GRADUATING from a Nursing course is very timely because of the urgent need for such a profession during these difficult times and because of the lack of health care personnel to provide the much-needed services especially in the rural areas.

As attention has focused on chronic shortages in the field, both the importance of nursing in general and the wide variety of nursing career options in particular are once again highlighted.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Many nurses have advanced degrees and are working in a variety of settings such as being educators, researchers, administrators or staff in medical facilities where they are trained in a number of specialties.

In this continuously changing environment, it is important to study the trends in nursing jobs in order to determine a successful career path. Being able to care for a patient and at the same time acquiring a firm base of scientific knowledge are indispensable elements of a nursing career.

In September 2009, the SLU School of Nursing in partnership with the SLU-School of Nursing Alumni Association successfully launched the Dr. Jesusa B. Lara Lecture Series. Various Nursing schools in Baguio City also supported the well-attended launch.

The annual JBL Lecture Series was established in honor of Dr. Jesusa Lara who was the founder and first dean of the SLU College of Nursing in 1976.

The JBL Lecture Series provides a forum for the alumni of the SLU College of Nursing to touch-base with their alma mater, and to share their expertise and ideas as well as research findings and developments with other nurses.

The holding of this lecture series clearly manifests the commitment of SLU to promote professional advancement by encouraging the continuing education of our nurses and other interested health care personnel innovative nursing care technologies and procedures.

Last year's lecturer was Dr. Annabelle Borromeo, the vice president of the Nursing Division at St. Luke's Medical Center in Manila, who spoke on "When caring nurses do uncaring things: A quotidian perspective."

The speaker on the 2nd JBL lecture series held on July 3 was Dr. Mae Magdalen Centeno who talked on "The impact of one-on-one heart failure discharge teaching on 30-day readmission rates." Dr. Centeno is the program manager and clinical nurse specialist at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, USA.

The SLU College of Nursing (now called School of Nursing) traces its roots from the College of Natural Sciences where the two-year Pre-Nursing program started in 1968. The Department of Nursing was eventually weaned from CNS to become an independent college with Dr. Lara as its founding dean.

She steered the college for 11 years with Community Health Nursing as the focus during her term. Community folks were taught how to manage their own health problems and enjoined to develop their health programs thru Community Organizing Participatory Action Research.

In response to the need of promoting primary health care to the depressed areas of Benguet not accessible to health services and facilities, the Mobile Nursing Clinic was founded which answered the appeals to uplift health conditions there.

The SLU-School of Nursing Review Program became operational to accommodate BSN graduates from all other Nursing schools. It helps graduate nurses understand the concepts better in order to increase their chances of passing the licensure examination. Jose Reinhard C. Laoingco