BVI News

Amendments coming to register and license nurses locally

Health Minister Carvin Malone

The government of the Virgin Islands is seeking to amend current legislation to allow for the registering and licensing of nurses and midwives within the territory.

Minister for Health Carvin Malone said this amendment was brought forward to bring the territory in line with regional and international guidelines for nursing and midwifery.

The amendment, which is titled the Nurses and Midwives Bill, will involve the regularising of other categories of nurses. It also promises to make allowances for the registration of advanced practice nurses as well as separating processes of registration and licensure and providing for different dental councils as the territory moves to re-engineer primary healthcare.

According to the minister, advanced practise nurses will be poised to offer services in the areas of vaccination, counselling, maternal and child health and chronic disease management locally.

He said: “Many of our local nurses are educated at the advanced level and may like to return home to contribute, however, not being able to register, to license and practice at the advanced levels makes the prospect unattractive to most.”

“This process makes it possible to register and license advanced practice nurses, enabling them to practice at the upper level of their training and skills and the territory can only benefit,” he added.

Advanced practise nurses include registered nurse practitioners, registered nurse anesthesiologists, clinical nurse specialists, registered public health nurses.

Certification/regulation of assistive nursing personnel

Malone also said the Bill will provide for the certification/regulation of assistive nursing personnel.

“These are persons who practice in the community and perform some nursing tasks without any regulation. The nurses and midwife council will now be charged with the regulation of these categories of staff, ensuring that they are certified to perform safely,” he stated.

The groups of assistive nursing personnel include the licensed practice nurse, the nursing assistant, the nurse technician, nurses aid, patient care assistant, and patient care technician.

Council to select educational programmes in nursing

The amended legislation according to the health minister will allow for the Nursing and Midwifery Council to consult on the establishment of educational programmes in nursing.

He said this measure ensures that training is linked to registration and licensure and that the standard of practice is consistent to the benchmarks set by the council for safe practice.

“The council will assist with educational institutions, hospitals, persons or organisations on matters pertaining to nursing, midwifery and assistive nursing education, training and practice, and to assist nursing schools and other educational institutions when requested in the development of curricular for nursing education,” Malone said.

“This will correct the current gap where persons trained at our local college will be considered for registration, certification by the council, opening up employment and possibilities to them at a wider scale,” he explained.

The Bill further provides for the conduct of disciplinary proceedings.

The Nurses and Midwives Bill 2020 is presently before the House of Assembly’s Special Select Committee where it is being assessed clause by clause.

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6 Comments

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  1. SMH says:

    I’m all for this! Too many persons presenting themselves as RN and LPN from other jurisdictions without vetted proof.

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  2. good says:

    Don’t forget Geriatric Aides

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  3. Disinterested says:

    Add engineers, architects, surveyors, construction contractors…….etc to the list.

  4. What a ting says:

    The BVI hate to acknowledge the contribution made to the BVI by exp . I wonder why ? There is nothing wrong in appreciating the work of others I heard Dem calling out names of only indigenous nurses what happen to exp nurses . A similar list was going around with teachers as well . This helps to create discouragement and division .

  5. Anonymous says:

    To: What a ting, and exps.

    Don’t feel bad, you are not the only ones living in the snake den.

    I am a local local. My roots on both mother and father side go back locally from BVI to Africa for 400 + years and beyond. I am not a descendant from any Eastern or Southern Caribbean island.

    Just to share the insanity and evil of some of our own people with you, read the following: My name has been conveniently left off of lists of appreciation, awards and other events for decades. First hand experience talking here.

    What also disturbs is the expat child who becomes Department Head. That individual, and i have worked with a few vicious ones, most often reaks hell upon the local.

    Other xpat children who are professionals within the same department, they are promoted, supported and pushed ahead to positions of prominence and salary increases ahead of the local, while he the local is keppt from even contributing his skills effectively. First hand experience talking here.

    It is also very discouraging to see an actual xpat come into country, become employed within the same field where you are for years before she/he came, and she/he immediately is pushed up the salary scale while you the local, working equally as hard remain stagnant. That is not only discouraging, that s+++ hurts, but it happens. First hand experience talking here.First hand experience talking here.

    So you see, expats may have some challenges, but the local does also. Except, he gets his from his own local people and expat alike. So he gets double whammied daily.First hand experience talking here.

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  6. good things! says:

    This needs to be followed asap by the nursing programme at the college! Even if you only offer nurse’s aid programmes for now! This could be such a great addition to the BVI’s health department! You want more local health workers? THIS IS THE WAY TO DO IT!

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