Cuban bound student nurses on pause
Health & Beauty
September 15, 2006
Cuban bound student nurses on pause

The 90 chosen nursing students who were set to commence their studies in Cuba about two weeks ago have been given a little more time to get themselves ready.

During a media briefing on Monday, August 21, Minister of Health Dr Douglas Slater announced plans to have 90 Vincentians study nursing in Cuba, an offer that the Cuba Government had made to several Eastern Caribbean States.{{more}}

While other countries had quickly accepted and started the process, St Vincent hesitated because of concerns the nursing officials here had about the scholarly level of the program, namely how it ranked with the registered nursing programme offered in the local School of Nursing.

These fears were arrested after a vigilant technical mission to Cuba headed by Chief Nursing Officer, Sis Audrey Scott and the acting principal of the School of Nursing Sis Lucille Edwards.

As a result the Vincentian candidates who were at the time of the press conference not yet selected had less than two weeks to get themselves ready to travel to Cuba. Now a small snag has been encountered. The Cuban officials, who had previously been willing to hurry through the process, including having medical examinations be completed in Cuba are now insisting that the process be fully completed before students are allowed to travel to Cuba.

Potential students have to now, among other things, get their recently released grades verified at the Ministry of Education, their medical examinations done and all the other requirements met before they leave. Among the ninety candidates only three are men, this is despite calls made by the health ministry for more men to consider the field of nursing. All of the students are between the required 16-24 age group with only a few being in the 23-24 bracket.

All things being equal the students are expected to travel to Cuba on the weekend of Friday, September 22.

Students who after their medical examination are found to be pregnant or HIV positive will not be allowed to participate in the training programme.