Over 1,100 registered for new hybrid nursing programme
Over 1,100 persons have successfully enrolled into the new nursing programme that will be delivered in hybrid format.
The Professional Hybrid Nursing Programme, which will see nursing students learn through online and in-person classes, was officially launched on Monday at the Ministry of Health at Brickdam, Georgetown. The first batch of students by far exceeds the 200-300 persons who were previously facilitated for in-person classes. The hybrid programme is the brainchild of the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, to make access to quality learning faster and allows for more persons to enroll.
According to Dr. Anthony, already more persons from across the Caribbean are showing interest in this programme which the Ministry hopes to expand in the years to come.
“We had said that we are cutting off at 1,000 but because 160 more met the eligibility requirement, we decided to bring them on board.
“So we are not leaving anyone who met the eligibility criteria out…we are at that point where we will be able to train a lot more people than we previously were capable of doing.
“There are persons who are outside of Guyana and have expressed the desire to participate in the programme – that is something that we would like to facilitate but we want to first make sure that we can get this up and running,” the Health Minister said.
He reminded that a huge challenge in the Caribbean is the exodus of nurses who are migrating and as such, Guyana hopes to lead the charge in offering this form of learning within the region.
Prior to this hybrid approach, the students had to travel to stay at dormitories for their physical classes at the school of nursing under the Ministry of Health’s Health Sciences Education (HSE). Now they can study from home and be able to achieve the same level of training as if they were in physically classrooms. In revamping the programme, lecturers were trained to use tools for online classes.
The Deputy Director of HSE, Chandroutie Persaud said Coursera was engaged for this programme.
“The clinical component of the training will be done in simulation labs and health facilities within each region.
“Students will have scheduled supervised visits to have practical sessions; one of the benefits is that students have the opportunity to study in the comfort of their own home and at a time convenient to them,” she stated.
The Coursera platform, the Ministry, Pan American Health Organization(PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) and the University of Sao Paulo are collaborating to deliver the world-class training that will boost the nursing services here.
The programme will focus on ensuring that there is attendance and persons are retaining the information taught. This is to ensure that at the nurses are trained well at the end of the programme.
The Minister also said that the ministry will support all students to ensure that they are able to complete the programme. The nursing students who met the requirements for this sort of scholarship will undergo the three-year programme and then work for the Ministry for five years. They will also receive a monthly stipend of $16,180. Through this programme, the nurses are guaranteed a job with the ministry.
Professor at the College of Nursing, University of São Paulo, Dr. Carla Ventura and Director General at the Health Ministry, Dr. Vishwa Mahadeo, were among others at the launching ceremony.