The college will also offer two more courses – BA in Anthropology and BA in Mass Communications

Royal Thimphu College (RTC) will introduce a four-year Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Nursing in affiliation with the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB) from July this year.

President of RTC, Thakur Singh Powdyel, said the college has already received about 50 applications for the course while the intake announced is only 25 students in the first cohort.

An applicant who studied Science in class XII with minimum 50 percent aggregate average of English and three other best subjects including 45 percent in Biology is eligible to get admitted to the course.

Thakur Singh Powdyel said the college will limit the number and concentrate on quality. “Health is a delicate and extremely people-sensitive service that is why it is important to be mindful of all aspects of the Nursing programme to ensure that we graduate young men and women who are not only professionally sound but attitudinally positive and upright.”

The college has been planning to launch the programme for at least a year and a half now.

Thakur Singh Powdyel said that RTC, as a forward-looking institution, has been alert to the changing needs of health services both within Bhutan as well as beyond. “It was basically to respond to the need of high-quality nursing services at home and abroad that the college submitted its expression of interest to the health ministry and obtained permission to initiate the process for the launch of BSc Nursing and Midwifery programme in July 2018.”

KGUMSB has developed a progressive 4-year BSc Nursing and Midwifery programme by engaging professional experts.

President of KGUMSB, Dr K P Tshering, said any medical education programme in the country has to be affiliated with the university.

“Since we have to give the affiliation, as of now we give affiliation in principle to start the work,” he said. “We will be monitoring the quality of the programme at the RTC because the degree will be awarded under the seal of the university, so quality has to be ensured,” Dr K P Tshering said. “Monitoring will be a continuous process because we will keep on assessing the process of the programme because, after four years when we give the degree certificate, we have to be confident that the graduates are competent with good knowledge, skill and attitude.”

BMHC will also monitor the programme as the council regulates medical and health profession in the country.

RTC has good infrastructure and the potential to get resources for the programme, Dr K P Tshering added.

“Private sector participation in the provision of such services will also enable the University to focus on the more critical areas of tertiary level research and teaching and exploring the ever-expanding frontiers of knowledge to make Bhutan a much sought-after health-service destination,” he said. “The RTC is privileged to play a small but significant, part in this important national effort.”

The theory based elements of the programme will be delivered at the RTC premises at Ngabiphu while the practical or clinical component will be developed from the central regional referral hospital in Gelephu.

Given the nature of the discipline, Thakur Singh Powdyel said, the BSc Nursing and Midwifery programme will be quite resource-intensive. However, the college will maintain the same fee structure as is applicable to other programmes offered at the college at least for the first cohort.

With the introduction of two more courses, the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Anthropology and BA in Mass Communication from July this year, RTC will have 12 different programmes.

Dechen Tshomo