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BU College of Nursing-Seinajoki University, Finland holds 3rd International Research Conference on Unifying Health Perspectives

April 23, 2024

In a significant stride towards global academic partnership and knowledge exchange, Bicol University College of Nursing (BUCN) and the Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences (SeAMK) recently converged for the 3rd International Research Conference with the theme, “Harmonizing Research and Health Practice: Perspectives of Bicol University and Seinajoki University,” from April 18 to 19, 2024.

Using a blended platform, the conference seamlessly facilitated engagement with nearly 400 participants worldwide through live streaming on Zoom and Facebook.  On the first day, Xenia Clemeña and Terhi Haapala gracefully introduced delegates from BUCN and SeAMK, respectively, setting the stage for two-day enriching discussions and presentations.

The conference’s opening symbolized unity and collaboration, with renditions of the National Anthems of the Philippines and Finland. Esteemed leaders from BU, President Dr. Baby Boy Benjamin Nebres III, and Dr. Jaakko Hallila, President and CEO of SeAMK, delivered the welcoming addresses, emphasizing the importance of cross-cultural collaboration in advancing nursing theory and practice.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Jessie Casida, Executive Director of the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, USA, set the tone with his address on “Harmonizing Research and Health Practice,” emphasizing nursing science’s pivotal role in driving innovative global health solutions. 

Dr. Sheila Bonito, Dean of the UP Manila College of Nursing, and Mika Uitto from SeAMK furthered the discourse with insightful sessions on nursing curriculum reorientation and health literacy in the digital era, respectively.

As the conference progressed into its second day, participants immersed themselves in breakout sessions, presenting research findings across professional and student categories. Outstanding presenters were duly recognized for their contributions. 

In the Professional Category, Prof. Carina B. Orden received the 1st Best Paper award for the study “Assessment of Acute Toxicity and Water Parameter Correlations in Nile Tilapia Exposed to Ferric and Ferrous Sulfate,” with Prof. Matthew M. Neo as co-author. 

Dr. Richard L. Bartolata was awarded the 2nd Best Paper for the study “Enhancing Basic Nursing Procedure Performance Checklists: A Comprehensive Review, Revision, and Validation for Outcomes-Based Education.” 

Dr. Alma S. Banua received a commendation for the 3rd Best Paper in her study “Health Risk Behaviors of Students of Bicol University: Basis for Promoting Healthy Lifestyle.”

Notably, the student category also saw remarkable achievements. Christine Denise Yap Cano and co-authors Alexandra Adelle San Diego Magno, Gianna Nicole Polo Odsinada, and Emmalyn Joyce Duazo Olitan received the 1st Best Paper award for their study titled “Lived Experiences of Persons with Disabilities Students on the Learning Modality Changes of Selected Academic Units at Bicol University-Main Campus.” 

Elijah Magana and co-authors Ma. Myziel Angelica Gianan, Jotham Lee, and Val Andrei Magtarayo received the 2nd Best Paper award for their study on “Usability of Teleconsultation and Barriers to its Implementation in Legazpi City, Albay.” 

The 3rd Best Paper was presented to Ma. Loren Julia Sales and co-authors Kristine Labanon, Kaye Margallo, and Hulaine Charcy Miguel for the study “COVID-19 Booster Shot Hesitancy: Determinants Affecting the Decision of the Residents of Barangay Gabawan, Daraga, Albay.”

During the afternoon, plenary speakers from the BUCN showcased their research findings. Dr. Richard Bartolata discussed his winning paper, which emphasizes the standardization of nursing procedures through performance checklists. This initiative aims to enhance student nurses’ performance by ensuring essential competencies for Level I and II nursing students

. Following Dr. Bartolata’s presentation, Dr. Mary Joy Sande shared insights from her study on “Antenatal Care Utilization of Mothers in Selected Cities in Bicol Region, Philippines: A Quantitative Study.” Her research highlighted challenges in implementing ANC services, including financial and personal issues mothers face. She emphasized the importance of government support in ensuring a positive pregnancy experience and motivated pregnant mothers.

From SeAMK, Dr. Tanja Hautala delivered a lecture on Client and Patient Safety in Social and Healthcare curricula, emphasizing Finland’s healthcare strategy grounded in a safety culture where every professional and organization’s responsibility for patient safety lies. The event culminated with a presentation by Marjut Asunmaa, who presented TopUP Education at Seinajoki University, offering Filipino nursing graduates the opportunity to receive a Registered Nurse Qualification through evidence-based education. This initiative opens doors to various job possibilities in Finland. Dr. Nera Galan and Prof. Frances Carmi D. Gonzales synthesized the IRC’s proceedings.

As the event neared its conclusion, Dr. Elmer Lorenzana, Director of the BU Research and Development Management Office and Dr. Paive Rinne, Dean of SeAMK Applied Sciences eloquently delivered closing remarks, emphasizing the importance of collaborative endeavors in advancing research and health practice. 

Dr. Alma S. Banua, the event’s overall chairperson, and Dr. Jean Annette Ibo, BUCN Dean were lauded for their instrumental role in orchestrating the successful collaboration between BUCN and SeAMK.

The 3rd International Research Conference served as a testament to the transformative potential of global collaboration in healthcare. Through shared perspectives, knowledge exchange, and synergistic partnerships, participants reaffirmed their commitment to driving positive change and innovation in nursing education and practice on a global scale. | by Frances Carmi D. Gonzales, BUCN Faculty