The public health sector is in need of more than 550 registered nurses to bolster nursing care at facilities across the country. This state of affairs was intimated by Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence who made this disclosure based on the estimation of Chief Nursing Officer Linda Johnson.
Lawrence made the revelation as she addressed the commissioning ceremony of a second Ministry of Public Health Nurses Training Annex situated at the Woolford Avenue, Georgetown Critchlow Labour College.
The facility currently has 90 students enrolled – 88 women and two men, 30 of whom are on the Registered Nurses (RN) programme and 60 on the Nursing Assistant programme.
Therefore, this means that the capacity for training has been augmented and will contribute to the output from the New Amsterdam and Charles Rosa School of Nursing. The facility, which falls under the immediate purview of the Public Health Ministry’s Health Science Education Division, is intended to complement the existing Georgetown School of Nursing in Kingston.
The introduction of the Annex comes at a time when policymakers of the Health Ministry have observed the need to train more nurses yearly as the demand for health services, especially at the primary level, is increasing. Also, human resources at this level of healthcare delivery are needed, especially in far-flung communities.
Primarily, this move is expected to narrow the gaps existing within the healthcare system for staff at health centres and hospital, reported the Department of Public Information.
According to Minister Lawrence, “We envisage that this Annex II will certainly boost our capacity to provide more training and enable the development of a competent workforce to fill the gaps and eliminate our deficiencies.”
The minister underscored that nurses constitute the pillars on which the healthcare system is founded and without enough of them to deliver the necessary services, government’s best efforts at improving the provision of healthcare can be affected. It is for this reason Annex II was established.