Nursing students at the Barbados Community College (BCC) have gone from an 88 per cent failure rate in the regional exam in 2018 to a 62 per cent pass rate last year.
According to Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw, this is due to a review of the BCC’s Bachelor in Nursing programme, which saw the implementation of a number of recommendations.
She was speaking at the launch of the Nursing Auxiliary Studies Programme on Monday, which is a joint venture between the Barbados Community College and Sagicor Life Inc.
“In 2019, as Minister, I asked the Board of the Barbados Community College to conduct a review of the College’s nursing programme and report on the steps needed to improve the regional exam results. A committee, chaired by the principal, and including a member of the Board and representatives of the Nursing Council and others, made a number of recommendations, many of which were put into place by late 2019.
“Hopefully, this refocusing of the programme means that more Barbados Community College graduates will take their places as registered nurses in Barbados and the region going forward,” Ms. Bradshaw stated.
She added that the Ministry was committed to working together with other entities to improve the education and training of the country’s frontline workers.
Ms. Bradshaw pointed out that one example of this was the Ministry’s continuing discussions with Adtalem Global Education, the owners of Ross University, to implement a comprehensive teaching excellence programme for nursing tutors at the BCC.
This, she said, would include the provision of assistance in assessment, evaluation and curriculum design of the revised Bachelor in Nursing offered by the BCC, and a course on health promotion sensitising the staff of the Department of Nursing to the new and emerging global approaches.
“It is in this vein that we are prepared to work with Sagicor Life Inc. on the training programme that we are celebrating today, and have heeded the advice of professional bodies such as the Nurses Association to sign contracts for nursing assistance from countries which have a good reputation for the quality of training provided to their nurses,” the Education Minister explained.
The objective of the Nursing Auxiliary Studies Programme, which started on Tuesday, August 4, is to train auxiliary nurses for employment at the Estates at St. George, a community development conceived by Sagicor Life Inc. for retirees, persons looking to live a more maintenance-free lifestyle, and for young adults planning for the future.
It will enable the Nursing Auxiliary, under the supervision of the Registered Nurse, to provide basic nursing care and assist older adult clients in maintaining an active lifestyle.
The ultimate aim is to elevate the overall standard of elder care in Barbados. The programme will run for six months and is open to persons 17 years and over.