Regional nursing body assess nursing qualification in the region

ZIZ News…February 26, 2010 – St. Kitts is the host country for the 38th joint meeting of the Executive and Educational as well as the Seventh Practice Committee of the regional nursing body.

ZIZ News spoke with Dr Leila McWhinney-Dehaney, the Chairperson of the regional nursing body and also the Chief Nursing Officer in Jamaica.

The doctor says they have a huge responsibility to make sure the people of the region are getting the proper health care that is necessary. Dr Dehaney then outlined the significance of the joint regional meeting: “We looked at how we will accredit our nursing schools. We have that on our agenda for discussion. We have also been looking at issues related to the regional examination for nurse registration. That process, we are in the process of completing. We have just completed a revised curriculum for nursing students in the region. We need to sign this off. We’re looking at tidying up the last bits and pieces related to the curriculum for our nursing training in the region.”

Also high on their agenda, were recommendations that came out of a situational analysis that looked at nursing in the region.

Dr Dehaney says during the workshop the head nurses assessed their progress with regards to the implementation of the recommendations. Giving examples she quoted: “How we will move forward nursing from a certificate or diploma level to a Bachelor of Science. Some countries are ahead of others. For example, in Jamaica, all our nursing schools or registered nursing programmes are now at university level where graduates will get a first degree in nursing. This is very important for nursing as a profession. So, we are looking at the status of our institution in terms of their readiness for training, equipment and supplies.”

The regional nursing body is a non-statutory and advisory of the caucus of Ministers of Health and the Council of Human and Social Development (COHSOD).

The forum was held at the Marriott Hotel and concluded on Friday February 26 2010.

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