BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, August 29, 2023 (SKNIS) – The Ministry of Health convened a special ceremony today, Tuesday, August 29, 2023, to recognize several local nurses who received their professional medical training in the Republic of Cuba and who are now recognized as registered nurses in St. Kitts and Nevis.
A registered nurse is a healthcare professional who has been licensed to provide and coordinate patient care after receiving specialized education and meeting the necessary requirements as set out by the state.
The recognition ceremony was held at the JNF General Hospital Conference Room and was attended by Prime Minister and Minister of Health, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, as well as senior ministry officials including Principal Nursing Officer, Dr. Rondayln Dennis-Bradshaw; the Director of Health Institutions, Dr. Jenson Morton and the Director of Institutional Nursing Services, Kerry Williams-Tuckett.
Prime Minister Dr. Drew described the moment as bitter-sweet, as he said these deserving nurses recognized during Tuesday’s ceremony were denied this entitlement for nearly ten years.
Dr. Drew said, “You journeyed to Cuba; I journeyed to Cuba. You spent the first few years in Cuba on a government scholarship, a collaboration between St. Kitts and Nevis and Cuba. When you came back, you were told you needed more training, and you went back and sacrificed more and achieved a bachelor’s degree. When you came back some of you were appointed as registered nurses in 2013, only to have that taken away from you…That is the bitter part of it. The good part of it now is that the Nursing Council that is there has revisited your situation and they have taken, in my estimation, the right action, and today, what had been delayed for almost a decade, you are now accepted fully as nurses into the nursing profession.”
The health minister then challenged the nurses to continue to exhibit the hard work and professionalism needed in this critical field of healthcare. He said, “I know you follow the codes of [Florence] Nightingale who set the trail for what the nursing profession is all about. I encourage you to stay close to the ethos or the basis on which the nursing profession was formed. You learned that in Cuba and in Cuba you know the nurses don’t work for much, but you can attest that they work hard, so it’s not about the money or the remuneration, it is always about the patient.”
PNO Dr. Dennis-Bradshaw also extended her own words of commendation to the registered nurses. She told them, “You are now part of a noble and compassionate profession that makes a profound difference in peoples’ lives—nursing. Embrace your role as a healer, as an advocate and caregiver with pride and dedication. Nursing is a field of continuous learning, and as the healthcare landscape evolves, new treatments and technologies emerge continuously. Therefore, it is imperative that you commit yourselves to lifelong learning to provide the best care for your patients.”
Following the remarks, the nurses were presented with their awards and certificates from the Nurses and Midwives Council of St. Christopher and Nevis.
Tuesday’s recognition ceremony for the registered nurses was also attended by Advisor to the Ministry of Health, Dr. Patrick Martin; Special Advisor and Human Resource Training Manager, Mr. Curtis Martin and Chair of the Nurses and Midwives Council of St. Christopher and Nevis, Mrs. Nikisha Hazel.