October 28, 2020

UCCI’s nursing programme


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President of UCCI Mr. Roy Bodden

The University College will launch a nursing programme in September, aligning its training efforts in partnership with Dr Devi Shetty’s Narayana medical college.

Planners continue to discuss details of the project, set to start in the autumn with 100 students, ultimately leading to licencing of nurses who can work at the Shetty hospital or, according to UCCI President Roy Bodden, anywhere in the world.

“It is correct that UCCI has been approached [by Dr Shetty], although I’m not at liberty just now to discuss the details,” Mr Bodden said.

“We are still doing investigations. I’ve just heard from Dr Shetty about the arrangements: a modest facility with 100 students, and he has expressed interest in this academic year, the coming September.

“We are already well advanced in planning our UCCI nursing programme, trying to start this September,” he said, “and are working with the Health Services Authority, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. It will be a four-year programme, licencing practical nursing. We will give degrees.”

On a January tour of George Town, Dr Shetty announced the August groundbreaking for the initial 140-bed phase of his proposed $2 billion, 15-year tertiary hospital project on 200 acres in East End.

When complete, the project will encompass a 2,000-bed hospital, after-care and research-and-development facilities, targeting medical tourists from the Caribbean and both South and North America, and will include a medical college, training doctors, nurses
and technicians.

The Narayana college will not be ready, however, until a later date, although training would begin, Dr Shetty said, “by the end of the year”, in cooperation with “a local institution”, which he declined to name.

Mr Bodden told iNews Cayman the UCCI programme would be part of the inaugural phase of Dr Shetty’s medical school, helping boost the university college’s own nascent training efforts.

Traditionally, local nursing students were often forced to train in the US, often enduring a difficult licencing process by an independent panel, Mr Bodden said. Under the new programme, however, nurses will train at UCCI, “and get their licences here, as a sort of a one- stop shop.”

He was also seeking advice from the Pan American Health Organisation about the University College programme, and differentiated it from Dr Shetty’s medical college.

“They are two different things,” he said. Narayana will ultimately train doctors in medical and clinical sciences, while UCCI would concentrate on nursing.

Final arrangements were still pending, however.

“These are things that we are working out now,” he added, negotiating use of classrooms and other facilities. “We are investigating draft MOUs and contracts and an infinite set of details.

“This will be a partnership and kind of business relationship,” pointing toward a greater future of cooperation and collaboration with other local schools, including Savannah’s ICCI.

“We are looking for an understanding and association, creating an institution of scale,” he said. We need cooperation and collaboration otherwise we will get gobbled up,” he said. ICCI, for example, “do some very good things and have a different emphasis than we have. We do other things. But we are all diverse, so there is no reason not to complement each other.”

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