The 99th Peking University Medical Humanities Forum: Liu Huaping: Caring for the Nurses and Protecting People’s Health

   May 12th, 2022 is the 111th International Nurses’ Day. Nursing is an important component of medicine, and nurses are important practitioners in the field of medicine. In order to make more people learn about nurses, and understand the significance of nursing in the medical field, the 99th Peking University Medical Humanities Forum of the School of Health Humanities entitled “Caring for the Nurses and Protecting People’s Health” was held. The lecture was organized by the Center of Medical Historical Data for Collection and Research in the School of Medical Humanities. Professor Liu Huaping from the Peking Union Medical College was invited as a keynote speaker. Professor Shang Shaomei, President of the School of Nursing, Peking University, was invited as a commentator. The lecture was chaired by Professor Zhen Cheng, School of Health Humanities, Peking University.

    Professor Liu Huaping has worked in the field of nursing for many years, and has profound and unique insights into the development of nursing. Starting from the introduction of modern nursing profession into China in 1880, Professor Liu Huaping pointed out that the first nursing school was set up in Fuzhou in 1888. After that, a school for the nurses at Union College was established by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1919. In 1920, the Beijing Union Nursing School was opened, which marked the establishment of China’s first undergraduate nursing education program. After the founding of People’s Republic of China, higher nursing education was suspended for more than 30 years, and it was replaced by secondary education. After the reform and opening up, because of the rapid development of nursing in foreign countries, as well as the significant progress in clinical medicine in China, the development of nursing education continued. In 1983, higher nursing education was resumed. In 1992, the Nursing Department of Beijing Medical University began its full-time nursing master education. In 2004, the nursing doctoral education started in China. In 2011, nursing became a national first level discipline, and in 2012, the nursing postdoctoral program was launched. Professor Liu Huaping demonstrated the development of nursing education in China with landmark events. Finally, she summarized by quoting the speech of Xi Jinping, General Secretary, the CPC Central Committee: “Nursing is an important component of the medical and health services. Party committees and governments at all levels should care for the nurses, taking the construction of the nursing team as an important and fundamental work for the development of health services. The methods of improving the incentive system, popularizing the advanced should be taken in order to back up the engagement of excellent nurses in nursing work for a long time. The entire society are supposed to understand and support nurses. It is hoped that the nurses will uphold their good traditions, carry forward the humanitarian spirit, make persistent efforts. Moreover, the nurses are expected to make new contributions to the healthy China initiative and the maintenance of world public health security continuously.”

    Professor Shang Shaomei, School of Nursing, Peking University, commented on the lecture. To start with, she emphasized that the development of nursing needs to break through traditional concepts and discover the role of nursing in different fields, especially in the field of general health. Secondly, the development of nursing discipline needs to be combined with different disciplines, such as informatics, humanities and so forth. That’s because nursing needs to understand the hearts of the patients. In addition, advanced technology should be applied in order to address people’s huge demand for nursing. Therefore, only be interdisciplinary can nursing achieve further development.

    Because of the COVID-19, this lecture was held online, and more than 300 people had participated in it. After the speech, the audience had a heated discussion with the professors. This lecture was held on the 111th Nurses’ Day, which turned out to be good. By reviewing the history of nursing development, this lecture stimulated the enthusiasm of nursing personnel. Moreover, by looking forward to the future of nursing, it will arouse social attention to nursing. At the end of the lecture, Professor Zhen Cheng sent holiday greetings to all the nurses. It is believed that with the support of the CPC and our government, with the joint efforts of Chinese nurses, the development of nursing in China will definitely reach a higher level.


   Hu Yuntian