Georgetown School of Nursing Annex II rebirthed

─ housed at the Critchlow Labour College

─ to boost the number of nurses trained annually

DPI, Guyana, Friday, July 5, 2019

The Public Health Ministry’s Health Science Education division has today introduced another teaching facility in Georgetown, complementing the existing Georgetown School of Nursing in Kingston.

This is the nursing school’s second Annex and will contribute to the output from the New Amsterdam and Charles Rosa School of Nursing.

Annex II is being housed at the Critchlow Labour College in Woolford Avenue, and currently has 90 students enrolled; 88 females and two males, 30 of whom are on the Registered Nursing (RN) programme and 60 on the Nursing Assistant programme.

The introduction of the second 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 health care 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.

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence related that based on information received from the Chief Nursing Officer, there is a need for more 550 Registered Nurses throughout the country.

On this note, she said, “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 health care 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.

Director of Health Sciences Education, Seraiah Validum said, “it has been observed that there isn’t enough manpower to sustain the health facilities with the rate of nurses that are being produced by the respective nursing schools. In the past, we were hovering over 40 to 50 students per year now we have an intake of approximately 200 students per year.”

Validum reflected that the Critchlow Labour College was previously used in 2010 to conduct classes for nursing students but was prematurely closed off. Now, she is confident that with the opening of this new Annex, the health ministry will be able to address deficiencies of nursing countrywide.

She explained the process that led to this. “Following a discussion with the Principal of Critchlow (Labour College), an agreement of tenancy was formulated to have six classrooms assigned for the necessary accommodation – three for teaching purposes and the other three to house the clinical laboratory, library and the staff. The necessary equipment, learning material and infrastructure were also included.”

Also, speaking at the event on behalf of Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan was Minister with responsibilities for Housing, Annette Ferguson. She detailed that this extension will facilitate nursing students from Regions 2, 3, 4 and 5.

After training, the nurses will return to their regions and contribute to the local development of their respective regions’ health sector. Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, with responsibility for Labour, Keith Scott said that the introduction of the second annex fits into a wider programme of massive expansion in the health sector.

Images: Aubrey Odle – Ministry of Public Health