August 10, 2012
Regional Nursing Body considers common exam for the Caribbean

The way forward for the management of the regional nursing examination and licensure was just one of the topics down for discussion as top nursing officials from across the region met here for the 39th Regional Nursing Body (RNB) Meeting.{{more}}

The issue of regional examination of licensing according to Elnora Warner, the Principal Nursing Officer of Antigua and Barbuda and Chairman of the RNB was one of the issues which were discussed during the four-day meeting which is expected to end today.

“There are various views and perspectives from the various territories,” Warner told SEARCHLIGHT.

The issue was addressed during a meeting of the region’s health officials in July this year during which a road map was drawn up to show how the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and the nursing councils plan to work together for the administrating of the exam Warner said.

She explained that generally, the meeting provides a venue for nurses to discuss issues regarding the reviewing and updating of many policies and standards for the nursing profession in the region.

“Legislation in the region in some instances is outdated … the aim is to try to bring those up to date,” Warner continued.

Non-communicable diseases, (NCD’s) are particularly troubling to the nursing sector, Warner said, as she spoke at the opening ceremony of the four-day meeting on Tuesday, August 7.

Talks relating to diseases such as hypertension, according to Warner, were of concern because they are related to lifestyle issues.

“And that is something in our strategic plan that we want to bring to the fore,” she said.

But while there are pressing issues to be discussed, the meeting is being held in a very challenging economic situation, Dr Rudolph Cummings, of the CARICOM Secretariat said.

“One of the things of this meeting is to see how we can meet the needs that still need to be met, especially with these resource restraints,” Cummings said.

He too cited NCD’s and the impact of childhood obesity, violence committed against Caribbean youths and the problem of dealing with challenges associated with mental health as some of the pressing issues that needed some attention.

But all too importantly, he spoke of the issue of a common exam for all wishing to enter into the nursing profession.

“This will be a feather in the cap for the RNB to have a common exam for everyone in the region that they can be proud,” he said. (DD)