Nursing students at the University College of the Cayman Islands will get practical training at Health City Cayman Islands following the signing of an agreement between the two institutions on Tuesday.
Students in the third and fourth year of the college’s new nursing program will receive practical instruction from nurses at the medical tourism hospital as part of the course. The nursing students already receive some training at Health Services Authority facilities.
UCCI president Roy Bodden said the partnership would enable the students to specialize in niche areas of nursing and broaden their experience at a world-class facility.
Dr. Chandy Abraham, CEO of Health City, said he hopes the agreement is the first step in a partnership to help supply the hospital with Caymanian medical staff.
“Our dream is to have a 2,000-bed facility. The nursing component of that is not going to continue to come from India. We have got to have well-trained, well-equipped staff, and the first place to look is Cayman. This is an investment in our future as well,” he said.
Richard Parchment, government liaison and manager of the student intern program at Health City, said the medical profession provides a growing number of opportunities for employment in Cayman.
“For the last 60 years, we have been at about 40 percent in terms of the number of Caymanians in the healthcare industry. We are looking to change that dynamic dramatically,” he said.
Health City staff have been going into high schools and are now focusing on primary schools, emphasizing the importance of science to students interested in healthcare.
“We are saying to them, we want you to become the doctors, nurses and technicians at Health City,” Mr. Parchment said. “This is a big first step for us.”
There are 31 students in UCCI’s nursing program, which accepted its first cohort in 2013. Students graduating the four-year course qualify to take the Regional Nursing Entrance Examination to become registered nurses in the Caribbean. Terica Larmond, head of the UCCI nursing school, said practical training is an important component of the course.
UCCI president Mr. Bodden said the college is committed to providing accredited courses that qualify students for the world of work. He noted that many of the nursing students are on the dean’s list.