As nurses across the globe celebrated International Nurses Day today, the Nurses Association of Guyana is concerned about a recent decision by the Ministry of Health to suspend the nursing programme at the Charles Roza School of Nursing in Linden.
The decision by the Ministry of Health has resulted in more than 40 student nurses being sent home.
In a statement this evening, the Ministry said the move is temporary and it is trying to get more nurses from outlying regions involved in the programme.
But during an interview on the Jumpstart Morning Show on 94.1FM, the President of the Nursing Association, Cleopatra Barkoye said the situation is sad.
“It is not right and not fair. To close a school, I know they sent home the students…so to close a school in this time when we need nurses and when so many nurses are leaving is a sad situation for our country and our people”
Nurse Barkoye who has worked for more than 30 years in the field of nursing and nursing education said the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global demand for nurses. She said Guyana is already facing a shortage and will need to hire more than 3000 nurses in the next five years.
“The World will need over 4.7 million nurses because 1 in every six nurses is due for retirement but because of previous shortages and the death rate in COVID-19 among nurses, the new estimate is 13 million. In Guyana alone, we will need over 3,179 nurses in the next five years and this has to do with migration as well as the nurses who are leaving and retiring, there will always be a shortage”, Nurse Barkoye said.
The Nurses Association President also issued a call for nurses to take better care of themselves. She said that in many cases, nurses have left themselves undone to care for their patients and their families.
Moving forward, the Nurses Association would like to see more psychologists being assigned to nurses to assist them to better cope with the pandemic and the work they do.