December 6, 2022

Bermuda: Minister opens regional nursing body meeting

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Minister of Health Kim Wilson today [Feb 27] opened the 46th Joint Meeting of the Executive and Education Committees for the policy-making body for Nursing in the CARICOM Caribbean Community.

The Regional Nursing Body is meeting in Bermuda for the 46th Joint Meeting of the Executive and Education Committees and the fifteenth of the Practice Committee. The Regional Nursing Body is the policy-making body for Nursing in the CARICOM Caribbean Community.

Minister Wilson addressed the conference saying, “It is my pleasure to welcome to Bermuda the Regional Nursing Body on the occasion of the 46th Joint Meeting of the Executive and Education Committees and the fifteenth Practice Committee of the Regional Nursing Body.

“The Regional Nursing Body is the policy making body for Nursing in the CARICOM Caribbean Community. There are 15 member states and five associate members, of which Bermuda is one. I extend a warm welcome to you all.

“I understand that the overall aim of the body is to provide advisory services to the Conference of Ministers responsible for Health of the Caribbean Community in matters relating to the improvement of nursing and its contributions to health care in the region.

“The role of nurses in the healthcare system is pivotal. Nursing shortages are a reality, and as we look at forward planning for our respective health systems’ workforces, it is important that there is shared information across the region.

“Health care is a growth industry and we need to support persons who wish to enter the profession, and to provide scholarships and incentives for them. The Ministry of Health is proud to support nursing in particular, through our annual Dr Barbara Ball Public Health Scholarships.

“Other important topics to be looked at are the framework for nurses and midwives and any updates to registration of midwives vis a vis nursing or other health professionals’ councils. The standardization and regulation of nursing assistants is also significant.

“The nursing profession is progressing with the changing times, and I hope Chief Nursing Officers, Nursing Council boards, representatives of nursing schools – including the Bermuda College, University of West Indies School of Nursing [UNISON], Cayman, Bahamas, Guyana and Caricom secretariat members – can learn from each other twice yearly in February for the Practice and Education Committee and in August for the AGM.

“After the extremely damaging hurricane season to our south, it is no surprise that Mental Health in Disaster Management is one of the agenda items.

“The mental strain of dealing with months without infrastructure is wearing on everyone affected by the disasters or assisting in the aide efforts. And nurses are often on the front line when it comes to caring for those who are struggling in the aftermath of disasters. I am passionate about mental health care so I am particularly pleased to see this on your agenda

Current areas of regional and global health policy are relevant to regional nursing policy; namely, strengthening and maintaining standards of nursing education and promoting quality nursing care in the region are very important goals.

“Also important are the oversight of the regional examinations for nurse registration in the Caribbean, the availability of research methodology workshops for nurses and the how to assure quality in nursing.

“I’m very pleased that these important meetings are taking place, and delighted that Bermuda has been able to host you as you advance the nursing profession.

“On behalf of the Ministry of Health of the Government of Bermuda, I wish the Regional Nursing Body a productive and successful meeting.”

IMAGE: [L-R] Minister Wilson; Gaynell Hayward-Caesar, Chief Nursing Officer [Bermuda]; Nester Edwards, Regional Nursing Body Chair and Chief Nursing Officer [Grenada]; Beverly Reynolds, Coordinator, Health and Human Development, CARICOM Secretariat [Guyana]; Jessie Shutt-Aine, Pan American Health Organisation Sub-regional Programme Coordinator, Caribbean [Barbados].

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