NASSAU, BAHAMAS – More than 100 nurses enrolled in the nursing program at the University of The Bahamas received their pins on Wednesday, which officially recognizes them as professional nurses.
Yesterday’s Pinning Ceremony was held under the theme, “Never Give Up: The pathway to success begins with me.”
Back in March, The Bahamas Nurses Union expressed concerns about the government hiring foreign nurses and failing to pay overtime to local nurses. But yesterday, Nursing and Allied Health Professions Chair, Leah Rolle, expressed the need for the government to establish better working conditions for nurses in order to retain them.
“We are producing nurses,” said Cooper. “Recruitment is not the issue in this country. We need to look at what is it that we as a country can do to maintain and keep these nurses here in this country because we produce such a great quality of nurses.
“They are sought after internationally by many, and so they come here and take our nurses from us. But we need to do all that we can to keep this high quality product that we produce at the end of the day here in this country.”
Following the ceremony, Eyewitness News Online spoke to several graduates who were elated about finally completing the four-year program. They were happy to see more Bahamians in the healthcare profession.
“Listen to me, this group what just passed through, there are no shortages here. We come in every character around us… The hospitals, the clinics, the islands, here we come,” said Myra Jones.
“You know, there is a shortage of Bahamian nurses, and not to sound biased, but for our Bahamian society to have healthcare coming from Bahamians for Bahamians, I think that’s very pivotal,” said Oriel Sampson.
There is a stigma about the shortage of nurses and so this graduation would mean more Bahamians taking care of Bahamians, more nurses, and less complaints from patients,” Altaneka Ferguson expressed.