Feb 16, 2014 News
The worrying results of nursing students of the Georgetown School of Nursing, who participated in the finals of the Professional Nursing examination during the latter part of last year, have left a wide cross section of the nursing fraternity in utter dismay.
This publication was reliably informed that more than 100 nursing students were eligible to write the examination but a mere fraction was successful.
Reports reaching this publication suggest that the successful students amounted to 19. “It is of great concern to, not only me, but also to a number of other seniors in the system,” one long-standing health official said of the results last evening.
According to the official it is her understanding that while a similar situation was obtained at the New Amsterdam School of Nursing, the Georgetown School produced the most distressing results.
Reports are that a total of 255 nursing students entered the programme in April 2010 but an amount of just over 120 persevered to the end to sit the final examinations in October last year.
From the inception the massive intake of nursing students was seen as “preposterous” by lecturers at the nursing school since it was recognised as a near impossible pedagogic task. “When you have large classes there is a problem meeting the students at their levels; there is no way that you can pay close attention to each of them,” said the official.
The official said that nurses in training should be exposed to at least four sessions of practicum on a particular subject before they are required to practice themselves. But given the large size of classes there is no guarantee that students would have grasped all of the necessary details being taught, this publication was told.
“The school was simply not prepared for this,” the official said, even as she pointed out that concerns in this regard were on several occasions brought to the attention of the Ministry of Health.
Although there was “minimal” intervention from the Health Ministry, the official said that it was not enough to address the concerns, hence the outcome was inevitable.
This publication was informed that while it is recommended that those individuals applying for the nursing programme should have a science background, a number of those who were accepted were not so qualified.
The failing nursing students will be able to pursue successful pass marks at the final examinations on two further occasions after which they will forfeit their eligibility for the nursing programme.
“Speaking as a Guyanese, the situation is not good at all; it means that taxpayers’ dollars will have to be used for remedial sessions to train these people because three years of prior sessions, funded by taxpayers’ dollars too, did not give the desired results,” said the official.
However, the official is optimistic that the most recent results will ensure that the Health Ministry take the necessary actions to avert such outcomes in the future.
When contacted last evening to comment on the daunting failing rate, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud, claimed that he was unaware that there was such a development.
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