National Nursing Research Conference a Huge Success

General Santos City, November 16 - The 1st National Nursing Research Conference held in General Santos City between November 13-14, 2008 was a huge success according to the conference convenors--Dr. Erlinda Palaganas and Prof. FJ Babate. There were 81 paying participants however, final registration soared to 104 people (including guests, resource persons and nurse volunteers comprising the secretariat staff).

Group photo-session among conference participants and resource persons

The ceremonial ribbon-cutting activity was part of the opening ceremonies and it was led by Dr. Edgardo Claudio, the Vice-President of Notre Dame of Dadiangas University; Dr. Carmencita Abaquin, the chairperson of the Board of Nursing; Dean Thelma Ruth Tingda, the national chairperson of the Philippine Nurses Association, and of course, assisted by Dr. Erlinda Palaganas and Prof. FJ Babate, the convenor and co-convenor, respectively.

Dr. Edgardo Claudio, VP of Notre Dame of Dadiangas University

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony with Dr. Edgardo C Dr. Edgardo Claudio, Dr. Carmencita Abaquin, Dean Thelma Tingda, Dr. Erlinda Palaganas, and Prof. FJ Babate

Dr. Erlinda Palaganas of the University of the Philippines-Baguio cited a good turnout of participants from across the country. From Laoag City in the north to Zamboanga City in the south, this conference was indeed a timely initiative to create the research infrastructure in the country.

Dr. Palaganas is one of the few nurses in the Philippines who received her doctorate (in nursing) from overseas. In 1996, she obtained her Ph.D in Nursing from the University of Sydney (in Australia through an AusAID scholarship). Currently, a professor of the Institute of Management, University of the Philippines-Baguio.

Dr. Erlinda Palaganas as conference convenor
Interestingly, a large delegation from northern Philippines came in including the national chairperson of the Philippine Nurses Association, Gov. Ruth Thelma Tingda who mentioned the importance of nursing research both in the context of clinical practice and education. After her stint as dean at Easter College, Gov. Tingda is now a senior faculty member of the College of Nursing, St. Louis University.

Gov. Ruth Thelma Tingda Dean Thelma Ruth Tingda, the PNA National Chairperson

Success comes with a few historic features of this conference. It was the first national event for nurses held in SOCCSKSARGEN Region. Likewise, it was the maiden conference for nurses researchers in the country. Lastly, the first major event in the country supported by Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing particularly, the Iota Sigma Chapter of Azusa Pacific University where Dr. Palaganas and Prof. Babate are active members.

In fact, a video clip of STTI's President Dr. Carol Huston shown at the conference opener delighted the audience as she enjoined them to take part in the Society's initiatives as future members. Also video clips of Iota Sigma chapter officers led by Dr. Marilyn Klakovich and Lourdes Salandanan (chapter president and president-elect, respectively), Dr. Rozzano Locsin, Dr. Rose Constantino and Darlene Borromeo.

Dr. Carol Huston's video clip as conference opener

Dr. Carol Huston's video clip

Meanwhile, in his opening remarks, Prof. Babate said, "the presence of noted nursing leaders in the country made this event apart from the rest". Truly, nursing research has come. He cited the historical development leading to the realization of this conference.

Prof. FJ Babate

Prof. FJ Babate as co-convenor

Dr. Carmencita Abaquin who is currently the chairperson of the Board of Nursing was the second keynote speaker. She mentioned the BON's latest policy on nursing research emphasizing its relevance and importance as well as compliance of all nursing schools in the country.

Dr. Carmencita Abaquin as Keynote Speaker

Hon. Carmencita Abaquin, Chairperson of the Board of Nursing

Awarding of Plaque to BON Chairperson Dr. Carmencita Abaquin by Prof. Caster Palaganas and FJ Babate

Dr. Abaquin receiving her plaque of appreciation

With the bigwigs of nursing research: Dr. Rusty Francisco, Dean Grace Lacanaria, Dean Thelma Tingda, Prof. FJ Babate, Prof. Edgar Pangue, Prof. Caster Palaganas.

Dean Thelma Tingda, Dr. Erlinda Palaganas, Dr. Carmencita Abaquin, Dr. Grace Lacanaria, Dr. Rusty Francisco, Prof. FJ Babate, Prof. Edgar Pangue

Dr. Rusty Francisco, Dean Grace Valderrama and Dr. Cora Anonuevo led the sterling cast of plenary speakers.

Dr. Rusty Francisco is the Chief Operating Officer of NCCLEX, an accredited training center for nurses. Dr. Rusty gave extensive information about the relevance and essence of an honor society. He introduced the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing to the enthusiastic audience.

Dr. Rusty Francisco of NCCLEX

Currently, the dean of the school of health sciences at Mapua Institute of Technology, Grace Valderrama spoke on the evidence-practice in the clinical setting. She drew her insights from a rich experience in both clinical and academic background. Dean Valderrama is very keen on quantitative studies and the audience learned a lot from her ideas.

Dean Deogracia Valderrama, RN, MAN, MHA

Finally, Dr. Cora Anonuevo who is currently a professor at the College of Nursing, University of the Philippines-Manila spoke on the importance and relevance of ethics in research.

Dr. Cora Anonuevo of the UP College of Nursing

Dr. Teresita Barcelo was so generous in her time to fly down south to facilitate a post conference nursing research workshop dubbed, "Nightingale's Odyssey" held at St. Elizabeth Hospital, a tertiary hospital in General Santos City. She facilitated the workshop on developing conceptual and theoritical frameworks together with Dr. Erlinda Palaganas.

Advocacy for Nursing Research: Historic Signing of Commitment from Participants

Pledge of Commitment from the Conference Participants

However, the conference's success was largely attributed to the people "behind the scenes". The secretariat staffmembers of the conference who are members of the Beta Nu Delta Nursing Society, Inc. gave the crucial efforts in the long stretch.

The conference staffmembers with Dr. Carmencita Abaquin: Mairelle Paje, Marvie Terrado, Mira Rosali, Karen Nacis, Jovelyn Alaba and Mr. Kranz Espartero

Overall, the conference evaluation was great with a benchmark score of 4.3 (above average to outstanding) out of a possible 5 (outstanding). The participants rated the conference on three (3) major dimensions.

  1. Pre-event activities and registration (pre-event information/promotions, ease of registration)
  2. Event theme/subject matter (relevance of topics discussed, usefullness of topics discussed, ease of understanding technical information)
  3. Speakers/reactors (expertise/familiarity with subject, clarity of presentation, effectiveness of delivery, ability to manage participant's interaction, time management)

Below are the verbatim statements from selected participants.

  1. Congrattulations to the convenors and the organizers of this Convention.It was well-organized and very informative. Im looking Forward to the next Conference.
  2. Too much topics w/ limited time ,You should have maximize the expertise of speaker
  3. Star Studded Event
  4. Complete Information of the conference should have been included,very friendly and accomodating , secretariat appreciate the new insights.
  5. Congratulation for a very good job
  6. The venue is O.K. Also the food. So,Congratulation & keep up the good food & venue
  7. Nice! Thank You. Congatulation
  8. Congratulation for a job well done.It was worth attending.THANK You.Looking Forward
  9. Well done!Neat!Wow! Happy
  10. Please Lets have a personal-on line communication as much as possible every Quarter
  11. Congratulation for a job well done!
  12. Congratulation to a Succesful Event.Great!Really Inspiring.
  13. Thanks for the opportunity and More power To the organizers
  14. Job well done to all the organizers.Hope to see you again. CONGRATULATION!