Nurses Association warns about large intake of nursing students

Nurses Association warns about large intake of nursing students

The Guyana Nurses Association is warning once again about the large intake of nurses in wake of the recent examination results for nurses who write the final year state examinations.  Close to 70% of the student nurses who wrote the examinations failed and the figure is worrying to many in the health sector.

In a statement, the Nurses Association said “some may recall, a few years ago, representatives from the GNA had spoken against the large intake of students, the tutor/student ratio, as well as other issues pertaining to training and nursing education in the Schools of Nursing in Guyana.”

The Association added that “despite the utterances of some top officials who shared the view that the Association has no control with the selection process, we wish to inform that one of the objective of our association is “to advance the status of nursing as a profession, by supporting measures which affect the administration of nursing affairs by members and the better selection of student nurses”. Another is to ensure the standard of nursing education is maintained and that nursing is practiced only by fully qualified nurses.”

The Ministry of Health has been shying away from questions about the performance of the nursing students and also about the large number of students who make up a classroom in the various nursing schools across the country. The Association believes there are a number of issues that may have contributed to students failing the examinations. Some students have complained about insufficient time for practical and being forced to compete with interns and other trainees on the wards for on the job training.

The Guyana Nurses Association released a chart showcasing the school population size and the number of tutors available for those schools.

Student Tutor Population

Schools of Nursing# of Professional Nursing Students# of Trained Tutors# of untrained tutors
New Amsterdam2352 (both retired and re-employed)2
Charles Roza26875

The Association has also put forward a number of recommendations that it wants to see implemented. The recommendations include:

  1. Immediate cessation of intake until there is some form of stability and measures are put in place to remedy this situation so that unsuccessful students can be assisted.
  2. Review draft curriculum  currently being used by the schools
  3. Revisit Procedure Manuals
  4. Recruit and train tutors
  5. Train and appoint clinical instructors
  6. Upgrade skills lab
  7. Ministry of Health Institute MOU with GPHC for designated wards to be used for teaching /learning purposes. Wards must be fully equipped with all necessary tools for learning.
  8. Introduce the management of Schools by a Board of Directors
  9. All matters pertaining to nursing must be managed by the competent nursing administrators

 (eg. Director of Nursing/ Matrons, Principal Tutors) in the various institutions.

  1. Review the Student Policy
  2. Have smaller batches at enrollment twice per year.

Once the recommendations are implemented, the GNA is confident that Guyanese student nurses would be able to perform better in the classrooms.

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