Gov’t to implement hybrid programme to train more nurses

The Ministry of Health will be prioritising the training of nurses, to supply the high demand that will emerge as a result of infrastructural development and the expansion of the health sector.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony met with the new nurses’ council on Wednesday, during which, he explained that they will have a role to play in adding to the drive to train more nurses, and oversee their registration.

Minister of Health Dra Frank Anthony

“We have engaged them, and they are right now designing a hybrid programme for Guyana for registered nurses. In another two to three months, we want to have that programme up and running, and at a minimum, once that programme is up and running, we want to start training about 500 persons using this hybrid method of online and then you would come in to special simulation centers that we would develop so that you can get practical training,” Dr Anthony said.

The minister believes that the hybrid method of training will bridge the gap and minimise the current shortage of health personnel.

“Once we train for a number of years using this method, that we will at least be able to be on par with the needs that we have,” Dr Anthony said. 

Minister Anthony spoke of the Pediatric and Maternal Hospital that will be established, six regional hospitals, as well as upgrades to existing facilities, to modernise specialised facilities.

“Therefore, there would be an increased need for nursing staff to be there. Our capacity in the public sector is just about 250 registered nurses, that is not enough, and if at our current nursing system, we are having difficulty finding nurses, in another two to three years we will have additional facilities.”

In addition, the nursing assistant programme will also be expanded, while the continuing nurses’ education programme will continue providing upgraded training for nurses across the country.

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony meets with the new Nurses Council.

“We are also going to look at doing a lot of specialty courses, because depending on the needs, whether it’s in surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, critical care nursing, ICU nursing, so all these … we will be looking at and again the support of the council will be very vital as we move this process forward,” Dr. Anthony said. 

He called on the council to be very progressive to meet the unprecedented changes.

“We really want the council to work with us to ensure that people are properly trained, registered. We are not asking for any compromise in anything, but we want people to understand the broader vision that we have for nursing,” Dr Anthony said.

Minister Anthony explained that there are also partnerships with several international universities that offer world class training in specialised areas.

“We’ve had challenges with our nurses leaving, the more experienced ones, they are being actively recruited and therefore we have a deficit in the system of registered nurses. Now if we go in the traditional way we have been working, in terms of trying to train nurses, it is going to be almost impossible for us to fill the deficit that we currently have,” Dr. Anthony said.

Currently there are three public nursing schools at Linden, Georgetown and New Amsterdam, and a private training facility at St Joseph’s Mercy Hospital, while the University of Guyana offers a degree programme.

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