The Nursing Program at the University of Balamand (UOB) has received an excellence award from the Scientific Society of Arab Nursing Faculties for the year 2021. The Excellence Award for Distinguished Academic Institution was granted to the Nursing Program for being innovative and unique in the field of nursing.

The aim of the Scientific Society of Arab Nursing Faculties is to encourage excellence in nursing to achieve high-quality cost-effective nursing care.

The UOB Nursing Program applied for the award in May 2021, with a strong and firm belief that there was a success story to be told. Not only did the program need to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the devastating August 4 blast; but all the while dealing with an overarching economic crisis that made resources limited. 

To adapt and continue to provide students with quality education, the university had to be innovative. The university was a pioneer in ensuring that all the teaching, exams, and assignments were done online. With experiential learning being a key part of the program, alternative methods of remote teaching were developed, in addition to the clinical placement and training of students in line with their academic needs. Not only that, the Nursing Program actively participated in launching the UOB vaccination center, students and faculty members implemented the process of vaccination following national and international guidelines, in addition to conducting information sessions for the staff, faculty members and students directly involved in the vaccination process.

Commenting on the occasion Dr. Bahia Abdallah, Director of the UOB Nursing Program stated: “In fact, nurses globally proved to be indispensable to help combat the virus, which has highlighted the importance of nursing as a career. This pandemic has proven that this profession is not only defined by sacrifice and compassion, but also by courage and resilience.”

Dr. Huda Huijer, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences stated: “The FHS Nursing Program at UOB has received a well-deserved Innovation Award from the Scientific Society of Arab Nursing Faculties for their diligent academic and professional work during an unprecedented period of economic and pandemic crisis in the country. They are commended for their professionalism and commitment to the university and to the nursing profession.”

Dr. Elias Warrak, President of UOB concluded: “Nurses are at the heart of the healthcare system, and they undertake such a noble role in dedicating their lives to the care of others.  I am extremely proud of our nursing program. Under the leadership of Dr. Abdallah, I can very humbly say that we have an excellent department that truly deserves this prestigious award.”

The Nursing Program at the University of Balamand is dedicated to delivering quality nursing education and influencing the nursing profession and health care environment in Lebanon and the region. The program aims at providing a positive environment for faculty, staff, and students by fostering leadership qualities, analytical and critical thinking, technical skills, and community involvement.