Scope of practice, new standards drafted for nurses

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Public Health Ministry is working with the Nursing Council to professionalise the nursing workforce by introducing new standards and scope of practice.

There has been a concerted move since 2017 to modernise the local nursing profession

Consultant on Nursing Education and Regulation attached to the Ministry of Public Health, Mandy La Fleur told DPI that the scope of the practice will encompass Nursing Assistants, Midwives, and Registered Nurses

“…we want to bring back some of those standards into the profession…we can fix many things but unless we regulate the profession it is going to take us other places so we are working on developing that scope of practice.”

La Fleur noted that criteria will also be developed to ensure nurses are exposed to continued education and are re-licensed to practice

“Continued education is another area that has lapsed over the years currently it’s not mandatory for re-licensure but just like the doctors and other professionals to be relicensed for the coming year we are ensuring that they [nurses] adhere to this standard in terms of having a certain number of credits for re-licensure,” she noted.

The Nursing Council is working closely with the Ministry of Public Health’s Standards and Technical services department to facilitate regulation. They will be looking at other mandatory aspects such as the need for nurses to be vaccinated, personal and other documents must be on record, health status continually updated among other things.

According to La Fleur, as Guyana embarks on becoming an oil-producing nation the Public Health Ministry is cognizant that the country’s healthcare sector is critical to safeguarding the wellness of its people, even as there is an influx of persons from neighbouring and other countries.

Therefore, the introduction of standards will strengthen the nursing profession and with this comes effective monitoring and evaluation ensuring that these standards are embraced and upheld.

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