Includes Hong Kong, Wuhan, and Shanghai.
The author recounts his final visit to China in 2017—his fourth this year.
SHANGHAI, China—My fourth visit to China this year and my final visit to the Far East in 2017 began with three nights in Hong Kong. I was invited by Hong Kong Polytechnic University (referred to locally as ‘PolyU’) to take part in their celebration of 40 years of nursing education. Until recently, I was an honorary and visiting professor. The paper I presented at the International Nursing Research Congress (INRC) in Dublin—my second INRC presentation—was part of the celebration and represented the end of a 10-year association with PolyU. I look forward to taking up a visiting professorship at The University of Hong Kong.
I also gave a workshop on grant writing at Caritas Institute of Higher Education, which is in the capable hands of Director Eric Chan, MSc, RN, a founding member of the Global Advisory Panel on the Future of Nursing & Midwifery (GAPFON). The final evening in Hong Kong witnessed a marvellous party in the luxury Icon Hotel, belonging to PolyU. Entertainment was by The President’s Band with Timothy Tong, PhD, FHKEng, outgoing president of PolyU, on lead guitar, shown here on my YouTube channel. Sophia Chan, PhD, RN, FAAN, Minister for Food and Health, was the guest of honour, and it was very good to have a few minutes catching up with her.
Next, I flew to Wuhan in Hubei Province to spend seven days at Wuhan Polytechnic University teaching staff and research students about writing for publication. I also gave speeches on research and nursing education at two local, modestly sized, 5,000-bed hospitals. Wuhan itself is a city of 10 million people. So rare are westerners in Wuhan that I was often stopped on the street by people wanting to exchange hellos. Asked by my hosts to sum up my first impressions of Wuhan, I said, “Friendly.” Wuhan is also very historical. The first shots of the revolution against colonial rule were fired here in 1911. An excellent museum was built in 2011 to mark the centenary.
My time in China ended with three days at Fudan University in Shanghai at the invitation of Dean Hu Yan, PhD, RN, a member of the editorial board of Journal of Advanced Nursing. I presented a paper on evidence for practice at the first Joanna Briggs Institute Asia Symposium on Evidence-Based Health Care. The opening address was given by Alan Pearson, PhD, RN, FAAN, founder of the Joanna Briggs Institute, which now has more than 70 centres worldwide.
Apart from a brief journey between airports, this was my first visit to Shanghai, which is very different from any other city in China. Shanghai has retained a great deal of its colonial past with the various “concessions” (British, French, German, and Dutch). The waterfront at The Bund is spectacular at night, not so much for the bright lights and high-rise buildings—Hong Kong style—on Pudon Island but for the massive French colonial buildings illuminated opposite. I had a very attentive and willing PhD student assigned as my helper, but I insisted he take the day off on my last full day to allow me to negotiate the Metro and explore by myself. The other highlight of the visit was the Shanghai Circus. I rarely recommend things, but I think this should be seen if you come to Shanghai. See this link on my YouTube channel.
So, my time in Asia for 2017 is over, and only April and June next year are fixed for return visits. However, several other activities are planned, though not yet in the diary. I return to Hull to meet my new Chinese visiting academic from Beijing, who has arrived ahead of my return and will be with me for one year. She has been able to fit right in, thanks to my existing doctoral student and another visiting academic from China. The next three weeks find me in that part of Europe we British call “The Continent,” with two visits to Italy and one to Spain. RNL
Roger Watson, PhD, RN, FRCP Edin, FRCN, FAAN, professor of nursing at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom and a frequent visitor to Australia and China, where he has visiting positions, is editor-in-chief of Journal of Advanced Nursing and editor of Nursing Open. Click here to access Blogger-resident entries posted before 2017 in Watson’s former blog “Hanging smart.”