Message from the Minister of Health, Honourable Dr Frank Anthony on International Nurses Day 2023
Today, on May 12th, Guyana is celebrating International Nurses Day 2023. This day, established by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in 1974, is dedicated to recognising the crucial role of nurses in healthcare and expressing gratitude for their hard work. The theme for this year is “Our Nurses. Our Future”. This day also marks the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the British nurse widely regarded as the founder of modern nursing.
Nurses play a crucial role in public healthcare systems by improving immunisation coverage, fighting against diseases, and reducing mortality rates for infants, children, and mothers. The recent COVID-19 pandemic emphasised the importance of nurses in keeping people healthy across all ages, despite healthcare disruptions. The current administration has acknowledged healthcare providers’ efforts and invested 1.5 billion to increase salaries for nurses and other healthcare workers in 2023, with some nurses receiving up to 80% salary increases.
Nursing education has advanced dramatically with more educational facilities, private institutions, and the option to pursue a Master in Public Health (MPH). The Ministry of Health (MOH) collaborates with international partners to offer nurses ongoing education and specialised programs. These programs include Emergency Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, Critical Care Nursing, Anaesthesia, Neonatal Care, and Surveillance.
The government is dedicated to providing new training opportunities for nurses. In 2022, the Ministry of Health cooperated with the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Nursing Development Center at the University of São Paulo to evaluate nursing education and training in Guyana. As a result, a hybrid Register Nursing Program was developed, which will train over one thousand individuals in nursing each year. There are currently 353 Nursing Assistant students, 45 Post-Basic Midwifery students, 35 Single trained Midwifery students, and a number of Professional Nursing students undergoing training. To facilitate an expansion of these programs, two new schools will be constructed, one in New Amsterdam and another in Suddie.
In the upcoming years, nursing professionals will need the flexibility to handle unforeseen and emerging issues in various settings. They should also be receptive to new leadership opportunities in hospitals, schools, and communities while utilising technology to ensure safer patient care. We hope all nurses will use these opportunities to enhance their education and skills. This will result in better care for our patients.
To all the nurses out there, we recognise the immense value you bring to our society. Your steadfast commitment to serving the people of Guyana is truly admirable. We want you to know that the government is fully dedicated to ensuring your safety and well-being. We will work tirelessly to implement policies that prioritise your health and happiness. Thank you for all that you do!
Happy International Nurses Day 2023!