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Feb 3, 2000

Nurses upgrade curriculum

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Like the other schools which will become a part of the University of Belize such as Teachers’ College and School of Agriculture, the Belize School of Nursing will have to upgrade its program with an eye to the future. News Five was at the Belize Institute of Management today where faculty members are coming up with a new curriculum to face the new challenges in nursing.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Currently the School of Nursing offers a three year diploma programme, but it does not prepare a nurse to go on to Advanced Practiced Nursing which deals with critical areas of nursing. According to Laura Tucker Longsworth, a registered nurse and midwife who has a certificate in Nursing Education, the new curriculum will give Belizeans an opportunity to pursue the highest standard of Nursing Care.

Laura Tucker Longsworth, Nursing Educator, R.N.M.

“Presently for a nurse to pursue a degree internationally, let’s say at the University of the West Indies, you need to spend two more years at the University. At this point we are saying let’s give that good nurse, good education and let’s give her four years of sound education and award her with a Baccalaureate and then she will be ready to pursue Advanced Practice Nursing if she decides to.”

Facilitator for the workshop is Dr. Eleanor Hermann, author of “Origins of Tomorrow-a History of Belizean Nursing Education.” The book is used as part of the teaching material at the Belize School of Nursing.

Dr. Eleanor Hermann, Nursing Consultant

“Well I think one of the things that are very important is that we have to look at the future. We cannot look at only two or three or four years down the line. It’s got to be at least five or ten as a goal and that means we have got to start preparing our people on a leadership level now in order to have them ready for the time when we will be calling on them. The other, is that right now we need to have gradual preparation in nursing and the only way to begin that is to ensure that someone already has a bachelor’s degree and we can do that in a four year period of time rather than the present five or six that it takes.”

Longsworth said because the education will not be affordable to all students, the workshop will also examine the scholarship plans and a loan system being put in place at U.B.

The Nursing Curriculum Development Workshop will run for two weeks. Classes at the University of Belize are scheduled to begin in August.

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