On 2 June 2019, the Open University of China’s (OUC) First Nursing Case Competition Finals concluded successfully at the Weishanzhuang campus. A total of more than 130 people watched the competition, including vice president of the OUC Liu Chen, representatives of the middle level management of the OUC headquarters, representatives of the teaching faculties, and leaders and directors of relevant branches of the OUC.

Dean of the School of Nursing, Peking University and director and member of the Nursing Teaching Steering Committee of the MOE Prof. Shang Shaomei; senior nurse of the Nursing Centre of the Hospital Management Research Institute of the National Health Commission, Zhang Haiyan; director of the Department of Nursing, Peking University Third Hospital Li Baohua; senior nurse of Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Zhang Hongwei; senior nurse from Beijing Hospital, Guan Xin; vice president of the School of Nursing, Capital Medical University, Associate Prof. Wang Yanling; and deputy director of the Nursing Department of Beijing Hospital, Sun Chao served as the judges for the competition.

The OUC launched its nursing major for junior college students in 1994. In 2009, it opened the nursing major for undergraduates. Now, the students majoring in nursing have been distributed throughout the country. They have used their knowledge to serve patients in their respective positions, making contributions to the health of the people. In order to showcase the professionalism of nursing students, implement the fundamental task of fostering virtue through education, improve the comprehensive practical abilities of the students, boost the implementation of the Healthy China strategy put forward by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and actively address the ageing population, the OUC launched the Nursing Case Competition in June 2018. This competition is part of a series of activities celebrating the 40th anniversary of the founding of the OUC. The OUC branches have responded positively since the start of the competition. They promoted the campaign widely and carefully planned and organised the preliminary competition. A total of 124 cases were sent to the OUC headquarters by 17 branches. From January to April 2019, the OUC headquarters organised nursing experts to conduct two rounds of evaluation on the selected works and 30 candidates entered the finals.

The students participating in the competition included on-campus nursing students and graduates; senior nurses from local grassroots hospitals; young nurses from top large hospitals in Beijing; nurses from rehabilitation wards; and nurses from ICU. All of the students were full of passion and enthusiasm on the stage. Each case they talked about was filled with their desire for knowledge, their care for their patients, their dedication to the cause, and their pursuit of their dreams.

At the competition, the candidates were dressed in their professional nurse uniforms printed with the logos of their respective hospitals. They were calm and elegant, describing cases of "learning ceaselessly and serving patients.” During the competition, the audience applauded the performance of the players. After an intense competition, first, second, and third prizes were awarded. First prizes were awarded to Ma Kening from the Beijing branch for the speech Nursing Case of Patients with Sepsis; Yi Haijing from the Hunan branch for the speech Nursing Case of Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Hu Ran from the Beijing branch for the speech Nursing Case of Patients with Rectal Cancer; Liu Xin from the Hunan branch for the speech Nursing Case of Patients with HIE; and Yang Yujie from the Hunan branch for the speech Nursing Case of Patients with CHF. Seven works were awarded second prize, including Xiao Yujuan from the Hunan branch for the speech Nursing Case of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

After the competition, Liu Chen, deputy Party secretary of the OUC, delivered a speech. He commended the performances of the students, also praising the hard work of the tutors. He pointed out that the mission of the OUC is to promote national learning and lifelong learning in order to boost the formation of a learning society. Over the years, the OUC has focused on the goal of carrying out quality online education to promote teaching reform, gradually exploring the formation of an Internet-based "Six-Network Integration" learner development model. This move has received high praise from industry, society, and relevant international organisations, and has also been widely recognised by students. Each case reflects the students' adherence to the nursing cause, their care for the patients, their desire for knowledge, and their pursuit of their dreams, fully demonstrating that the students made use of what they've learnt to serve the patients, improve the quality of nursing services, and contributed to the Healthy China strategy. Finally, he hopes that the OUC system can take the opportunity of the nursing case competition to further build consensus, accelerate the reform of education and teaching innovation, further enrich the students’ activities, create a positive and open campus culture, build a platform for lifelong learning for in-service nurses, and improving OUC education teaching and learner cultivation quality through various channels.

The success of the competition has provided a platform for students from nursing majors at open universities across the country to hone and show off their skills, fully demonstrating the professional dedication of the students to use what they have learned to serve their patients. The competition is a platform for exchange and sharing, but more than that, it is a form of study and improvement. At the important moment of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the P.R.C, the OUC is also about to celebrate its 40th birthday. The teachers in the OUC system actively participated in the competition. It will play a positive role in enhancing the students' sense of belonging and improving the cohesiveness of the system.

By Ouyang Yanling and Zheng Xiaoyan, OUC