Posted on May 23, 2016

Fifty-seven graduates from the University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ) earned gold-standard nursing degrees during the 2016 Convocation ceremony at the Qatar National Convention Centre on Sunday, May 22nd. Professors, family, friends, and dignitaries from Qatar’s health and education spheres celebrated 52 Bachelor of Nursing (BN) and five Master of Nursing (MN) graduates at UCQ’s seventh convocation. The new batch of UCQ graduates will join the University’s growing alumni base in contributing to the health goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.

UCQ has endeavored to establish a local talent pool for Qatar’s nursing sector since 2007. The University offers BN and MN degrees, which enable graduates to master the skills necessary to be successful in their personal and professional lives. UCQ’s curriculum provides nurses with the healthcare knowledge and expertise that allow them to contribute to the well-being of their family and community in addition to being relied upon in hospitals and doctor’s offices throughout Qatar.

Dr. Robert Thirsk, Chancellor of the University of Calgary, noted: “Our University, with the generous support of the State of Qatar, strives to provide our students with the knowledge and resources necessary to become leaders in this honorable profession. This is the beginning of a journey for our graduates. As some initiate and others continue their nursing careers in Qatar, we have no doubt that they will be exemplars of the University’s values of honesty, integrity and responsibility while advancing this country’s goals.”

To date, 277 graduates have earned BN degrees from UCQ, while 14 have graduated from UCQ’s MN program. Qatari nationals make up 21 percent of the University’s 291 graduates. The Master of Nursing program, the first of its kind in Qatar, celebrated its second class of graduates this year. “As Qatar’s sole provider of nursing education, UCQ has long aimed to foster a true culture of service that unites our students, faculty, and staff in the spirit of Qatar’s goals. I am proud to see 57 more graduates become active contributors to the development of Qatar’s healthcare sector,” Dr. Kim Critchley, Dean and CEO of UCQ, said. “Our graduates deserve this recognition for their exceptional performance and hard work.”

Convocation was attended by Qatar’s Minister of Education and Higher Education, His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Wahed Al-Hammadi. His Excellency was joined by University of Calgary leaders, diplomats, academics, dignitaries and representatives from Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Qatar University, Qatar Red Crescent, and Sidra. Dr. Fouzia Al Naimi, Manager of Health Workforce Development at the Ministry of Public Health, praised the graduates’ academic success during the guest speaker’s address. As an international role model for excellence in nursing leadership, Dr. Al Naimi effectively encouraged the development of superior nursing training standards in Qatar.

UCQ also honored two graduates with the University’s highest academic distinction, the Gold and Silver medallions. The Gold Medal for academic achievement in the Bachelor of Nursing, Regular Track program was awarded to Evelyn Anna Edwards, while Shaikhah Mohsen Abdullah Al-Keldi won the Silver Medal for academic achievement in the Post Diploma Bachelor of Nursing program. “When my fellow graduates and I chose nursing, we made a decision to dedicate ourselves to helping and giving back to the local community,” said Evelyn Anna Edwards, Gold Medallion Winner. “UCQ’s devoted faculty and staff ensured that we received the training and expertise necessary to enter the workforce with vital skills that would bolster Qatar’s nursing sector for the long term.”

Over 500 students are currently registered in UCQ’s BN and MN programs. UCQ offers two paths to a BN degree – a four-year program for qualified high school graduates, and a two-year program for nurses holding diplomas in nursing from recognized institutions. The University also offers two MN programs: a MN in Oncology, created with HMC in order to support the National Cancer Strategy, and the MN in Leadership program, designed in collaboration with Qatar’s nursing community to further develop leaders in the profession. All programs are open to Qatari nationals and residents. To learn more about UCQ, visit http://www.ucalgary.edu.qa/.

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