Students enrolled in the University College of the Cayman Islands’ new nursing program will begin their academic year this week.
The new degree program begins with an education session featuring David Benton, CEO of the International Council of Nurses, on Thursday, Sept. 29.
The University College of the Cayman Islands has accepted 21 prospective students in its bachelor of science in nursing course.
Terica Larmond, director of the nursing department, said that the number of confirmed students was slightly lower after some applicants deferred their acceptance or decided not to pursue the program.
“It would appear we’re going to start, all being well, with about 17 students,” she said.
The graduates of the nursing program will be eligible to write the Nursing Council of Jamaica approved and administered Regional Examination for Nurse Registration to obtain the title of registered nurse.
“The program is starting under the Nursing Council of Jamaica as the regulatory body, but once the Nursing Council [of Cayman] has their own regulations, then they will be able to grant the nurses the title of registered nurses at the end of graduation,” Ms Larmond said.
Ms Larmond could not say, however, whether the local regulations will be in place in time for the first graduating class of the program. “Of course, it takes time,” she said, explaining that the regulations are one of the reasons for Dr. Benton’s visit. “Dr. Benton’s visit is to assist the Nursing Council of Cayman with the development of the regulations,” she said.
The heads of the nursing program at UCCI are also looking into establishing relationships with local medical centers, including the future Health City Cayman Islands being set up by Dr. Devi Shetty, to train nurses in clinical settings.
“On Tuesday, we’ll be meeting with heads of some various prospective clinical sites to discuss with them the way forward for the program and the possibility of our students using these facilities for clinical sites,” Ms Larmond said.
The nursing program at UCCI was sparked by a Pan American Health Organization initiative through the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority. This is the first time a bachelor of science in nursing has been offered to students in the Cayman Islands.