“Bolivia’s First Nursing Assistance Program…and So Much More”

By: Gwendolyn Ellis

Another term that can be used for life is, new beginnings.  On February 6, 2012, Hospital Arco Iris (HAI) will commence the first nursing assistant program in the country of Bolivia. This new nursing assistant program at HAI, is a three-month course that will provide a combination of lectures, laboratory and clinical training in basic nursing skills.  Our nursing assistant program will facilitate much needed patient care within the hospital.  HOPE worldwide – Bolivia is thrilled to have the assistance of the US Embassy Medical unit staff in La Paz- Kathy Glaser FNP, FSHP and Maria Lopez RN, BSN to volunteer time to give lectures for the program.

When the idea was first introduced to start this training program, HAI wanted to bridge the gap between the social programs from the Fundacion Arco Iris (FAI) and the hospital. FAI was founded 17 years ago in order to provide refuge and life skills equipping for the poorest street children of La Paz. It was very important in the interview process to include applicants from the FAI program. This quote reminds me of the hearts of our future students.

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

 Walt Disney

Dreams are being fulfilled for six prospective students longing the opportunity to make a difference in their lives and to help others. In the interviewing process my heart was moved by the vulnerability, passion, determination, and perseverance of each student wanting to pursue the nursing assistant program.  One applicant, Maria from the FAI said, “This is my dream and I want to help people.” Each candidate that we interviewed shared his or her compelling story with us. It was evident that they didn’t choose the program, but that the program chose them because of what they have to offer in their hearts.  There is so much excitement from everyone as we open the doors to our new training program in two weeks.  Together, HOPE worldwide – Bolivia and Hospital Arco Iris’ partnership will, “bring hope and change lives,” to many people in La Paz.


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