Nursing expert visits

Jamaican nursing expert Dr. Syringa Marshall-Burnett recently visited the Cayman Islands to meet with Caymanian nursing officials to advise on such topics as continuing nursing education and assisting in developing amendments to the current Health Practice Law that would make it more specific to the nursing profession.

Dr. Marshall-Burnett, currently in her third term as president of the Jamaican Senate, visited Cayman on 19 and 20 June by invitation of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s chairperson, Shirline Henriques.

After spending 13 years as head of the nursing programme at the University of the West Indies School of Nursing at Mona, Dr. Marshall-Burnett continues to work as a part-time senior lecturer. Furthermore, Dr. Marshall-Burnett is involved with the Nurses Association of Jamaica, and edits the association’s journal.

‘This visit was important for us as Dr. Marshall-Burnett will provide valuable leadership in the development of the nursing profession in the Cayman Islands,’ Health Minister Anthony Eden remarked.

Minister Eden and the ministry’s Chief Officer Diane Montoya met with Dr. Marshall-Burnett to discuss the functions and interaction of the ‘triad of nursing,’ involving the Nursing Council, the chief nursing officer and the Nurses Association.

Dr. Marshall-Burnett’s visit, which included a tour of the Cayman Islands Hospital, was intended to help the Nursing Council to set benchmarks for the local nursing profession that will complement Cayman’s nursing recruitment process, Ms Henriques said.

‘The Health Practice Law allows us to recruit nurses from specific countries to work in the Cayman Islands,’ she explained.

‘However, this does not mean that we must license them to practice here, if the training programmes in their home countries do not meet the council’s minimum standards. This is why the benchmarks are vital.’

The visit also covered discussions on the nursing code of ethics.

Dr. Marshall-Burnett supports the establishment of a formal link between the nursing councils in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, and offered to facilitate the process in anyway she could.