PAHO/WHO supports CARICOM-led effort to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of national nurses training program
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has joined a collaborative effort led by the The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that seeks to improve performance of the programs of nursing training.
On Feb. 17-19 2015, CARICOM Secretariat hosted the Regional Nursing Body (RNB) meeting in Guyana with the following objectives:
- Detail and agree on the strategic elements for a Regional Plan for Nursing 2015-2020 to be put forward to the Annual General Meeting in July 2015;
- Review the administrative procedures for the first Caribbean Examination Council (CXC)-Managed Regional Examination for Nurse Registration (RENR) and make any necessary recommendations and
- Discuss the status of the Regional Network for Nursing and Midwifery Education in the Region.
The participants from chief nursing offices, chairs of nursing council and directors of School of Nursing of the University of West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica discussed topics related to the “unfinished agenda” regarding nursing education. They discussed tutors and educators competences, nursing education reform, guidelines to transform nursing education from colleges to universities, the standardization of the nursing curricula, the accreditation of the nursing education programs in the institutions, the standardization of entry into nursing programs and the final examination for the students.
Silvia Cassiani, PAHO Advisor, presented the priorities regarding human resources for health and nursing as well as the strategy approved for universal access to health and universal health coverage and the nursing contributions. The executive committee met in small groups to identify priorities to the region and agreed on a mechanism to complete the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan for Nursing and Midwifery. The strategic areas of the plan are: nursing and midwifery education, quality of the nursing education, accreditation of the nursing and midwifery programs, nursing and midwifery practice; research; information technology; standardization of practice and pandemic preparedness, emergency preparedness.
The delegates proposed the following areas to the strategic planning of the Regional Nursing Body 2015-2018 regarding nursing and midwifery education: to advocate for the harmonization of core competencies among entry level nurses; determination of the standardized ratio for student/staff in clinical practice experience; identification of training needs for specialist nurses in the Caribbean consistent with changing epidemiological profile; re-socialize nurses to care (educators); standardize the use of simulation as a strategy for developing competencies among students and evidence based practice research and others.
As overall the meeting of the Regional Nursing Body discussed deeply about the quality of nursing and midwifery education and practice, problems they are facing and the recommendations as well as several strategies to be developed to the Caribbean countries.