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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



21 November 2017

Lieutenant Commander Emma Browning, a nursing officer from HMS Hibernia in Lisburn, was selected to represent the Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service Reserve on an exchange visit to the Republic of Korea’s prestigious Military Nursing Academy located in Daejeon. Emma shares her experiences below:

You can imagine my delight at being selected to represent the Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNNS) Reserve on an exchange visit to the Republic of Korea’s prestigious Military Nursing Academy located in Daejeon. This education exchange was sponsored by UK Reserve Forces Association (UK RFA) and delivered by both the The Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve Officers (CIOMR) and the Korean Armed Forces Nursing Academy (KAFNA), with the support of the UK Defence Attaché to the Republic of Korea (RoK).

KAFNA’s Commanding Brigadier invited a small UK Delegation to attend the annually delivered Immediate Response Training (IRT). This unique training offered the delegation of Defence Medical Services (DMS) Reserve Personnel the opportunity for engagement and scoping potential for future collaboration; additionally, it enhanced the delegates’ cultural and geographical awareness of the RoK. Representatives of the Royal Thai Airforce were also present.

Pictured above, Emma arrives in RoK with fellow DMS reserve personnel.

The Korean Armed Forces established an educational nursing curriculum for cadets at the Republic of Korean Army Medical school in 1951, in response to a critical shortfall of nursing manpower during the Korean war. Subsequently the Nursing Academy was founded in 1967. Today it holds the prominent position of being RoK’s representative Military School. The objective is to train elite Nursing Officers who are referred to as the Korean descendants of Nightingale. This is in recognition of Nightingale as a pioneer who reformed the British Military Medical System with her excellent leadership and passion during the Crimean War. Annually the best performing cadet wears the Nightingale dress in celebration of their success.

Pictured above: The Nightingale dress

The Academy has provided support in recent crises including the collapse of a department store in Seoul, Daegu’s subway disaster and the Sewol ferry incident. Most recently it has been tasked with training Ebola Emergency Relief Teams.

The four-year undergraduate programme offers military science, leadership, liberal arts, military skills and nursing science as well as the Trauma Nursing Core Course and Immediate Response Training. Extra-curricular activities offered by the Academy included fencing, cheerleading and playing the ukulele. The Academy’s mission is to train professional Nursing Officers and to lead on academic development. Currently there are 328 cadets undergoing training. The Academy’s elitism and standing is emphasised with seventy applying for each cadet place.

The level of immediate response training conducted at the Academy would not be offered to UK Nursing Undergraduates and it was an honour to have witnessed the demonstration of such level of understanding, comprehension and practice.

This exchange has fostered a relationship between the RoK Military Nursing Academy and the DMS Reserve Forces which will hopefully be maintained and developed. The most memorable or thought provoking moment for me was the work ethic, commitment and dedication to their service. I doubt that the hospitality offered could be matched elsewhere.

“Goals and passion for the nation, love and peace for the world”    KAFNA MOTTO

Emma FM Browning