BVI News

Health Ministry eyeing ways to attract more youth to nursing

Health Minister Carvin Malone.

The Ministry of Health is pledging to provide support to local nursing and one of its objectives is to come up with ways to attract more persons to the profession.

Health Minister Carvin Malone shared these sentiments in an address to mark the start of International Nurse Week which runs from May 6 to 12.

“The Government of the Virgin Islands is committed to supporting nurses, and providing the resources they need to deliver professional, compassionate, high-quality health services to meet the needs of residents on each island,” Malone said.

“This includes creating opportunities for nursing education and continuous professional development, expanding efforts to attract young people to the profession, and enhancing the appeal of the Virgin Islands as we compete with other jurisdictions for highly skilled healthcare professionals.”

The minister also applauded the dedication and efforts of all nurses while stressing the important role they play in the structure of the healthcare system.

“Being the first point of contact for many people in community settings, hospitals and specialized healthcare facilities their voices are also pivotal in promoting effective, sustainable and culturally appropriate care,” Malone said.

He added: “Nurses also play a leading role in healthcare administration and the formulation and implementation of effective health policy. Their ongoing efforts are truly invaluable.”

The theme of this year’s Nurses Week is ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Health for All’ and the legislator is encouraging “all health facilities, both private and public, to celebrate nurses for their integral role and unwavering commitment”.

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  1. Basic Needs says:

    Thanks Hon. Malone. Your initative to attract more nurse to our Health Care Service is laudable. There’sno higher calling than that of promoting the health and wellness of a country and its people.

    Some years ago I attended a graduation of students from the ESHS where there were some 80+ graduates. To my surprise only one of the students chose health care as a career profession. That student was the impressive Dr. Amber Wheatley; currently finishing up her internship at a prestigious hospital in the UK; having also studied in the UK

    Recently Dr. Amber Wheatley along with Joshua Wheatley represented the Caribbean, at the ‘World Family Medicine Conference’ held in Seoul, South Korea, October 17 to 21, 2018.

    Miss. Amber Wheatley is the daughter of Hon. Vincent Wheatley;
    Congratulations to Hon Wheatley and his daughter; Dr. Amber Wheatley

  2. Hit the nail on the head says:

    The initiative should start at the preschools by having a profession day which is now being done. It should also include having those students at work at their parents jobs for the day or chaperoned visits to different jobs each year or several times during the year. The same should be done at primary and high school levels and where the students are allowed to do monitored tasks or shadowing. By the end of the their high school stint, the likelihood of higher numbers in nursing may increase; hence, the key is to start early…start now.

  3. EYE says:

    Attracting is one thing, retaining is another. Let us try to get our medical professionals to 1st come home after they have completed all their studies and contribute and then to stay!

  4. Hmm says:

    We need to attract the many nurses we have educated, that are now living abroad and making contributions in health care outside of the virgin Islands.

    It is not recruitment is our problem, it is retention! We have qualified nurses abroad, I know many of them I can count on both hands and toes!

    The proper thing would be to recruit new nurses yes, but figure out how we can attract our well qualified local nurses (living abroad) to come back home and make a worthwhile contribution to this society, especially since they retained local scholarships.

  5. Need Urgent Improvement says:

    Both the police and nursing careers in the BVI are woefully unrepresented by locals.

    There are some reasons why this is so, but it is also recognized that little to no effort has ever been made to attract, inspie recruit and employ locals in either of thos professions.

    Indeed at least 90% or more of those professionals are non locals, and 99% of their salaries do not benefit theBVI, as it goes into the credit unions, banks and economies of other countries.

    Simply, thei reality needs urgent and long term attention. Much must be done to get our local people employed in ealth cae and policing. For too long those careers have been overly dominated by expatriates.

  6. BVISLANDESR says:

    If he want to attract more youth into health care first thing he needs to do is get rid of those dinosaurs down at the hospital .. those manager do everything in their power to keep young people out of the hospital n if the youth already working there they do everything they can to drive them out !!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The greater problem to be considered is the trained local, even with a BVI scholarship, is torn between coming home and working for peanuts, being mistreated, disrespected and oppresed, or staying away and making what she/he is genuinely worth and is respected and never kept down by anyone.

    Well, almost anyone. If any such occurs, it is usually along skin colour lines.


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  8. Anonymous says:

    Forgot to . also mention the teaching profession also Mr.Minister.

    A greater sustained push must be made to get and keep more locals in all three critical professions.

    There should a quoter of nationals to locals in each profession. Our nation is small, therefore we must look after our own first, through recruiting, training and retaining with good salary and human respect.

  9. Shorty says:

    Every successive government choose to ignore the most fundamental issue. PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS!!!! The BVI is expensive to live and the salary doesnt come anywhere close to break even. If we want to attract qualified locals across all fields in government we need to pay our people what they are worth. A registered nurse in the US makes roughly 40k plus. I don’t know anyone even with a masters degree from social workers, to nurses and teachers making 40k a year in the BVI. Im speking first hand information one government doesn’t pay for post graduate degrees. I know a young lady worked in social services with a masters making 35k a year. Same incentives given to expats when hiring if you want to attract locals it should be the same across the board. On another note locals are treated bad in their own county even those nurses who applied were told they have no positons.

  10. Ausar says:

    Remuneration is the key!

    In the US Virgin Islands, the nursing profession was, but for a few years ago, a revolving door. Many left for the mainland due to less than adequate remuneration.

    Upon the raising of entrance salaries, nurses were more inclined to remain and those of national affiliation were more inclined to relocate.

    Again, adequate remuneration is the key to increasing local nurses retention and dedication to the profession within to this society!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Agreed, Indeed for teaching and policing in particular in thrr BVI.

  12. Smh says:

    We want our nurses to come back home to be paid peanuts. We all know nurses don’t make money here. Why come back to the BVI to make under 40k per year when the US is starting nurses with 60k.

  13. Made here says:

    Make sure the nurses are local it’s bad to go into that hospital and find all the nurses are not local come on help your own we cannot go to st Vincent an Grenada and get jobs like that but we have them here taking our jobs an pushing us around

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