ORDER OF NURSES IN LEBANON
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History of the Order
The nursing profession in Lebanon witnessed the same growth and development as it did in the rest of the world, in a way that it was influenced by social, cultural and economical factors, and thus was transformed from a simple annexed profession, as stipulated by the medical profession, into an autonomous and independent profession working for the harmonization and coordination among different health sectors / fields and aiming for the well-being of the health care seekers and the patients.

Sociologists determined the characteristics of all professions; among these characteristics we have to point out that the nursing profession is subject to perfecting and organization from its members. Isn’t it time, all the more so, that this be implemented after numerous years to the nursing profession in our country? How is this possible in the absence of a professional reference bearing a legal quality to control its perfecting and its organization?

After a quick flashback in the archives of the Union of Nursing Association in Lebanon, constituted in 1986, it seems that in 1949 nurses holders of degrees wanting to protect their profession, decided to create the nursing Association. In 1950 the idea to link the Nursing Association of nurses’ holders of degrees in Lebanon and affiliate it to the International Council of Nurses became crystallized to the idea of the necessity to constitute an Order. After a period of time, the Law instituting the first obligatory Order of Nurses was promulgated on June 2, 1962 in conformity with decree number 9829, that was rapidly annulled as per Law number 50/66 for unknown reasons.

In 1968, following the 3rd Conference of the Nursing Profession in Lebanon and the Middle East which gathered all the nurses of Lebanon, the total of which reach at that time 700, the official creation of the organism constituting the Order was declared. This organism had the official representation character of all the nurses in Lebanon. Furthermore, and as stated in the archives of the Order, members of the organism were elected on the 27/11/1968 in the Order of Doctors and counted the following names: Mrs. Aida Sultan, Mrs. Wadad Chaya, Mrs. Khairiyé Aalemé Tinaoui, Miss Sara Ghazzaoui, Miss Aida Keyrouz, Miss Tamador Sukkar, Miss Wadad Khalaf, Mrs. Nabila Droubi, Sister Marie Léonard Mazraani, Miss Isabelle Gringo, Mr. Mohammad Kozma, Miss Chaké Bahadorian. A vérifier l’orthographe des noms.During the conference mentioned above, the General Assembly of Nurses in Lebanon has been mandated to constitute a methodic and obligatory Order; and thus the organism drafted a project of law regarding the constitution of such an Order and submitted it to the Ministry of Public Health and Labor, and the Ministry of Social Affairs, and followed the issue with competent authorities and consulted all heads of states and governments and concerned Ministries that succeeded one another to power during numerous years, except that they all refused to satisfy the demands of the organism claiming that it is impossible to create a methodic and obligatory Order.

On the international level, in 1969, the Constituent Assembly of the Nursing Order joined the International Council of the Nursing Profession in Lebanon and became an active member within the Council with the right to vote and to be a candidate; the organism of the nursing profession thus gained a place on the international level, as its president Mrs. Wada Chaya was designated consultant of the World Health Organization in the beginning of 1974.

Still waiting for a Law to establish the constitution of an obligatory Order, the Union of Nursing Associations was created in order to assemble the nursing system in an organizational framework. This occurred on March 17, 1986 by virtue of the notice number 42/AD. The Union grouped the Associations of graduates of the following universities and institutes: Saint Joseph University (school of nursing), Lebanese Red Cross, AUB (school of nursing), National Higher Institute of Nursing – Makassed, Institute of Health Sciences – Notre Dame of Lebanon Hospital and the National Institute of Nursing that quickly opted for a withdrawal.

In October 1997, the Union submitted to the Public Health Ministry a request for the creation of an obligatory nursing Order. After laborious efforts, sacrifices and restless determination, Law number 479 was issued by Parliament on Decembre 12, 2002 stipulating the creation of an obligatory Order, and that after 40 years of hard work and perseverance.
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