CANA is reporting that Barbados is exploring the possibility of establishing a school of nursing here and enhancing training opportunities for persons seeking to enter the profession.
Officials from the US-based Adtalem Global Education, the parent group of Chamberlain University and Ross University School of Medicine are meeting with representatives from of the Ministries of Health and Wellness, and Education, Technological and Vocational Training. The talks are due to end later on Tuesday.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, said that the discussions were critical to the realization of the government’s vision to make Barbados a hub for medical and dental education in the region.
“Critical to the realization of that vision is the whole question of nursing and the availability of nurses, not only quantitatively, but qualitatively in the various areas of specialty.”
While he acknowledging the nursing shortage and the loss of nurses to metropolitan countries, Bostic said that this should not be viewed as a challenge but rather as an opportunity “to supply a demand that is required so that all that we do in education and training, in my view, must be geared towards satisfying that demand”.
He said that he believed Barbados had the capacity to train as many nurses as were required, both locally and internationally.
“We must reach a point where we have specialist nurses in all areas of specialty that can be utilized here on island and that can be exported in terms of their services and skills,” he said, expressing the view also that issues related to the failure rate of Barbadian nurses in the regional examination would be examined at the meeting, and solutions found.
Bostic said that the need for trained nurses and nursing specialists would become even more urgent as Barbados implemented recent policy decisions related to free health care for CARICOM nationals living in Barbados, as well as contingent rights for CARICOM skilled nationals.