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Vincentians to study nursing in Cuba

Vincentians to study nursing in Cuba


There is a current shortage of 28 registered nurses in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in addition to an urgent need for specialist nurses. This is according to Audrey Scott, Chief Nursing Officer who along with the Acting Principal of the St. Vincent School of Nursing Lucille Edwards recently returned from a technical mission to Cuba.{{more}}

The team worked along with Cuban officials to adjust and fine tune a nursing programme being offered in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean country which will see 90 Vincentians leave these shores in just over a week to pursue a three-year nursing programme. Interested persons assembled at the School of Nursing last Wednesday 23 from 9 a.m.

At a media briefing last Monday, August 21, at the health Ministry’s press conference, Health Minister Dr. Slater announced that St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be following other OECS States in accepting the scholarship offer from the Cuban Government. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the last of the countries offered to accept because according to Minister Slater, “We had some concerns.”

These concerns, he explained, had to do with the scholarly level of the nursing programme and how it compared to our registered nursing programme. “I was pleased to note we were able to help the Cubans to fashion the programme to meet our needs,” Dr. Slater said. He further said that the other OECS countries will also benefit from St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ intervention because now the modified curriculum meets the regional criteria for equivalence to the Registered Nursing programme.

While the local requirement for admission into the local nursing is five O’level passes including a science subject, candidates for this Cuban scholarship programme are only required to have four O’level subjects. Sister Scott explained that entwined in the three-year course are classes in the necessary science subject areas deemed necessary for the field of study.

Hopeful candidates must be between the ages of 16 and 24 years, must have completed a medical examination and possess a clean police record. Regarding the medical examination, Sis Scott explained to the media that it was related to the Cuban officials the difficulty of conducting medical examinations on all ninety participants before they leave for Cuba because of the time constraints. An agreement has been made to have medical examinations done in Cuba with the understanding that anyone who is found to be pregnant or HIV positive will be returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

One of the benefits of this programme being touted by Minister Slater is the fact that on successful completion of the course students will also receive Diplomas in Spanish and Information Technology. Students can also capitalize on the opportunity to stay in Cuba for a further two years to pursue a Bachelor in Science degree in any nursing specialty.