Healthcare Collaboration to Enhance Nursing Expertise in Barbados

In a significant milestone for healthcare and education in Barbados, the way has been paved to allow 60 registered nurses to pursue the Nurse Practitioner Programme at Chamberlain University. This after the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), Barbados Community College (BCC), and Chamberlain University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to formalize the arrangement.

The nurses will pursue training in Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care, and Adult Gerontology Acute Care.

Wayne Marshall, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, expressed anticipation for the upcoming training program scheduled to commence in September. Emphasizing the ministry's commitment to establishing an outstanding healthcare system, he affirmed, "Our objective is to ensure healthcare that is well-coordinated and meets the diverse needs of our citizens."

The Barbados Community College will facilitate the training. Chairman of the Board, Dr Allyson Leacock noted that the College has been the cornerstone of excellence in the delivery of nursing programmes including a three-year bachelor’s degree in general nursing and specialized diplomas.

She explained that projections from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicating a shortage of healthcare professionals, expected to reach 10 million by 2030, with nurses accounting for half of this shortfall, this collaboration seeks to address immediate training requirements while strengthening the healthcare system's capacity to adapt to emerging health complexities.

“So for us at BCC, this partnership is therefore timely and signifies more than just an exchange of resources. We are committed to fostering a symbiotic relationship where both institutions thrive. We pledge to contribute disciplined, critical thinkers who are motivated and passionate about their studies, upholding the highest ethical standards, Dr Leacock said.

Khalilah Peters, Director of Caribbean Government Relations, said the signing of the MOU was the culmination of an effort that had started before the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Peters explained that Chamberlain University aims to address the health worker shortage through its 23 campuses and an alternative online class option. In collaboration with local governance and institutions, the university provides a Master's level program in nurse practice to help bridge the shortages in the nursing profession locally. 

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