Specialist Training For Nurses A Priority For Government

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Government needs to move with some haste to ensure that a Bachelor of Arts degree becomes a prerequisite for entering the nursing profession.

This opinion was expressed by Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, recently, who noted that nursing needed to reclaim its reputation as a highly recognised profession in Barbados.?? He was speaking at the 15th Eunice Gibson Memorial Lecture in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s auditorium.

Stressing the need for well trained personnel in this area, Mr. Inniss declared that continued nursing education was essential for maintaining high standards of care and ensuring the professional development of nurses in Barbados.

??"…emphasis will continue to be placed on training in specialist areas.?? In this regard, the Ministry has undertaken in its training programme and budget for the year 2009-2010 to train nurses in the specialty of Gerontology at the Masters level through the University of the West Indies, ??Mona, which is offering this programme.

"Three nurses have completed studies in Gerontology and will shortly be developing a specialist programme in this field at the Barbados Community College.?? In addition, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital will continue to offer training in other specialties, in order to increase its capacity and to adequately address the provision of nursing care in the specialised areas," he asserted.

Mr. Inniss added that Government was also seeking to build and strengthen its management resources through a partnership between the Ministry of Health and the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.?? He said: "In order to build and strengthen our management resources, the Ministry of Health, in partnership with the UWI, has embarked on a diploma in Health Sciences Development and to equip nurses and other Senior Managers with skills which will enhance the delivery of services within the Health Sector.

However, the Minister expressed some distress with the number of nurses failing the Regional Examination for Nurse Registration, pointing out that efforts had been made to reverse this trend.?? "Following discussions with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and the Barbados Community College, it was agreed that a committee would be established to advise on the structures to be put in place to address this concern," he disclosed.

Some of the recommendations of the committee are: a limit on the number of students admitted annually, and consideration of admissions on three levels, namely, academic requirements, entrance level/proficiency test and an aptitude assessment. kmoore@barbados.gov.bb

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