Punitha Vijaya Ezhilarasu from CMC – Won National Florence Nightingale Award

An anomalous situation prevails in the nursing profession today in view of the declining interest among girls in taking up nursing as a career owing to the poor remuneration offered in the private hospitals despite the fact that there was a severe shortage of nurses in the country, says Punitha Vijaya Ezhilarasu.

The Professor and Head of the Department of Surgical Nursing, College of Nursing, Christian Medical College (CMC CON), Vellore, Dr. Punitha has been selected for the National Florence Nightingale Award 2014 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Fifty-eight-year-old Dr. Punitha who has had 34 years of teaching experience in the CMC CON and 31 years of hospital experience simultaneously in the CMC Hospital because of the integrated model practised in the CMC (integration of nursing education and service) joined the CMC as a staff nurse in 1979 and rose to become the Professor and Head of the Department of Surgical Nursing and later Dean of the CMC CON.

She founded the Department of Continuing Nursing Education and Research and became the first Head of the Department with a view to build the clinical, teaching, research and scientific writing skills of faculty, postgraduate students and practicing nurses.

Her contributions to nursing education during her tenure as Dean of the college are innumerable. She was responsible for the designation of the CMC College of Nursing as World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) for Nursing and Midwifery by the WHO and best nursing college in India during accreditation of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council with a five-star rating. She was the first Director of WHOCC.

Dr. Punitha who is grateful to her institution for the opportunity given to serve it, will be receiving the National Florence Nightingale Award 2014 from the President of India at a function to be organised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in New Delhi on May 12.

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