Government authorities here will soon have before them comprehensive proposals for the upgrading and expansion of the nursing profession in Barbados.
This was disclosed today by president of the Barbados Nurses Association (BNA) Joanna Waterman, who said her organization is proposing upgrades and expansion to the roles of the specialist nurse, the nurse practitioner and the clinical nurse specialist.
Waterman said the recommendations were being prepared for submission to the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Ministry of Education.
“And so we are working to outline the various domains in which the nurse specialist can function, the competencies and scope of practice that would enhance and improve the delivery of care in Barbados, especially in areas such as the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E), acute care setting and public health,” she announced.
The BNA head said the proposals also call for an established school of nursing which could address the “horrendous” failure rate, particularly with respect to the most critical component of the nursing training programme, which is the clinical aspect.
She explained that this relates to the clinical site rotation and the need for an established programme that allows students working in the field to be mentored, instructed and supervised by a practising physician.
“Also in respect to the administrative structural areas that would improve this area for a school of nursing and hence, we hope, correct the deficits of failures,” Waterman said.
She said there were also plans to upgrade the nursing assistants’ programme to a two-year, associate degree programme which would increase their scope of practice and therefore enhance the delivery of care.
“We therefore expect to work closely with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and all the stakeholders in getting these recommendations through,” the nurses’ spokeswoman suggested.