nursing, health services research and evaluation, and health care delivery and management.