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Jul 20, 2009

Regional exams for nurses of CARICOM states

Story PictureTo practice in the region, registered nurses in all CARICOM states have to sit an examination to acquire the appropriate license to practice their profession. It is a four-paper examination that is prepared by the Regional General Nursing Councils. Today, representatives from thirteen CARICOM states are meeting at the Radisson at the seventeenth annual meeting to prepare the examinations to be taken by the regional nurses in October of this year. In the next two weeks, the participants will review previous exams and formulate upcoming tests and related activities. According to Belize’s Chief Nursing Officer, Marjorie Parks, twenty-five to thirty nurses sit the exam annually. Parks says the purpose of the examination is to maintain the standard of medical care practices.

Marjorie Parks, Chief Nursing Officer
“Nurses who take and pass this exam can practice in their country and anywhere in the Caribbean where this exam is administered. This exam ensures that the standard of nursing care and health care is up to the highest level and they all can practice at established standards—so it’s an exam that really ensures that the best of health care is delivered to the population. The first exam was administered in 1993 and so a number of nurses have gone through this system; at least twenty-five, thirty per year and so, as I said, all nurses who complete the registered nurse program have to take this before they can practice. This is their licensing exam.”

Duane Moody
“Have you found that the standards of our nurses are up to par?”

Marjorie Parks
“Yes, they are up to par. Our nurses are among the best in the world. That is why we are having problem with the more wealthier countries recruiting them. They can function in any setting, they are generally trained, they know how to improvise, out of want they need to do that. So, our nurses are highly qualified. With the CSME and the free movement of professionals, nurses can move along the Caribbean to practice and we do have, for example, from Guyana and nurses from Jamaica and other countries can come and our nurses from Belize can go to those countries.”

This is the second time that Belize is hosting the meeting.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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