The biennial Building Children's Nursing for Africa (BCN) conference, hosted by the Children's Nursing Development Unit, in collaboration with Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, is an international biennial academic and professional congress for children’s nurses. It was conceived in response to the absence of a professional and scientific platform for Africa’s growing children’s nursing community. Four meetings have been held to date, in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019, attracting between 100 and 150 delegates.
The CNDU leads a rigorous academic conference organising process with a full scientific committee, and peer review of submitted abstracts for both oral and poster presentations. Intentionally designed as an Afrocentric forum, the conference has been attended by delegates from 13 African countries to date and is the only event of its kind for children’s nursing Africa. It has provided the first opportunity for many programme alumni to attend or present their work in an academic forum, which we facilitate through deliberate mentoring of abstract submissions. We have welcomed prestigious international plenary speakers from South Africa, Kenya, Malawi, UK, Argentina and the USA. The standard of the presentations and the high calibre of participant engagement has increased year on year, and attests to the progress the children’s nursing community in Africa is making in building the knowledge base to underpin practice.
Most recently was the 5th BCN conference, held on 23 June 2021, virtually using the Whova platform. The theme was #NursesCount and the sub-themes were:
Using Nursing Data to Understand and Improve Nursing Practice